How to Make Educational Games


The Fractional Pizza Game might make you hungry.
The Fractional Pizza Game might make you hungry.

Learn how to make educational games that are entertaining and fun. Get the whole family involved in making and playing games that challenge their minds while they have a good time.

You children will learn valuable lessons about art, math, and logic while making and playing educational games. Encourage your kids to be creative, but be sure to help them to understand the lessons inherent in the games.

On the following pages, you will learn how to make educational games that the whole family will enjoy.

One Peg at a Time

Adults and children alike will be challenged by this clever educational game. Similar to checkers, it is a game of strategy that's easy to make.

Pictominoes

Liven up a game of dominoes when you play with Pictominoes, an educational game that you and your kids can make and play together.

Jazzy Jigsaw

Have fun and learn a lot when you make the Jazzy Jigsaw. This educational game lets kids express their creativity and then challenges them to solve the puzzle.

The Great Adventure

This educational game lets kids put their heroes to the test. When you make The Great Adventure, you choose both the characters and the obstacles they encounter.

Spool-A-Word

Find out how many words you and your kids can make when you play the educational Spool-A-Word game. This easy-to-make game improves language skills.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Challenge your kids to get creative when they make their Jigsaw Puzzle. This educational game is fun to both make and solve.

No-Bored Games

This educational game turns study time into a good time. Play No-Bored Games with your kids, and watch their interest in school skyrocket!

Find the Presents

Similar to Battleship, the Find the Presents game teaches kids concentration, recall, and strategy. Find out how to make this educational game.

Matrix Game

This educational game is a puzzle that takes concentration and a sharp visual eye. Your kids will have hours of fun playing the Matrix Game.

Brain Teaser Art

Let your kids get creative with Brain Teaser Art. See the complex designs that they dream up when you play this educational game.

Fractional Pizza Game

Teach your kids basic math skills with this educational game that's fun to make. Careful! This game may make you hungry.

Checkers

Learn how to make a set of checkers that's so professional people will think it's from a store! Get your kids involved in making and playing Checkers.

Art Flash Cards

This educational game improves both recall and drawing skills. When you and your kids play Brain Teaser Art, you'll hone artistic skills as well as memory.

Weather Journal

When you encourage your child to keep a Weather Journal, he or she will start to recognize weather patterns. Find out how to create this educational game.

You can make the One Peg at a Time game out of old newspapers and thumb tacks. Learn how to make this educational game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

One Peg at a Time

How long will it take you to solve One Peg at a Time?
How long will it take you to solve One Peg at a Time?

One Peg at a Time is an educational game that your kids can play with you or by themselves. A pegboard solitaire game -- or duel -- is fast-paced fun.

How to Make One Peg at a Time

What You'll Need:

  • Thin Poster Board
  • Graph Paper and Glue Stick (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Push-pins
  • Container to hold Push-pins
  • Thick Stack of Newspaper

Step One: Plan out any grid design you like. Just make sure it has an odd number of dots or places where lines cross each other. If you're using graph paper, cut it to the desired shape and glue to the poster board.

Step Two: Lay the board on newspaper and stick a push-pin into every dot or line intersection. Leave one space open in the center.

Step Three: The object of the game is to "jump" pins over each other and remove them one at a time, as in checkers. The catch: You must end with the last pin in the center space.

Step Four: For a duel, have a friend make a board also. Then challenge each other to see who finishes first.

Pictominoes uses pictures instead of the traditional dots used in a dominoes game. Learn how to make and play Pictominoes on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Pictominoes

Create colorful images on your Pictominoes cards.
Create colorful images on your Pictominoes cards.

Pictominoes are colorful dominoes that you and your kids can make together. Custom-make your dominoes with pictures instead of dots.

How to Make Pictominoes

What You'll Need:

  • Index Cards in White or Pastel Shades
  • Ink Pads
  • 6 Small Rubber Stamps

Step One: Count out 28 index cards. On the blank side of each card, draw a line through the middle from one long side to the other.

Step Two: Take one of the ink stamps and make prints on 1 side of 4 of the index cards. Do the same with the rest of the ink stamps.

Step Three: This should leave you with 4 random spaces that are blank. That's OK; these are wild spaces.

Step Four: Play with your "pictominoes" as if they had dots, only match up the pictures instead!

Still feeling artistic? Learn how to make Jazzy Jigsaws, jigsaw puzzles that you create with your own artwork, on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Jazzy Jigsaws

When you and your kids make Jazzy Jigsaws, you'll have just as much fun as when you solve the puzzle. You can also mail these nifty jigsaws to family or friends as surprises.

