Make Your Own Board Game

Winter is the perfect time to settle indoors and play board games with family and friends.
By Kevin Goodwin
Dec 18, 2013



Dec 18, 2013

Winter is the perfect time to settle indoors and play board games with family and friends.  But have you ever wanted to add your own twist to a board game?  Are you tired of following the rules?  With a few materials and a lot of imagination, you and your child can create a game with your own theme and flair.

You may also want to create games to help children learn more about a particular subject.  You can build challenges into the game that allow children to explore certain lessons, including math problems, spelling words, and historical facts.


  • A large flat surface such as a table, floor space, or ping pong table
  • Paper to cover the table
  • Markers, crayons, pencils, pens
  • Post-it/sticky notes or index cards
  • Game pieces (see Step Three)
  • Dice or spinner (see Step Four)


Step One
Cover the surface paper to contain any messes that might happen.

Step Two
Build the Playing Board:

  • Draw a path on the paper in any shape or size, such as a big circle, a freeform line with a distinct beginning and end, or multiple paths.
  • Lay out the sticky notes or cards along the path on your board.  These will be used as the spaces on the board game.  
  • Here is the fun part:  Write any rules or challenges you want on each space (e.g., move ten spaces, spin around three times, go back to start).  I suggest leaving some of the spaces blank to fill in as you go.  The spaces can be moved on the path to change the pace or difficulty of the game.

Step Three
You can either scavenge an existing game for game pieces or create your own.  If your game has a distinct theme then creating characters that go along with that theme is fun (e.g., a space-themed game might have rockets or aliens as game characters).  Recycled materials are great for making game pieces.  

Step Four
Your game is going to need some way of telling each player how many spaces to move on the board.  While you're scavenging old board games for game pieces, you can look for dice or spinners.   You can also make your own spinner or dice.

Step Five
It's time to play your game!

As you play, you may find that certain spaces do not match up well or that the game is too easy or difficult.  You can easily modify the board to suit your needs, such as adding another spinner, making the rules more difficult, or drawing a shortcut on the board. You built it, so you can change it -- there is no limit.

Step Six
Last but not least, give your board game a name!  It might help to play the game a few times before you find the most fitting name.

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