When our oldest son and I went to camp with our church earlier this summer there were lots of games and activities for the kids to partake in during their off time. The one game that most of the kids gravitated towards during that time was a game called Ga Ga Ball. Apparently it has become pretty popular around the country, but I wan’t cool enough to know about it.
When we got home, B1 wanted to build our own Ga Ga Pit, the “arena” in which you play the game. Giving the kids more reasons to be outside playing, I was in. But with all the traveling we had been doing in the weeks after, building a Ga Ga pit got put on the back burner. Well, B1 was hoping to have some friends over this weekend and he really wanted to try and get the pit built before they came over.
My original plan was to build the pit just like they had at the camp, with posts sunk in the ground and dimensional lumber between them to create the “octopit”, another name for a Ga Ga Pit. Since we didn’t have time, and I wasn’t sure where I would want to locate a pit permanently, I came up with an alternative plan. I would use pallets that we had for the sides. I figured it should work.
So B1 and I got to work Saturday late morning. B1 used the yard trimmer to cut the grass down low where we were going to locate the pit. We then brought over 8 of the best pallets we had left, ones that didn’t have slats missing or nails protruding. Then we set up the pallets and tried to get them into as regular an octagon as we could by eye and used some scrap two by fours to cleat the tops of the pallets together. In a regular pit, with dimensional lumber and posts, the kids would just climb over the sides of the pit to get in, and then those kids who have been knocked out sit on the sides and watch the rest of the game. With this pit being constructed of pallets I didn’t want them to be climbing the sides, pallets just won’t stand up to that kind of wear. So I had to create a door.
I had thought about using hinges, but where hinges would attach to the pallets the pallets just aren’t that strong structurally so I scrapped that idea. The next idea I had was to cut a left over two by four and use it to make legs to hold up the pallet and hold it against the ball hitting it. The two by four I had wasn’t long enough to cut in half and still use so I headed back to the scrap lumber pile. While I was there looking for another two by four, I saw some balusters that I had left over from when we built our front deck, and I figured they would work perfectly. I cut them to length and screwed them on and they worked great. I may need to find a way to strap the top more securely, using shock cord or something, but it works for now.
We were able to play some games Saturday afternoon and it worked just fine. There may need to be some fine tuning, but considering I used things I already had around, the cost of the pit was a couple bucks in screws. If you check the YouTube channel, I will be posting a video on the construction of the pit sometime this week. Better yet, you could subscribe to the channel and share the video with your friends.
Until next time…