Table football is a fun and easy around the house game to play with your kids. It builds familiarity with simple math, counting, numbers, risk assessment and basic game strategy. It also helps to develop fine motor skills and dexterity. Best of all, it’s good old fashioned fun you can play anytime.
- Sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper
- Kitchen table
That’s it. That’s all you need to get started.
How to Make a Table Football:
This quick video shows you how…
- Remove any cloth from your table top. The surface should be bare.
- Sit on opposite sides of the table. (Sit on opposite sides of the width, not the length.)
- If you have a round table, make an end zone. To do this, simply place a piece of tape at two points on your end—approximately shoulder length apart. Do the same thing at your opponent’s end. All scoring must take place in the end zone.
How to Play:
- Push (slide) the football toward your opponent’s end of the table
- Your opponent pushes the football toward you.
- You push the football back toward your opponent’s end.
- Your opponent pushes the football back toward you.
Score the most points. Play to an agreed upon score, say– 35 or 50. Or use a timer—whoever has the most points after 10 minutes wins the game.
How to Score:
You score a touchdown (6 points) when you push the football toward your opponent’s end and it hangs over the edge of the table. If you do not score a touchdown, then your opponent pushes the football back toward your end.
You attempt an extra point (1 point) after a touchdown. An extra point is scored by kicking the football through a set of goalposts.
- Kicking the football- Simply hold the football upright with one finger. With your other hand, pull your index finger backward. Hold it with your thumb (like you’re ready to shoot a marble), then snap it forward causing the football to sail toward the goalposts.
- Making the goalposts- If your opponent is kicking, then you need to provide the goalposts. To do this, simply place two closed fists on the table. Extend your index fingers so they touch one another. Now raise your thumbs. The person doing the kicking must cause the football to sail through the uprights (the raised thumbs).
A field goal (3 points) is kicked just like an extra point. When do you kick a field goal? –During the course of play you and your opponent are pushing the football back and forth. In your zeal to score a touchdown, you might push the football too hard, causing it to fall off the end of the table—when this happens three times, your opponent attempts a field goal. (Person who caused football to fall off the table 3 times starts fresh at 0 times after field goal is kicked).
What! That’s not a touchdown!
If football is barely hanging off edge of table, in fact if it’s so close that it cannot be detected by the eye, then an instrument of science is needed to settle the matter. Simply hold a pencil straight against the edge of the table. Now slide it past the football. If football moves, it’s a touchdown.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Help your child make a couple dozen footballs. This makes it easy to practice kicking skills, as well as the art of scoring a touchdown. In fact, next time you’re unloading groceries or making lunch, bring out the bowl of footballs and let your child occupy the time by perfecting the finer points of the game. You might even help your child invent a set of practice goal posts using popsicle sticks, pencils, straws–whatever you have around the house.
A great way to commemorate the game, and to further develop familiarity with numeric relationships, is to help your child keep a log of the scores in an ordinary school notebook. You might be surprised at how eager your child is to share the log with friends and family. Then, who knows? –You might end up with a few new players in the league. Best of luck!
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