Create Your Own Board Game: A Fun End of the Year Activity

createboardgame header

As the school year winds down, many teachers are looking for creative and engaging activities to keep their students motivated and learning until the very end. One activity that is sure to get your students excited is create your own board game. Not only is it a fun and hands-on way to review and reinforce important concepts, but it also fosters creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.

Why Board Games?

By creating their own board games, students get to experience creative problem-solving. They also collaborate with their peers to develop exciting game concepts and rules, which encourages teamwork and communication skills.

Impostors Language Arts Board Game

How to Create Your Own Board Game

Creating a board game may seem like a time-intensive task, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need is some construction paper, markers, scissors, and dice to get started. Once you have these materials ready, students can get started.

Brainstorm Game Concepts and Rules

Encourage your students to be creative and think outside the box. They can base their games on a specific theme or subject or create something entirely original.

I like to provide students with a planning sheet so they can get all of the details down before they dive into creating the actual game.

Create Game Pieces and the Game Board

Students can use any materials they want to create their game pieces and game boards, including markers, scrapbook paper, and even found objects like small toys or figurines.

You’ll be surprised by your students’ creativity when they start creating. You can see in the photos included in this blog post that the different types of games are all uniquely made.

Write Game Questions and Instructions

This is where the critical thinking aspect comes in. Students will need to create questions that align with the concepts they are reviewing and write clear instructions that explain how to play the game.

Part of what I include on my rubric is that the content is accurate and focuses on grade-appropriate standards. So while students are making a fun game, it still has to be academically focused, and they need to put in the work to make sure it’s correct.

Farm ELA Board Game
Language Arts Farm Board Game

When to Use Create Your Own Board Game with Students

Board game creation is a versatile activity that can be applied to many different subjects and grade levels. Here are a few examples of how I’ve used the create your own board game activity in my classroom.

Novel Studies

Students can create board games based on a novel they read in class, including characters, plot points, and themes.

The Westing Game Board Game
The Westing Game Board Game

I had 6th grade students create board games based on The Westing Game as part of their end of novel assessment. They had so much fun creatively building a board game that their peers could play.

Test Prep

Creating board games is a fun and engaging way to review for end of grade assessments, including science topics, language arts academic vocabulary words, math concepts, and more.

Science Board Game
Science Board Game Cards

My 4th grade students created science board games to prep for EOG testing each year and loved reviewing this way.

Enrichment

Creating board games can be a fun and enriching activity for students who finish their work early, encouraging creativity and problem-solving skills.

Math Enrichment Fractions Board Game
Creative Enrichment Board Game

My 5th grade students created fraction board games for enrichment while I spent time re-teaching a small group.

Content Review or Assessment

Creating board games can be used as a form of content review or assessment to test students’ understanding of key concepts and skills. This teacher had her students create board games after finishing up their grammar unit.

Grammar Board Game
ELA Review Board Game

Showcasing Board Games

Once your students have created their board games, it’s time to showcase them! Consider setting up a class showcase or a grade-wide game playing event where students can show off their games to their peers (and even parents, too!) This can be a great way to celebrate student creativity and learning through play and encourage community engagement and involvement.

Create Your Own Board Game

Unleash your students’ creativity by introducing: create your own board game. They will write instructions, create game pieces, write content questions, and try out each other’s games to make sure they work. This is a project students will ask to do again!

Create Your Own Board Game

Creating board games is the best end-of-the-year activity for upper elementary! It promotes creativity and collaboration among students while reviewing material from earlier in the school year. (And it’s SO fun!) This activity is one that can be used any time throughout the year – and for so many different purposes. But if you’re looking for something to wrap up the school year with, try it out!

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