Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Board Game DIY

Do your kids like games? Mine do. Every year my kids love to play games at a table. I've found that they like me to play, too. Here are some games we have made. Use these ideas to springboard off and make your own games for kids.

Trail Game

This game is a favorite. We've used it for many years. I used paper scraps to make spaces for the trail. When I first made the gameboard, I didn't include lines along the sides of the colored trail; that caused confusion. For the spinner, I taped paper strips to a paper circle and taped all of that to a lazy susan. Place an arrow beside it and spin away. (They love the spinner!) For game pieces, we use foam beads. But we've used game markers from old games, small Lego bricks, and buttons as game pieces, too. (For more details about this game, see this post.)

Trail Game #2

I made this adaptable board game using a file folder and stickers. Create the trail across the folder. Create cards for moving through the trail with stickers and index cards. This game now resembles Candyland. Use binder clips for game pieces. Easy and fun to play. Add words, letters, numbers, or quantities of dots to your cards to add more learning opportunities. (For more details and ideas see this post on Pre-K and K Sharing and this post on Brick by Brick.)

Large Trail Game

I used the Giant Game Floor Mat to make a large trail game. I printed arrows and words on paper and slid into the mat. We used a purchased spinner and lids covered with colored tape. This game is fun because it's super-sized. You could also make a homemade game mat by taping large freezer ziplock bags to a tablecloth or drop cloth. (See this post for more details about the game and markers.)

Counting Game

I made this counting game recently for us to play. I made a trail of stickers around the outside of a folder. On some of the stickers, I drew a square. I made a "river" in the middle of the folder. Kids would roll a numbered cube and move around the trail. (We used old game markers.) When landing on a square, kids rolled a cube and counted that many marbles to put in the river. This was a lot of fun. (See this post on Pre-K Pages for more details and variations.)

Race Game

Cindy made this game. We've played other games like it in our class and the kids love it. In this game, the bears (or markers) are competing, not the children. Draw a grid on a piece of heavy paper. Use stickers to mark each color "lane." (You could also color the spaces with a marker.) Make a cube with matching colors on the sides. (Use a boutique tissue box as a homemade cube.) Kids take turns rolling the cube. Whatever color is on top of the cube indicates which bear moves one space. Continue playing until one (or all) of the bears reach the finish line.

What games have you made? I'm always on the lookout for more!

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