Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making a board game with kids (part 1)

Avril likes playing board games, so I thought that it would be fun to design a board game with her.  This post describes the process of the design up to the point of creating a pdf file that can be printed.  In the future we plan to have a follow-up project to actually build the board, board pieces and cards based on the design.  If you have any tips about actually making the game, please leave comments on a web page that tracks the progress of our game making.
Since recently Avril has been interested in cheese, our game is about making cheese.  Read my earlier post to learn how to actually make cheese at home with a child (the board game includes the recipe followed by us).
Avril has played a few board games (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, The Ladybug Game and others), so she was quite familiar with the idea. We started with a simple sheet of paper to sketch the game.  After 15 minutes or so, we ended up with this sketch:

We simulated the play a few times (without using any actual board pieces or dice) and Avril laughed a lot as she recalled us making cheese.
Going from the sketch to a somewhat nicer version that can be downloaded here was somewhat tedious (it took me over 4 hours), so I did it myself but next time I will try to involve Avril in that part too. There are a lot of sources of public domain images online (for instance PDClipart and WPClipart). And you shouldn't have problems finding computer software for editing images (you should pick software you're already familiar with).

If your child likes board games, I recommend designing your own. This is a fun activity. We already enjoyed the design part but since Avril (like most kids at this age) loves crafts, we will surely love making the game based on the design.