A few weeks ago, Dave and I took the kids on a family date night downtown. The final destination was a favorite donut shop. It has a cool Austin vibe, and a great outdoor patio with picnic tables, a fire pit, and a ping pong table. While we waited for our donuts, we paddled the balls back and forth and I remembered how much fun it is to play! Growing up, my family had a full ping-pong table in the extra living room for a few years. It was so great, but took up the whole space. It was eventually exiled to the yard, then the garage, then…maybe donated when there just wasn’t anywhere left to put it. When UncommonGoods invited me to browse through their gift options for the upcoming holiday season, I loved this gardening seat for our endless yard work, and wanted some of these awesome Mr. Food plates for the kids, but this portable table tennis set immediately caught my attention. What a great idea to be able to turn any table into a table tennis court! We definitely don’t have the space (or budget) for a full ping-pong table, but we do have a dining room table!
The whole online marketplace of UncommonGoods is filled with just such unique and interesting items. I could (and do) spend a long time exploring all of the products. I mean, look at is this cool glass ziploc bag (I’ll take it with the jelly beans, please.) And so many of these stocking stuffers would be perfect additions to our Christmas morning. The prices are competitive with other online retailers, with a huge, fun selection of gifts listed here under $50 and here under $25. But more, they curate the collection to include all items made responsibly, most in the USA, and about half by hand. I’m always thrilled to support a company who is consciously supporting artists and small business owners.
UncommonGoods was kind to send us a table tennis set to try out at home. It has been so amazing to easily transform a dinner party into a game night by clearing the dishes and pulling it out! We’ve now played several times, but once last week hosted a tacos and table tennis tournament with some good friends and made great memories. Despite all of the seven kids running wild in the house, the competition was a welcome bit of exhilaration and excitement. I even made a printable tournament bracket to keep track of the double-elimination games (download it for free here). We all had some good laughs, and Dave won (of course! Anyone else’s husband win at everything all the time?!) And when we were finished, the table became our dining room table again.
The portable table tennis set itself is pretty awesome. It comes all together in a draw-string bag, super compact. The ends of the net are weighted so they sit firmly on the edges of the table without having to clip or fit anything anywhere. The net is wound up inside one side and is a full six feet long at it’s longest, though we only need it about three feet wide for our table. The two included balls sit down inside the other side, and the paddle handles retract so they end up fitting just underneath the net inside the bag. It’s really great design.
We noticed the paddles are quite a bit heavier than traditional ping-pong paddles, but we got used to the different weight in our hands. We are planning on buying a set of four paddles and some extra balls so we are ready to play doubles for the next dinner table tennis tournament. Spoiler Alert: we’ve loved the set so much, we’re excited to share the fun with some of our family as Christmas gifts this year. So if we drew your name, get excited!