As with almost any activity in education, games can be a time waster or help students remember and process information. Professionally manufactured board games are expensive and you need to purchase one for every type of different game you might want to play with your students.
There is a way though to make game boards that will last and can be used for multiple games just by writing new game cards. To make this affordable, you need to make use of coupons for your local craft store.
For this game board, I purchased a board canvas. It is not that lightweight canvas stretched around a wooden frame, but literally a canvas that feels like a flat board. I used spray paint to make it a little more colorful – the original canvas color looked a little dingy to me. Then I used foam shapes, but you could use colored paper or paint directly on the board for the game spaces. I only marked the start and finish spaces so the others could be temporarily marked for various games.
Once you finish the board, make sure and spray it with Mod Podge or some other sealant. This will help the game squares stay attached and keep it from showing dirt as easily.
For game pieces, I used different colored pom pons. You can buy a box with a ton of dice at Five Below for just a few dollars or create a spinner if you prefer. For the game I was writing, the game cards themselves told the students how many spaces to move. I used index cards for the various game cards. If you watch at the beginning of the school year, you can often get those for less than a dollar a pack.
If you use coupons, the board for your original game will still cost less than a commercially prepared one. If you use the same game board for multiple games, you will save your church, program or yourself quite a bit of money. It’s worth the time and effort.