How to Make Jazzy Jigsaws

What You'll Need:

  • Thin Poster Board
  • Pencil
  • Photo, Magazine Picture or Drawing;
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors

Step One: Start small at first, to perfect your puzzle-making prowess. Cut the poster board to your desired finished size.

Step Two: Next, cut a photo or picture to the size of the poster board. Glue the photo or picture to the board with the glue stick.

Step Three: On the backside of the poster board, about 1 inch from the left edge, draw a zigzag line from top to bottom with a pencil. Draw a similar line 1 inch away from that, and continue across the board.

Step Four: Now draw zigzag lines from side to side, about 1 inch away from each other. Cut along each line. Turn each puzzle piece face up.

Step Five: Put together your own designer jigsaw creation!

Help your kids put their heroes to the test when you play The Great Adventure. Learn how to make this educational game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

The Great Adventure

Help your kids create challenges for their heroes in The Great Adventure.
Help your kids create challenges for their heroes in The Great Adventure.

The Great Adventure is a challenging educational game that you can make with your kids. Bring your favorite action hero or heroine to life.

How to Make The Great Adventure

What You'll Need:

  • Action Figure
  • Heavy Poster Board
  • Pencil
  • Thick Black Marker
  • Paints and Paintbrushes or Colored Markers
  • Clear Adhesive Vinyl
  • Thin Poster Board
  • Scissors
  • Game Pieces from other Board Games or Colored Glass Pebbles
  • Die

Step One: Come up with an adventure for your favorite hero or heroine action figure. Give him or her a goal to reach and several funny obstacles along the way.

Step Two: Sketch in the starting point in a corner of the poster board and the end in the opposite corner. Draw scattered obstacles in the middle. Draw a path, with marked spaces big enough for your game pieces, between the starting point and the end. Mark some spaces "hazard."

Step Three: Finish coloring in the board with markers or paints. Let dry. Cover with clear adhesive vinyl for lots of use. Use the thin poster board to make hazard cards to turn over when you land on one of these spaces.

Step Four: Name the hazard and the penalties, such as "Lose a turn," "Go back 2 spaces," "Start over," etc.

Step Five: Grab your game pieces, roll the die, and begin the adventure!

Want to help your kids improve their language skills? Spool-A-Word is a fun game as well as an effective learning tool. Find out how to make it on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Spool-A-Word

The object of Spool-A-Word is to make as many words as you can.
The object of Spool-A-Word is to make as many words as you can.

Spool-A-Word is an educational game that you and your kids can make together. Spin the spools to make real or pretend words. Even better, spin letters with your friends and invent new word games.

How to Make Spool-A-Word

What You'll Need:

  • Empty Wood or Plastic Spools
  • Permanent Markers
  • Unsharpened Pencils

Step One: Find 3 spools and 1 unsharpened pencil. Using a blue marker, write the letters s, r, l, g, and f around the first spool. Around the second spool, write the letters a, e, i, o, and u in red. Around the third spool, write the letters n, t, d, p, and b in blue.

Step Two: Put the spools on a pencil (in order) and turn them to form a word.

Step Three: Make other spools with more letters, and pick spools with your friends. Put them on a pencil and see who can come up with the most words in one minute.

Creating a jigsaw puzzle is a great creative project you can do with your kids. Learn how to make a Jigsaw Puzzle on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Jigsaw Puzzle

Make your Jigsaw Puzzle as difficult as you want.
Make your Jigsaw Puzzle as difficult as you want.

When you make a Jigsaw Puzzle with your kids, you'll enjoy designing the puzzle as much as solving it. Nothing to do on a rainy day? Make this colorful jigsaw puzzle for hours of fun.

How to Make a Jigsaw Puzzle

What You'll Need:

  • Poster Board
  • Pencil
  • Markers or a Magazine Picture and Craft Glue,
  • Blunt Scissors

Step One: Draw a picture on a piece of poster board and color it in with markers. If you don't want to draw a picture, cut out a picture from a magazine and glue it on the poster board.

Step Two: Divide the picture into puzzle pieces. Turn the poster board over and use the pencil to draw separate puzzle sections. The bigger the section, the easier your puzzle will be.

Step Three: Add knobs to each piece at the spot where the puzzle pieces will interlock. (See illustration for reference.)

Step Four: Cut out the puzzle pieces. Now put your puzzle back together again.

