Mini Golf

Peewee Golf, Putt, Putt, Miniature Golf, Crazy Golf, Adventure Golf – whatever you call it, it’s a fun and silly way to be creative, get a little exercise, and spend quality time with people. And today, May 9, just happens to be National Mini Golf Day! Below are activities that all have a Mini Golf theme to help you celebrate! These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else! 

Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Draw Your Own Golf Course!

For this activity, you’ll need to have your coloring materials and paper ready and your creativity primed – we’re going to design our own Mini-Golf Course!

Directions

  • Prepare your workspace by making sure you have paper and pencil and coloring supplies. You may want to tape several papers together for a larger drawing.
  • Think of the mini-golf courses you have been to, or research some ideas. 
  • Then start sketching out your design. Use light strokes to map out your designs, or even consider placing one design per page!
  • Consider including a water feature (a pond your ball has to fly over, a bridge over a river, a waterfall your ball goes under, or even rides to a destination!
  • Tunnels and tubes are a great addition to your course. Add hills and other texture as elements the ball must travel over or avoid. Don’t forget to add in ridiculous things, too. A dragon that breathes fire? Alligators in the moat around the castle? A castle with a fairy who turns bad players into toads? Go for it! After all, this is your design!
  • Make sure you name your mini-golf park! It can be a themed-park or simply a mini-golf destination. Either way, make it yours.
  • Most mini-golf courses are 18 holes, but you can make yours as many as you’d like.
Science Experiment – The Angle of the bounce

In most mini-golf courses, there is no direct path to the hole from where you start the ball. You often have to get the ball around, over, or under one or more obstacles. Your goal is to get the ball into the hole by hitting it as few times as possible—this can be difficult with all that stuff in the way! One way to accomplish this is to bounce the ball off walls or other obstacles. By carefully planning out the ball’s path, you could even get a hole in one!

If you watch the ball carefully when it hits a wall, you will probably notice that the angle the ball moves towards the wall is nearly identical to the angle of reflection – bounces off the wall. Using this idea, set up a mini obstacle course to test out the angle of the bounce.

Set up some obstacles using cans, boxes or other objects. Place the small bouncy ball at the start and roll or flick the ball to move it toward the finish. When it’s in a straight line, it’s very easy. Now try moving the start and finish to one side or another. Can you get the ball to head in the right direction by bouncing off of the obstacles?

Physical Activity

Get some of those wiggles out while learning a little about aim, force, and proper golf club holding, as well as some engineering experience!

  • Collect any recycled materials you have at home. This could include empty boxes, cups, small containers, tubes, and other materials that would work well for designing a mini-golf course.
  • Use tape or glue to hold pieces together. Lay out the obstacles on your “green” – outside on the grass or sidewalk, or indoors on the carpet. Use other elements available – chairs, tables, couches, cushions, toys, etc – to add interest and challenge to your course. 
  • Choose a starting location for your golfer to “tee up.” This will be the start of each “hole.”
  • Have an end goal in mind for each obstacle. That could be that the ball ends in a cup, or a predetermined location, such as at the Teddy Bear’s feet, in the soda box opening, or in the hole between the two couch cushions. 
  • Once you have your course set up, test it out! How many strokes do you think it should take the average mini-golfer to get the ball into the cup (end location)? That’s called “par.” How many can the best player do?
  • Challenge yourself (and everyone around!) to design their own hole to your mini-golf adventure! 
  • You can even create your own scorecard for your game!
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
  • Where are the mini-golf locations in your area? Have you ever been to visit them?
  • Who in your family has played mini-golf before? Are there any pictures of you playing mini-golf?
  • Mini-golf has been around for over 100 years – and the game has changed quite a bit. The first mini-golf course in the US was built in 1912, was mostly geometric, and had some hills, curves, and valleys. Today’s courses have all sorts of crazy obstacles! What was the most unique obstacle you can recall?
No photo description available.
Ms Jen has always loved mini-golf courses!
Videos and Websites
Literature Connection:

Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:

Movies:

  • The Greatest Game Ever Played
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance
  • The Short Game
  • The Caddy

Books: