Awhile ago we started buying cleaning wipes from Costco. You know, the Clorox or Lysol kind. Well, I began collecting the empty containers thinking there must be something I can use these for. I guess I was using an abnormal amount of wipes cleaning a lot because I they piled up pretty quickly. I had quite the collection when it came time to plan a birthday party. This might be a good time to pause and tell you how I feel about goodie bags. There’s the kind of mom who loves goodie bags. They’re simple, pre-packed (most of the time) and fairly inexpensive. They love to send the attending kids home with a “thank you for coming” gift and I think that’s great. I do too. Then, there’s the kind of mom like me, who loathes goodie bags. The kids come home with these candy-filled bags with cheap toys that they play with for 10 minutes, then leave scattered all over the house. Being the frugal person that I am, I don’t like to throw things away, so there they go, into the toy bins on the bookshelf to waste space. In the end, it’s all about the kids, so I graciously take the goodie bag and ohh and awe over what’s inside as my children pluck each one out of the bag and throw it on the floorboard of my car. I’m not trying to bash the goodie bag mom. I’m just trying to come up with more original prizes the kids can use (or use up) and not be hated by other moms like myself.
Back to party planning. I didn’t have a pinata and I had tons of these wipes containers (and a severe hatred for goodie bags). That’s when the Punch-A-Prize was born!
I don’t know whether to call it a game or some sort of prize dispenser. We’ve used it to let the winner of each party game get their prize. I suppose it could be a game in and of itself. It’s like a pinata, in a way. The kids have to do some sort of activity to get the prize out. Perhaps that’s why the love it so much. And love it, they do!
Foam core board
9 empty wipes containers (without lids)
Exacto knife or box cutter
Wrapping paper (optional)
Draw a grid on what will be the backside of the foam core board. You’ll want to end up with a 3x3 grid (you’ll actually end up with a 3x4 because the board isn’t a square). If you’re not a perfectionist, you can just eye-ball this part to save time. Place your containers upside down between each square until they look even. Trace the containers and cut. Note: you want to put the containers upside down because you’ll be punching them through the holes you cut. The bottoms of the containers are smaller, so it won’t work right if you cut the holes from that end.
I re-used this board from another party, so at this time, I covered it in wrapping paper and re-cut the holes. If you want, you can do this in step 1 before you cut the original holes.
Fill your containers with prizes. I used pretty neutral prizes (silly string, pop-its and chocolate coins), but since this was for my daughter’s party, I had some girly ones stuffed in there too. She still had boys at her party, so I’ll show you how to deal with it if you have a mix-gendered party.
Cut some tissue paper a little larger than the container opening. Here’s the part, if you have prizes that are geared specifically toward one gender, you can coordinate the color of your tissue paper with the prize inside (i.e.- pink for girl prizes, blue for boys and white for either). Note: you only need one layer of tissue.
Cover the container opening with tissue and punch it through the back of the foam core board. It’s easiest to do this one at a time with the container on a flat surface and the board on top. Be sure to press on the board right next to the container or you risk breaking the board. Once you poke them all through, you’re done! Note: If the tissue is on the thicker side, it may be a little hard for the little ones to punch through. You can solve this problem by poking a tiny hole in the middle with a straight pin. Also, this can be pretty tricky to place, so I used my daughter’s easel frame and it worked perfect!
Since I forgot to snap a pic of the final product, here’s the aftermath. She had a Frozen themed party, so I decorated it with some sparkly snowflakes.
Here’s another one that I’m embarrassed to show you I didn’t have a lot of time to invest in. I’d love to see your own rendition!