Return to the home page

Make Your Own Board Game

by Laurie Block Spigel

10 Steps to Successful Homeschooling What's Free or Cheap in NYC? Ask Laurie / RAQ Travels with Laurie Newsletter
Laurie Block Spigel
Classes & Lectures
Photo Gallery           
Poems by Laurie
Contact Laurie
FAQ (testing etc.)
Articles & Reviews       
Books & Resources
Favorite Kids' Books
Language Arts
Math & Economics
Critical Thinking
Social Studies
Foreign Languages
Art & Architecture
Standards, etc.     
Activities & Crafts
Special Ed
Gifted & Talented
About College/Teens
NYC High Schools
Projects new
Art by Kids
Poems by Kids
Reviews by Kids
Other Sites           

See also: Classes and Lectures by Laurie Block Spigel: Research + Writing = Board Game! * Photo Gallery: Board Games * Photo Gallery: Board Games in Australia

Whale Race board game

When my boys were young they made countless games, each one providing a rich learning experience. I was inspired to teach board games after my son Solomon made three increasingly sophisticated versions of his Whale Race Game (board pictured here).

Since that first class, I have seen an endless variety of boards and games. My students never fail to surprise me! Making a game is a course in research, game design, writing, communication, and creativity. The curriculum outline for the entire course is at the end of my book, Education Uncensored. But all you really need is to give your child the raw materials and watch him go.

Blank game boards, with pawns and dice, can be purchased inexpensively from Bare Books (Treetop Publishing). This company also stocks blank hardcover books, blank comics, dialogue bubble templates (or stencils), blank calendars, and more: the perfect materials to inspire young imaginations.

I ask my students to choose a topic that they want to learn more about, and then I teach them how to do a wide variety of research (encyclopedias, periodicals, asking librarians, visiting specialized libraries and museums, interviewing people in specific professions, advanced internet search). We also look at board games and discuss how they are played. We examine board game instructions and how they are written. In the end, the only rules are the ones that the game maker creates and the players agree to play.