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Creating Games: A Simple and Fun Way to Learn!

Playing games is such an important thing to do, whether it's for learning, developing skills, or just because, that we should be encouraging our kids to do it more! As a teacher, I discovered early on in my career that games were definitely more memorable than traditional "teacher talk" (as I like to call it!) and the best thing?

Games can be done ANYWHERE!

Obviously, outside games require space to run/jump/hop... but if you are travelling this summer, card games/I spy/drawing games require little space and are just as much fun 😁

Looking to keep the budget down? Save envelopes, wrapping paper, unused backs of leaflets, etc. to use as drawing game paper. Use cereal packets and loo roll tubes to create your own cards/counters/game boards. Then use your and your kid's imaginations to create your own games! So, this week I will be giving some ideas and tips for creating games this summer with minimum fuss and just as much fun in the making as in the playing!


Use cereal boxes to create your games. Either cut out your pieces, or create them with other objects, like those mini toys from Kinder eggs, or use painted pebbles. You can design and create your own game or use a game you know and personalise it! Copy the design of the original board, but then tweak it to have your family names on it, or places you’ve been (or would like to go!).

You can even use photos of each person. Stick them to some card and cut them out, before cutting a small slit between their feet. Cut a semi-circular base and put a slit in this too (don’t cut through it!), then slot your person onto the base!

The game board itself can be decorated with pictures related to the theme. Either draw or cut out pictures and collage them on.

I recently worked on a game board with one of my students and the game was great! She made an initial design on plain paper, that we played and tweaked to make it better (or harder!!) It was a fun session or two and the thought process around the game was amazing.

We underestimate children sometimes. Don’t!

If your child has a favourite character, TV/film star or a favourite place, then use what they know to help them make the game. For seasoned PC gamers, they will have HUGE experience of how games work, but this time it’s not on a screen.

Let them take the lead and make it their own. A homemade board game may only last the summer, but it’ll be worth the effort they put in (and let’s face it, even if they are enthusiastic up to the end of the creation process, they will have learnt so much in the doing!). However, I do hope that it won’t be like that and you will all enjoy (and remember) the year you created and played your own family board game!

I’d love to see what you make! Tag me in social @debbie_swann_cygnini or email

Join me next week for outdoor play ideas, where games can be bigger and include more people, OR you can keep it simple yet creative.

Debbie x

Have you downloaded your FREE summer activity guide yet? With 10 great tips for activities to do when you are stuck for ideas, this is a definite for the fridge door!


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