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Jacky Sack | Easy Outside Home Schooling Activity for BORED Kids

Two weeks into home schooling for some Queenslanders and the kids on this cul-de-sac on the northside of Brisbane started getting a bit of “cabin fever”.

With all the changes going on, they desperately wanted to play with their friends in the neighbourhood – but everyone has to keep their distance, as per the new rules!

Introducing, Jacky Sack – the ultimate home schooling activity for bored kids who miss their friends and the sunshine! Don’t tell them, but there’s a whole lot of maths involved too!

Jacky Sack – easy maths based home schooling activity

Named for its MOST bored participant, Jacky Sack involves finding old socks and filling them with sand and then tossing towards a target. Kids get points for the accuracy of their throws.

During the game, the older kids discussed what makes a good Jacky Sack – whether weight plays a part in accuracy and they experimented with removing and adding sand.

They also experimented on the thrust generated by swinging the sack, by bowling overarm and underarm and then refined their approach for both distance and accuracy.

The smaller kids kept their own scores and did basic adding up after each throw. Yes, it’s a reach but with home schooling activities largely school worksheets, this is a fun way to get outside, get social(ly distant) and get engaged in learning.

Everything you need to set it up, is already at home

No traipsing through crowded hardware stores needed! To set up this home schooling activity you will need:

  • Old socks
  • A bag of sand/dirt/rice/dried beans (whatever you have handy, sand works well for weight)
  • Cable ties
  • Chalk, string and a stick
  • A funnel
  • A pen to name each child’s Jacky Sack

Filling your Jacky Sacks

Fill each “old sock” with approximately one cup of sand using a funnel.

Tie off each sock with a cable tie, leaving the “leg part” for swinging the Jacky Sack.

Name each sock and make it clear to kids that they are ONLY to touch their Jacky Sack.

Creating your target

These can be created on a quiet road or in a driveway. If you have a long narrow space, be sure to set up a standing area and a number of waiting areas that are the approved social distance apart.

For a wider area, attach a string to a pole or large stick and affix chalk to the end.

  • Draw three circles with different lengths of string to create the three scoring zones.
  • Assign scores to each zone.
  • Create social distanced “launch” spots for children that are of equal distance to the target.
  • Provide each child with their own piece of chalk to keep their own scores.

How to play Jacky Sack

Each child stands in their allotted launch space and takes turns throwing their Jacky Sack.

After each turn they immediately retrieve their sack and then record the “score” that they achieved.

The first child to an allotted score, wins the game.

When they ask what the prize is, tell them they don’t have to go into school for the next week. They’ll roll their eyes at your mum joke. It’s the little things.

An adult should keep score to, to avoid accusations of cheating!

Socially distanced home schooling activity for friends

This is a hard time for kids. Whether they’re expressing it or not, your child may be experiencing anxiety and feelings of social isolation. This is a great little home schooling activity that allows them to play with their friends, while getting some fresh air – and even includes a little bit of maths. Win-Win.


This is a guest contribution from primary school education expert, Karen McClear of A Team Tuition.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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