Tutorial: Make Your Own Game Board

Not so long ago, before Jake grew taller than me, he and I played board games ALL the time.  Long Wisconsin winters beg for games like Monopoly, CandyLand, Sorry, and Labyrinth.  After the third round of CandyLand one afternoon, Jake proposed it was time for something new.  Lacking money and transportation, I  suggested we invent our own.  We set our criteria and sat down with a cup of hot cocoa to brainstorm some ideas. 

Here's what we ended up with:

It's compact, durable, and best of all, universal!  Just about any game you imagine can be played on this board.  For example: name that tune, match the animal with habitat, adding, subtracting, multiplication, division, identify the plant, id a country on the map.  The list goes on and on....  

Jake created a simple set of instructions that applies to every game.  Make playing cards to match your topic.  Pick a card and if you get the answer right, then roll the dice and move the amount shown.  The first person to reach the finish line wins!

Don't forget to blow on the dice for good luck!

For a long time, Jake's game board remained forgotten in a pile of boxes on the shelf, until the other day when Cole found it and brought it out on the table to play.

Jake proudly retold the story of how we made it, and has taken a renewed interest in some of his old favorites.  The games have evolved to include Cole and Luke's new rules and ideas for play, which Jake happily complies.

Who knew a file folder, a ruler and some crayons would make something that has become a treasured family heirloom.


  1. My kids love making these. It is amazing what kids can come up with!

  2. Clever kids! Love them! We once made a gameboard on a box that you ended up having to turn in all sorts of directions. When we were done, we stored all the dice and other supplies inside it.
    Lala's Pequenos

  3. Awesome! Children are so inventive...

  4. This is awesome. Daughter is going to love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. That's fabulous! I had a huge game making phase back in college - and I''ve started thinking about them again since Ellie is getting old enough to take turns. I really like the open-ended game board idea! There's lots of room for growth.


  6. What a great idea! I just love it! (very impressed)


  7. Thanks so much for all the comments. I forgot to mention that we keep all the cards and little pieces in a shoe box so they're all in one spot. That's what I hate about board games is all the little pieces scattered all over the house.

  8. That looks like fun - but I was wondering how to actually make something like this? I've never heard of making your own board games before and I would love to do this with my 4 yr old. What rules did you apply and what does each square mean? Did you put a link somewhere in the article that I missed maybe? Thanks

  9. The boys make up their own rules and scenarios each time they play:) We don't add much to the game board so they can use the same board for anything they can make up! A few of the spaces say things like go back one space, go back to start, roll again, lose a turn, etc. Have fun!!