Teach your kids that studying can be fun. Read about No-Bored Games, a great learning activity, on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

No-Bored Games

No-Bored Games is a great activity that teaches your kids to turn studying into a game. Who said studying can't be fun? This dinosaur board game is not only fun -- it may even help improve your grades.

How to Make No-Bored Games

What You'll Need:

  • Poster Board
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Index Cards
  • 6 Craft Sticks
  • Small Plastic Cup

Step One: On the poster board, draw a snakelike road. Divide it into squares.

Step Two: Color each area with one of 6 colors. Draw dinosaurs, volcanoes, swamps, and tar pits alongside the road. Write "Jump ahead 1" or "Go back 1" on some squares. Draw question marks on 5 squares.

Step Three: On each index card, write a question about dinosaurs. If you land on a question mark, you must answer a question about dinosaurs to move.

Step Four: Make pick sticks to move. Color the bottom 1 inch of each craft stick with one of your 6 colors. Put the sticks, color side down, in the small plastic cup. Draw 1 pick stick to see what color you move to.

If you want to develop concentration and attention span, Find the Presents is an ideal educational game. Learn how to make it on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Find the Presents

Find the Presents -- a game of skill.
Find the Presents -- a game of skill.

When you and your kids play Find the Presents, you'll find out who is the family mastermind. In this game of strategy, race your opponent to locate the hidden presents.

How to Make Find the Presents

What You'll Need:

  • Drawing Paper
  • Ruler
  • Markers
  • Blunt Scissors
  • Construction Paper

Step One: To make the game board, draw an 8 x 8-inch square on a piece of drawing paper. Divide the square into 64 squares, 1 inch each, by drawing lines 1 inch apart down and across. There should be 8 squares down each side.

Step Two: Label the rows across A through H and label the columns down 1 through 8 as shown. Have an adult take your original to a copy center and make 4 copies -- you'll need 4 copies to play 1 game. (Save your original game board to make more copies later.)

Step Three: On a piece of construction paper, draw 10 presents. Make four 1 x 2-inch presents, and six 1 x 1-inch presents. Decorate your presents and cut them out.

Step Four: Each player gets 2 large presents, 3 small ones, and 2 game boards.

Step Five: To play the game, arrange your presents on 1 game board. Then take turns guessing the location of your opponent's presents by calling out the name of the square. For example, you might ask if the present is in E-3. If the answer is no, mark the E-3 spot on your blank game board with an X; if the answer is yes, mark it with a star.

Step Six: Then your friend takes a turn. The first person to find all the presents wins.

The Matrix game is a test of visual recall. Learn how to make this great educational game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Matrix Game

The Matrix Game is a great project for you and your kids. This challenging puzzle game tests your strategic ability as well as your patience.

How to Make the Matrix Game

What You'll Need:

  • 10 x 10-inch Piece of Poster Board
  • 12 x 12-inch Piece of Poster Board
  • Ruler
  • Markers
  • Blunt Scissors

Step One: Trace the outline of the small poster board on the large poster board. Draw a line every 2 inches on the small poster board up and down and across to make a matrix of 25 squares. There should be 5 squares down each side.

Step Two: Draw a picture on the small poster board, filling up all the squares except the one in the bottom right corner. Draw a small dot in the top left corner of each square.

Step Three: Cut out the squares. Throw away the blank bottom right square. Place the squares within the outline you drew on the large poster board. Mix the squares up, but keep all the dots in the top left corner.

Step Four: Re-create your picture by rearranging the squares one space and one square at a time.

Have fun making art with your kids and improve their drawing skills at the same time when you make Brain Teaser Art. Read about this educational game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Brain Teaser Art

Brain Teaser Art uses similar shapes to trick the eye.
Brain Teaser Art uses similar shapes to trick the eye.

When you and your kids make Brain Teaser Art, be sure to count your shapes as you draw the picture or you could end up teasing yourself.

How to Make Brain Teaser Art

What You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Stencil Shapes (available at office supply, craft, or art stores)
  • Pencil
  • Markers

Step One: Use a stencil to create pictures out of geometric designs. Try a butterfly with lots of circles within circles or a house with squares for windows, shutters, chimneys, and even bricks.

Step Two: Keep track of the number of shapes you draw. If you want, use markers to make your brainteaser a kaleidoscope of color.

Step Three: When you're finished, challenge a friend or family member to count the shapes.

