Monday, January 7, 2013

Make Your Memories into a Board Game

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been to a zoo or a theme park and gotten a map. I always save them thinking that I will use them in some way to preserve our memories of the special day we had. They always end up in a pile collecting dust, until now. I just had a brilliant idea of what you can do with these great souvenirs from your trip… Turn them into a board game!  

Imagine the fun you and your family will have re-living your memories from your special day each time you play!

Supplies You Need to Make the Game:
Card Stock Paper
Colored Paper or colored stickers to create spaces on the map
*Optional: Posterboard, Foam Board, or an old game board (see below section on preserving your map and then decide what you want to use for this)
*Optional: Mod Podge

Supplies You Need to Play the Game:
Die/Dice (I would just use one unless you want the game to finish very quickly)
Game markers for each player (see below for options on what you can use/make)
Pencil and Paper
Cards (You will create these as shown below)

To Make the Board:
The map will serve as the board for your game. I am going to use a zoo map for my example. You will need to choose 4 colors to create spaces on the game board. You will need to alternate the 4 colors in a path around the map. You could do this any way you like, using any 4 colors you want. You could purchase a pack of colored circle stickers, star stickers, etc… you could hole punch colored paper and glue the dots on. Whatever you can find to create spaces to move through the map using 4 alternating colors will be fine.

You will want to create the game board before taking the next step. Start at the entrance to the map and alternate your colors around the map until you reach back to the exit. Choose one color as your main color and use that one more frequently. For example: Red, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Red Red, Blue, Green, Yellow… You get the idea.

You can preserve the completed game board in several ways:

  • Take the map to a copy shop and have it laminated and either play on it just as it is or glue it to a posterboard or foam board.
  • Attach the map to a posterboard or foam board using Mod Podge to cover and protect it.
  • Attach the map to an old board game board, using Mod Podge, if you can find one that is the right size.  You can get old board games at thrift stores or garage sales.
Create the game cards:
I wanted to incorporate several different types of activities into my game. I love games that get us all thinking, laughing, and even moving when possible. This will do all of those things!

You will need to make action cards in 4 categories to coordinate with the 4 colors.
For example:
Red = Trivia
Blue = Challenge
Green =Act It Out (charades)
Yellow = Draw It (Pictionary)

Trivia Cards: Make trivia questions based on the theme of your map. Since I’m using a zoo map, my trivia questions will be related to the animals that are on exhibit at the zoo we visited. You can go onto the zoo’s website to get a list of all the animals and some facts that you can use to make the trivia questions. You can also search Google for animal trivia, or even check Wikipedia. You can base the difficulty level to whatever is appropriate for your children.You will need to number the questions and then make an answer key to check (if you don't know all the answers to the questions, or if the kids are playing on their own)

Challenge Cards: These can be either questions that get you thinking or things to get you moving. For example: Hop around the room like a kangaroo, run around like a cheetah, balance on one leg like a flamingo for 10 seconds, name 3 animals from Australia, name 3 brown animals, name a movie that has a monkey in it, etc…

Act It Out Cards:  Just list words or phrases related to the theme of your map for the players to act out.

Draw It Cards:  Just list words or phrases for the player to draw while the others guess.

You can use the Microsoft Word program to create your cards. I think a business card size would be perfect so you will need to open up a template for business cards. I included a document below that is a template for a business card that you can use if you are unsure how to open a template. When you are done creating the cards you can print them onto card stock paper and cut them out.

Card Template

If you want to make it even easier, you can purchase a pack of Avery business cards and print directly onto them. They are perforated so you can easily take them apart and separate them. If you are going to use the business cards you will want to follow the directions on the package to use the template that corresponds to the cards you purchased.

I would print on both sides so your question is on one side and the other side has the words: Trivia, Challenge, Charade, and Pictionary listed with the font in the coordinated color. Another option would be to print labels with the 4 categories and just stick them onto the front of your cards after you print on them.  

Game Markers for Each Player:
You will also need game markers for each player. You could use game markers from another game you already have. 
You could also make some by downloading some clip art that corresponds to your theme. 

Paste the images you want to use into a Word doc. You will need 2 of each image.

Place the images side by side. Double click on 2nd image and then select the option to flip the image horizontally so that you create a mirror image (see screenshot). 

Leave a few lines of space in between each of your images.

Print them on card stock and then cut them out, when you cut the image out, leave a square tab of paper underneath the image so that you can glue the two images back to back and fold the tabs out away from each other to create a stand. See photo for example:

The Rules of the Game:

  1. Start at the beginning and roll the die/dice (I would use one, unless you would like the game to go very quickly) to determine the number of spaces you can move.
  2. Pick a card to correspond with the color space you land on and comply with the action on the card, if you are unable to complete the action, answer the question, or no one guesses your charade or drawing then you lose a turn on the next round.
  3. If you land on a space next to the bathroom signs then you are on a potty break and lose a turn.
  4. The first person to go around the board and make it to the exit wins.
You can really tailor this game however you like. I hope my ideas sparked your creativity! I’m sure that your kids will enjoy this and it will be a nice surprise for them.  I would love to do one for Disney and Sea World. We will be going back to our hometown, Orlando, this summer and will have the opportunity to visit these parks again so I intend to save the maps for those locations and create them in the future. I can see a Disney map made for girls using shades of pink and purple for the game board and Disney Princesses as the markers or for boys with Toy Story or Cars markers. The trivia, charades, and Pictionary made with Disney characters and movies. That would be really fun to make! I look forward to creating them in the future and sharing the finished product with you.

What are you waiting for Super Mom, get started on your game and plan a surprise family game night!

1 comment:

  1. Paulette KettlehutJanuary 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    WOW!! This one involves a lot of things but it would sure be worth it all once it was done and it's time to start playing! I will be looking forward to your finished project Cortney :)
    I like your color idea for the Disney Map and how cute to use Disney Princesses for the markers!! Yay....another fantastic creation from Cortney <3 love, aunty paulette