How to Make a Board Game for School


Board games are a fun and interesting way to learn new material and review lessons in almost any subject. Most children enjoy playing games and are more willing to review academic material by playing games than by studying notes or textbooks. Board games also reinforce counting skills and good sportsmanship, especially in the lower grade levels. Most commercial board games can easily be adapted to use in school, or you can create your own with a few readily available materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Pizza box
  • Square of cardboard
  • Adhesive shelf paper
  • Number cube or spinner
  • Permanent markers
  • Index cards
  • Coins of different denominations or game tokens
  • Cut the square of cardboard so that it fits inside the pizza box, and cover the top and bottom of the square with adhesive shelf paper. Use a permanent marker to mark game spaces around the edge of the square of cardboard. Label any special spaces you wish to include, such as "Go back 3 spaces," "Take an extra turn," or "Roll again." Write the name of the game on the game board and decorate with colored markers, stickers, or other materials.

  • Cover the pizza box with adhesive shelf paper. Write the name of the game on the outside top and sides and decorate to complement game board decorations.

  • Write questions and answers on one side of the index cards. Vary the types of questions, such as multiple choice, short answer, and fill-in-the-blank. Laminate the cards to reduce wear. If desired, make several sets of cards to cover different subjects and lessons.

  • Write the rules to the game on the inside lid of the box. Include basic rules, such as number of players, deciding who goes first and determining the winner. Incorporate a rule explaining the use of the spinner or number cube to determine how the coins or tokens advance on the game board. (The term "number cube" is used in school environments, especially elementary school, rather than "dice." The word "dice" is associated with gambling, so educators use "number cube.") Add any rules that are specific to the play of your game and the level of the students playing. For example, for younger students, you may have a rule that allows them to use their books to find the answer, while older students may get bonus points for giving the correct date an event occurred.

  • Put the game board, spinner or number cubes, coins or tokens, and question cards into the box and close the lid to store the game.


  • Constance McKenzie; Licensed Professional Teacher, Elementary Education; Colorado
  • Photo Credit vacation study 2 image by Paul Moore from
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