Teach your kids basic math skills and have a good time doing it. Learn how to make and play the Fractional Pizza Game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Fractional Pizza Game

The Fractional Pizza Game teaches kids how big fractions really are.
The Fractional Pizza Game teaches kids how big fractions really are.

The Fractional Pizza Game is a great way to teach your kids basic math skills. These pizzas may not taste great, but the fun they serve up is absolutely delicious.

How to Make the Fractional Pizza Game

What You'll Need:

  • Paper Grocery Bags
  • Blunt Scissors
  • Markers
  • Ruler
  • Construction Paper
  • Paste
  • Dice with fractions (See Giant Dice)

Step One: Cut 6 circles the same size from the grocery bags to make paper pizzas. On construction paper, draw your favorite pizza toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, and tomatoes. Cut the toppings out and paste them on the paper pizzas.

Step Two: With a marker, divide your pizzas into these fractions: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/12, and cut the "slices." (You may need an adult's help to make sure your slices are even.)

Step Three: See Giant Dice, and make a die with fractions on its 6 sides.

Step Four: To play the game, roll the die and select the slice size it shows. The first person to assemble a whole pizza wins!

Make a Checkers Game with your kids that's just as good as a professional set. Get directions on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Checkers

Use a clean pizza box to make your board.
Use a clean pizza box to make your board.

After you and your kids make Checkers, you'll find that a game of checkers is even more fun when you design the pieces yourself,

How to Make Checkers

What You'll Need:

  • Waxed Paper
  • White Polymer Clay
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cap from a Plastic Milk Jug or Water Bottle
  • A Quarter
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Black Felt-Tip Pen
  • A Large, Clean Pizza Box

Step One: Cover your work surface with a sheet of waxed paper. Roll out a sheet of white polymer clay, about 1/2 inch thick. Use the milk jug or water bottle cap to press out 24 circles. Press a design on each circle using a quarter.

Step Two: With an adult's help, bake the clay checker pieces following the package directions. After the clay pieces have cooled, paint 12 pieces one color and the other 12 pieces a different color. Let the paint dry.

Step Three: To make the checkerboard pattern, draw a 16 x 16-inch square inside the pizza box. Draw lines to make 64 squares, 2 inches each. Start by drawing a line down the center of the square and another line across the center of the square. This divides each side of the square in half. Now draw lines to divide each of those squares in half.

Step Four: Then draw more lines to divide each of those squares half. There should be 8 squares down each side. Paint every square to finish the checkerboard pattern.

Step Five: If you want, paint the outside of the box, too. Let the paint dry.

Step Six: Line up the opposing game pieces on each side of the board to play a game of checkers. Store your checker pieces inside the box when you are done.

Art Flash Cards challenge your kids to remember and create shapes. Learn how to make this educational game on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Art Flash Cards

Mix and match your crazy shapes to create images.
Mix and match your crazy shapes to create images.

Art Flash Cards are a great educational game that you teaches pattern recognition. Teach yourself and your kids to see basic shapes in your art with a fun flash card game.

How to Make Art Flash Cards

What You'll Need:

  • Ten 3×5-inch Blank Index Cards
  • Markers

Step One: Divide the index cards between you and a friend. Draw crazy shapes on the cards. Start with simple shapes without too many intersecting lines, then make each shape a little more complicated. Don't draw letters or specific objects.

Step Two: The idea is to draw unfamiliar shapes. Color in the shapes.

Step Three: Now flash one card at a time to each other. See if you and your friend can redraw the shape you were shown.

Step Four: Hold the picture at different angles and distances. Can you see any objects in your art?

Help your kids learn about weather patterns by keeping a Weather Journal. Find out how to make this learning experience fun on the next page.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out:

Weather Journal

Make a Weather Journal with your kids and teach them to document weather trends. Keeping a weather journal can teach them about weather patterns and help them forecast the weather conditions to come.

How to Make a Weather Journal

What You'll Need:

  • Notebook
  • Pencil or Pen

Step One: Get an ordinary spiral notebook at your grocery or department store. Check the weather outside, watch the forecast on television, and make a few notes each day.

Step Two: Now go outside, watch the weather, and add your own personal notes to those mentioned on TV.

Step Three: See if you can guess what the weather will be like the next day and write down your prediction. (Be sure to mention in the next day's entry if your prediction was right!)

Step Four: Before you know it, you'll begin to recognize weather trends. You'll be a junior weather forecaster, even if you never get to make your predictions on TV.

For more great math exercises and math activities, check out: