The following post is by an All-Star Blogger we are so excited to feature on our blog during Educents Blogger Week! Alyssa from Arts & Crackers shows us the secret to making bundles of fun from regular household products!
In our house, we love board games. They are a great way to get the family all together for bonding time, they help promote learning, and they are just plain fun!
Because board games can be expensive, I wanted to come up with a way to play some popular kid-friendly games using everyday items we already had around the house. For High Five Friday, I wanted to share my Top 5 DIY board game “Hot Picks” with you.
1. Basket of Hangers (Barrel of Monkeys)-This is a game that is a lot of fun for all ages but we tend to lose the little monkeys from the game after my son plays with it. Yesterday, my son decided to start picking up hangers in a chain just like the monkey game and I thought it was brilliant!
You need: 12 hangers (we used the baby hangers as they are a little smaller and easier for young kids to use plus they have extra hooks that make it a little easier for them to catch) and a laundry basket. Put the hangers in the laundry basket then dump the basket over into the middle of the floor. Take turns grabbing a hanger, pulling it up, then trying to hook another hanger onto the bottom. When a hanger(s) falls off the bottom, the turn is over and someone else can try by picking from the pile. See the Barrel of Monkeys instruction sheet.
This game helps to teach counting, hand-eye coordination, and persistence.
2. Egg Carton Mancala-I shared this a while ago, but it’s a great and inexpensive game. Create the Mancala board using the instructions HERE.
Once your board is created, you can start playing. This is a two-player game. Use jelly beans, beads, or something else small for the pieces–they can be all the same color, but I prefer to make it colorful. Empty one of your cups at a time, depositing one game piece into each cup following until all the pieces are used. Your goal is to get all of the pieces to your large cup. See the full Mancala instruction sheet.
This game teaches counting and strategy.
3. Popsicle Stick Dominoes-You need: 28 large popsicle sticks and a marker or paint. Draw or paint dots onto each popsicle stick to look like playing Dominoes (see the chart HERE) with a line dividing in the center. Basically, you will start with a stick that has no dots, one stick that has 1 dot and one blank, and work your way up to one that has both sides with 6 dots each.
There are many ways to play Dominoes, but we just did the basic version where you have to match the sides together. Put all the popsicle sticks in a pile, upside down, in the center of a large table or the floor. Shuffle it. Each player chooses 7 sticks; do not let your opponent see—hold them in your hand. The highest double Domino starts the game then you can take turns playing pieces that match the number on the open end of the stick. The object of the game is to lie down all of your popsicle sticks. See the Dominoes instruction sheet.
This game teaches strategy, matching, and counting.
To view the full blog post(including more fantastic game ideas) click here