I’ve always enjoyed board games from the time I was a kid. I think they can have great educational value too. The right game can teach or reinforce a concept, fact, or skill in such a fun way that you don’t even know you’re learning.
One day, I was browsing the web looking for educational board games for my kids when I realized that a lot of the games used the same materials and would be easy to make. At the time, we were preparing to move to India, and luggage space was premium. We really didn’t have room in our luggage for me to purchase and bring even one of the games I was looking at … but if I could bring a few game materials … I could use them to make any game I wanted … and, of course, we could design our own games …
… and so the “Make your own Board Game” Kit was born.
I made one kit for my family and one for each family of our nieces and nephews – five families in total. Since many of the items came in bulk packs, I divided them between the five families. I typed up instructions and printed them out to include with each kit. I gave them as Christmas presents.
Two of my nieces made two or three games and spent hours playing them on Christmas day itself.
Our family has made a few games so far and have had a lot of fun with them. As my kids are just getting to the ages where our family can enjoy more board games together, we hope to make a lot more.
Here are some of the items that I included in my board game kit (or that I have on my wish list):
Paper roll (for making large game boards – you can glue the paper to cardboard to make a sturdier board)
Alphabet dice (perfect for word games)
Spinners (use these with card stock or laminated paper to make any game spinner you can imagine).
transparent counters (useful for Bingo-type games, where you need to cover spaces with a transparent pieces, or Checkers-type games where you have lots of pieces of equal value)
A real (blank) foldable game board (we’re still saving this for a special game – cardboard or paper work fine for most of our boards)