How To Teach Your Children to Make Their Own Board Games

DuBrul May 27, 2008 Arts & Crafts
Here is one of the best-ever activities for you and your kids to do together. it's sure to inspire creativity while teaching fair play! Neither of my daughters have forgotten the laughter we shared the first time we "played what we made" My daughter has passed it on to my grandchildren and a family tradition has been born.


Home Made Board Games!

When I was a child and was first discovering the joys of board games, among my favorites were the classics "Chutes and Ladders," "Candy Land," and "Chinese Checkers." Their timeless appeal to children lies in the simplicity of the basic "rules" of all three. The goal is to start at one point and finish at another, and to have fun along the way.

When my two daughters were old enough to understand the above concept, I thought about purchasing one or two simple games for them. But then an idea came to me. Why not take simplicity up a notch or two? I had all of the ingredients for a new and original board game on hand: A large pad of newsprint, a big box of crayons, a pair of kid's scissors, and a pair of dice.

So, I sat on the floor with the girls (and one of their friends). On the first page of the pad I drew a wavy line that started on one side and meandered around the page until it reached the other side. We then took turns drawing circles about the size of a dime on the line that were spaced about 2" apart. We filled the circles in with different colors. We all made our own unique game piece by cutting out and coloring small shapes of paper.

Using only one die, we then tried out Version #1 of our new game! They quickly caught on to the basics. Roll a 5, move 5 spaces. Whoever gets to the end first wins. But then came the best part! I asked them, "How can we make our game more fun?" And that's when the girls made the game their very own creation. With a little prompting, each girl made up a new rule.

"How about if you roll a 3 you gotta go BACK 3 spaces?"

"If you land on a blue space you have to sing a song!"

"If you land on a space and somebody else is already there, then she has to go BACK 5!

We then played Version #2! We laughed the whole time. We played it many times that afternoon. The next day we turned to the next page in the pad and invented a new one. They called it "The Sandwich Game" Everyone stared with two paper slices of bread. The goal was to go around the board picking up paper lettuce, baloney, peanut butter, jelly, etc. along the way at the different "stores" located every 5 spaces. Whoever finished with the biggest sandwich won.

Once you and your kids have made and played a game or two of THEIR VERY OWN DESIGN, there is no limit to the variations that they will come up with.

My daughters have never forgotten their first games. My grandchildren have made and played their own.

Your kids can have this experience too. Have fun!

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gwen wheel on Jun 19, 2008
i actually choked up on this one, dad! it's brilliant! i am so glad you thought to immortalize and share our good times this way. more! more! xo