DAY 2 – Make a soccer ball by hand with twine and plastic bags.

What do you do if you can’t afford to purchase a soccer ball? Make your own. More than just a fun craft project, the children in Kibera their resourceful and talented skills to make their own game balls. Creating their own ball makes it possible for them to play the game they love so much. The technique – fill a plastic bag full of other bags until it is stuffed to the brim, then take a shoe lace or piece of twine and tie a tight net around the ball. While they vary in shape and size, and don’t bounce like a normal soccer ball, these handmade balls are able to withstand the rough conditions of a dirt rock-filled field. Test your skills and creativity by making your own soccer ball (or another toy) from scratch.

Learn more about making Kibera soccer balls

Discussion - Day 2

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  1. Posted August 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    The soccer ball has been a big hit!! Our only challenge was finding enough plastic in the house to stuff it with. Once made though I was a little afraid for the pictures on the wall. The game quickly moved outside!

  2. Posted September 1, 2011 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Just compleated my soccor ball, cant wait to take it to school with me tomorrow to spread some knowlege of the power of 26!

  3. Posted September 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I had fun making the soccer ball with my kids. They sure had fun playing with it in the house until I told them to take it outside. Our cat even had fun with it, he must of thought it was a toy for him:)

  4. Posted September 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    A price of a new soccer ball is about 16 U.S. For the people of Kibera kicking a ‘real soccer ball’ remains just a dream. The kids make their own ball by finding anything at their disposal- from plastic bags to rags and twine, because they cannot afford to buy one. Making the soccer ball was a hit with my kids. It turned out better than I thought. We had more than enough bags, but we did not have enough twine, so my husband suggested using some rubber bands. The rubber band worked well plus it made the ball kind of bouncy. In the end the ball turned out good and my son decided to try it out by kicking it in the house almost breaking my china cabinet.

  5. by Toni
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    This was a bit challenging to get the “ball” to stay together. I had enough plastic bags to stuff in each other but finding string, lace, etc. to hold it together was challenging. My son who is 6 thought it was a fun project as he loves soccer. But if you think about that actually being your real soccer ball to play games with it seems really challenging to use as the ball could easily fall apart and the shape would cause it to go in different directions then expected which is fun at first but can be frustrating over time.

  6. Posted March 6, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    This was so annoying! It took me a good half an hour just to make this. I don’t even know if it was made right. The plastic bag was very fun for my cats to attack and try to get while making this, and I used yard for the twine, which cats also love to play with. The whole time I was making this it was a battle because I couldn’t tie the yarn around the bag right. Whenever I thought I made it right it would just fall apart. The process was very challenging and I didn’t like it. I can’t even imagine even playing soccer with the ball I made, it would easily fall apart if kicked too hard.

  7. Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    It seemed simple and interesting to make a soccer ball out of plastic bags and twine however you really need a lot of bags, crunched them up and get the ball tight to be comparable to a regular soccer ball. I admire the youth in Kibera for using whatever they have available to make a ball.

  8. Posted March 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I made a soccer ball out of paper. I had my fiances brothers who are 2 and 5 help me so It was very interesting to say the least. They were laughing and making a mess. I think it was a lot more enjoyable doing that then if I were to have just bought it at the store. I could see how people from Kibera could actually like doing that.

  9. Posted April 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a great challenge. It really helps you to see what it must be like to be a kid in a third world country. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine making a soccer ball out of plastic bags and twine. It gives you an understanding of how little it takes to entertain you. We don’t need all of our technology to be entertained. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and just a simple cardboard box could keep me entertained. #capstoneproject

  10. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    #capstoneproject It was extremely difficult at first to even find enough plastic bags and yarn. Once we found all of the materials we needed, we started to put plastic bags inside plastic bags and finally we had a big enough ball to wrap yarn around. We used so much yarn and it still didnt even hold the ball together. Brian brought some rope so we could wrap it up even better but it still wasn’t very sturdy. It was fun putting together but it was frustraiting when it wouldn’t hold.

  11. by Jojo
    Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    So with my group we decided to create a soccer ball with only plastic bags and twine. It was really easy to find plastic bags because we had a lot everywhere in our houses. In fact, walmart give a bunch of bags so it was pretty easy to have a lot. The hardest part to make our ball was to make it round. I mean we tried several times but it was more oval than round. It was pretty long to do it and not really strong, we played 5 minutes with it but I guess after 15 minutes to play with, it will be destroy.

  12. Posted April 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    #capstoneproject at the beginning it was complicated to just find material to make the soccer ball but as we went around had asked people we wound up with a ton of walmart bags and a lunch box full of yarn. We started it off by put a walmart bag inside another bag and would smuch it down until it was very compacted. After about 40 walmart bags we had the ball big enough to then start wrapping it up with yarn. This was the most difficult part for us guys cause there were so many knots and we had to have great patients cause of the time it took to get it all un-knotted and then had to wrap it all of the walmart shacks. After we ran out of yarn we found a rope thing that we finished it off with to make it a little more secure. But after all of the yarn and rope it still did not hold long enough for a very long soccer match.

  13. Posted April 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    This challenge i learned alot and it made me think about how bad life is down there. It was really fun making the soccer ball my whole group was so excited to see how it was going to look like when it was finish. I think it was more exciting playing with this hand made ball then just going to the store and buying one.#capstoneproject

  14. Posted April 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    This challenge was exciting. Trying to form and make a so called soccer ball with twine and plastic bags was fun but a hassle. Knowing that these children make their own soccer balls that actually work is pretty amazing. I fully put my hands down for these children. They make the best with what they have, which isn’t much of anything. But their happy because thats all they know, so i give them all my respect.

    Thanks Dylan W

  15. Posted April 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Jose Martinez
    So we decide to make a soccer ball with my group. It was an amazing project because when I was doing it felt good and at the same time i was happy that for the fist time ever i did something that i can feel proud of because I love soccer and can’t wait to play with it.

  16. Posted April 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    During this project i thought it was pretty fun. I enjoyed making the soccer ball. It wasnt all that easy. In my opinion, making this soccer ball was a great experience for me. I have to admit that its more fun making your own ball then going to a sports store to buy one.


  17. Posted April 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    It was a different experience. The plastic ball didn’t last very long. We had to put it back together several times, for us to play with it. After all I had a great time with my friends. I’m ready for another challenge!

  18. Posted April 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    We made our soccer ball out of trash bags filled with wood chips then had one mean game of hallway soccer! Then we got in trouble, but we realized how much being creative can be!!

  19. Posted April 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    We wanted to do this project to see what it was truly like to be less fortunate. We were so used to going to the store and buying whatever we need, we never think about having to make all of our games and toys by hand. We made a ball out of trash bags filled with wood chips. We then wraped it in grass rope and it was very heavy. We got some friends together and played soccer. We quickly found that the ball was very heavy but sturdy. This challenge opened my eyes and now i think about the things i should be thankful for. #capstoneproject

  20. Posted May 4, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    #capstoneproject Whenever our group first attempted to complete this challenge we didn’t have near as much luck as I hoped. We got a bunch of wal mart bags and put them inside of other bags rapped with multiple layers of string. The first time we tried to kick the ball it held up pretty good but after playing with it for a few minutes it started to fall apart. This made me wonder if the same thing happens to the kids who play with these make shift soccer balls every day in Rio De Janeiro. Then we decided to reconstruct the whole ball and put more effort into making it useable. Once we did that the ball held up fine and we had a fun time organizing a game and playing with it!

  21. Posted April 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    This was a great and creative project to complete – who knew you could make a soccer ball with re-used items like this.