Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Angry Birds

Twice a month the neighboring LCMS youth groups get together for FISH (Faith Integrity Service Honor). The first Sunday of the month it is hosted at my internship congregation-ORLC, the third Sunday it’s hosted at St. John’s Lutheran in Palmer, AK.

For this FISH event I was inspired but the ever popular cell phone game “Angry Birds”. If you do not know what this game is, basically you take birds and sling shot them toward a tower of bricks, blocks, and glass structures to break them down and kill the pigs. Do not ask me why such animals, or why it has become so popular but it is rather addicting.

Instead of playing in front of a cell phone screen I decided to turn the game into a larger than life, LIVE version. In local stores one can purchase stuffed animal Angry Bird characters. These run at $7-$20 dollars apiece. Working with a limited budget I decided to make my own Angry Birds.

To do this I went to the local Wal-Mart in search of plain, plastic balls with the corresponding colors of birds, and pigs (ie: Red, Yellow, Green etc). Normally Wal-Mart carries these in stock and they run for $1.00 each. As luck would have it, in Alaska, in the off season of winter they had no such thing. I searched for a Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Dollar Store ANYTHING with cheap plastic balls but again Alaska does not have any such stores.

Hitting a roadblock but not defeated I did what any person in ministry would do—ask for help from other individuals in the ministry field. I called up my friend Jackie back in Minnesota and asked her to go to the local Dollar Tree to get me the balls; 12-green and 12 red. Sure enough she got them. She sent them up to Alaska with my fiancĂ©e Adam, as he was coming to visit just a week later.

Once they arrived I got to work with a little help from Adam and I have directions for you all in case you want to play Angry Birds with limited money and a little bit of creativity.


  • Green and red plastic balls (non-textured is best for tape to stick)
  • Styrofoam cups
  • Scissors
  • Green permanent marker or green paint
  • Black permanent marker
  • Yellow permanent marker
  • Green construction paper
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • White computer paper
  • Boxing tape
  • Pencil
Additional Items for the game:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Water balloon slingshot (optional)
  • Bowling Ball

Making of the Pigs

Making of the Birds

To make the game more real we also used light blue tissue paper to mimic the "glass" that is typically found in the game. Additionally I went to the local second hand store and found a black bowling ball which we used as the black "Bomb Bird". Of course you cannot sling shot a bowling ball and having tile floor we made sure the students pushed the ball rather than bowled it. Word to the wise, if you use a bowling ball make sure there is someone behind the structure to stop it as it could leave dents in Sheetrock.
See the resemblance? 

Tissue paper for the "glass"
Ready, aim, FIRE!
A Level 1 Structure

Level 8 structure
Game over! Reset
Overall it was a lot of fun to make and to play. The beaks did fall off of the red birds but the chest and eyes managed to stay on since I wrapped the tape all the way around. The bowling ball was a nice add since some of the ground level boxes could not be knocked over otherwise. We used water balloon sling shots however you could have just as much fun by simply throwing them at the structure. Creativity, fun, ministry! I love this internship!

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