Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Simple Family Gift...

With two weeks remaining before the holiday break, many teachers are planning gifts for their students to make for their families. One of my favorite student created gifts was an old-fashioned board game. I created a simple blank game board, reproduced it on the copy machine on legal sized paper, and the kids did the rest. Although, I don't have a copy of the one I created, a simple search for "blank board game templates" turned up a variety of reproducible boards that you can easily print. One of my favorites was: 
(The board above came from that site and can be downloaded as a PDF file. It is very similar to the one I created.)

Whether you use one you download, create your own, or have your students make the board, the fun is just beginning! Brainstorm board game words with your class. I always found that many children play video games, but there are some that rarely or never play good old-fashioned board games! The brainstorm session helps all the kids make a more interesting game. Make a list of game moves like:

  • lose a turn
  • go back to start
  • move two spaces ahead
  • roll again
Next, talk about game themes. Will you make your game a Christmas or Hanukkah theme or, perhaps, your favorite topic! Brainstorm possible themes like:
  • around the world
  • a trip through the forest
  • deep in the sea
Of, course, the age of your students will determine how complex the game becomes. The creative possibilities are endless as each child designs a game they think their family will enjoy.

Writing in the boxes and decorating the board are the next steps. Be sure to remind them not to color over the words. 

When the board is complete, you can laminate it if you are able. I always purchased cardboard gift boxes after Christmas when they were on sale, but if you have not planned ahead, you can look for the least expensive ones to purchase now.  Choose a size in which the game board will fit. The children glue their game boards inside the bottom of the box. Add objects for game pieces. I used plastic milk jug lids, beans, coins, or any small objects that can be colored different colors or marked in some way. Add two dice to each box as well. (You can often find them in bulk at the dollar store, or purchase small foam cubes from a craft store and have the kids create dice. )

Once the games are complete, the kids partner up with classmates to play the games they created. 

Wrapping is quite simple! Simply put the lid on the box, add a bow and a gift tag and send them home! 

The joy of this gift is the opportunity for the child to present a gift that brings the family together for a game. Dice games are a perfect way for children to practice their math facts as well! Creativity, writing, strategy, and math in a simple family gift!


  1. What a great idea! Think I'll try it with my boys next year!! We broke up on Friday - so on Holiday now!! Take care!

  2. What a great idea! Think I'll try it with my boys next year!! We broke up on Friday - so on Holiday now!! Take care!