After agreeing to host my nephews and niece for a subzero winter overnight, I began to worry about the entertainment possibilities. I was determined that we wouldn’t spend the evening in front of the television, so I bundled up, got in the car and headed up to one of my favorite Goodwill® stores. My first thought was to orchestrate a little play/film that they would act out. In that case, I could shop for the ‘costumes’ we’d need in the clothing sections. That was one idea.
Next, I thought we could just do a craft of some kind. I would buy some wooden odds and ends and get out paint, glitter, glue, etc. The wood aisle at Goodwill always supplies my needs, so that’s where I headed. But right before my eyes, I spotted a shelf/coat hanger combination piece made from pine, that had three holes in one side. I didn’t spend time trying to figure out what it was used for in the past, but instantly thought of the possibility of making a Goodwill-sourced cornhole game. BINGO! Entertainment idea solved.
It was unlikely though, that I could find the square little beanbags used in the game. After waiting for a little boy to get finished in the Beanie Baby area of the toy aisle, I found three little bean bag critters that could be tossed at the holes just like the store bought game. A frog, a cat and a turtle–that was all I needed. I was triumphant! For only $6.99, I had just found at least two solid hours of wholesome kids’ entertainment that could be played indoors on a cold winter night. Creating this DIY version of a popular game, all from Goodwill donations, aligns perfectly with my personal philosophy. And when you consider that Goodwill is an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice, I feel especially good about shopping for game ideas, as well as furniture, lamps, pictures and more.
Once the kids arrived and got settled in, they started asking for games. Little did they know that my cornhole game would appeal to their competitive spirits, not to mention that they could pretend it was summer since I had pre-arranged for their mom to pack summer outfits for each of them. The big surprise was how much they enjoyed the math facet of playing this game. When I suggested that we needed scorekeepers, I could hardly contain them.
Besides the shelf and the beanie critters, all I did was place three pieces of painter’s tape on the floor for varying levels throwing difficulty. They say that the best ideas are the simplest ones, and this proved to be a 100 percent successful plan. Now that I saw how well that worked, I feel like I could go into any Goodwill store and put together any number of fun games made from things in the store.