Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lineup Organization

I originally posted this to Pinterest as an uploaded Pin not linking to anything.  It's been pretty popular so I'm dedicating a whole post just to this project.  Some really crafty mom somewhere down the line must have come up with this idea to help out her team coach.  I was lucky enough that that mom was in our little league and this phenomenon started the year before my oldest son started t-ball.  Thank you team mom, whomever you were! 

T-ball is a crazy year of baseball for kids and coaches.  The kids are so excited and amped up to be playing baseball.  They've got their new equipment - a shiny new bat, a new glove that they can barely close, a new helmet and probably their own softie ball with their name written on it in magic marker.  The coaches are in their new team shirt and are trying to capture at least 15 seconds of attention from each minute the kids are with them on the field.  And so the season begins.

One of the bigger challenges in t-ball (or any younger youth sport actually) is keeping the kids organized and ready to play.  With so many items to manage the t-ball bucket was born.  This nifty customizable project not only helps to carry all of the standard little things (hat, glove, helmet, water bottle) it also provides an extra spot to put the snack at the end of the game and helps keep the lineup straight for the coaches and dugout parent.

What you'll need:
  • 2 to 3 gallon painter's buckets (I found ours at Lowe's for about $3.50 each as well as other suppliers)
  • Letter stickers (all-weather variety works best to accommodate the wear and tear on the field.  I used letters meant for a mailbox that I found on sale)
  • Team color duct tape, or other adhesive decoration
  • Time

Get started by setting aside some time one evening, or weekend afternoon, before the season starts.  Let me just provide my one warning here - it's much much easier to do this project while the kids are in bed if you want to power through, but it can be fun for them to help spot letters if you need a time filler for their afternoon.

Arrange your supplies, pull up a comfy chair, pour a glass of your favorite beverage and turn on a show while you begin to assemble.  They will take a little time, but they are handy. 

Make sure your bucket is clean and ready for adhesive and then begin.

With all of the new fun duct tape out there, there's sure to be a color that goes well with your team colors.  You can add a little pop of color to the bucket with it by adding stripes, or wrapping the handle.

If you're lucky enough to have a team named after your local team, you'll probably have a good chance of finding decals in your team's emblem.  If not, and you're not happy with any tape you've found out there, try visiting your local scrapbooking store to look for stickers.  Sometimes just fun baseball stickers can spruce up the buckets.  You can also buy sheets of stickers for each kid on the team to decorate their own bucket after you've added their name.

These buckets not only keep the lineup in the dugout organized when placed in front of each players spot on the bench, they also help with warm ups and practices providing good visual aids for where the kids should line up, or a target to throw toward.

Have fun creating your own team buckets!  I would love to see how yours turn out or hear about any other ideas that you may have for this project, or other team organization projects.  Please post your comments below.

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