How to make your own magnetic travel games

How to make your own magnetic travel games

Whether by car, train, plane, or boat, and no matter how exciting the scenery, long trips can get dull quickly for children (and for some adults!). Before you pack up for your next trip, make a few sets of these small, easily portable, magnetic travel games to bring along.

You will need the following materials for this project:
1 sheet of medium-weight cardboard (at least 6 x 6 inches)

2 self-adhesive magnetic sheets (at least 6 x 6 inches)
1 bag of tiny round magnets
Several sheets of plain cardstock paper
All purpose glue
Old game pieces
Pens, pencils, markers, or crayons

First, cut one 6 x 6 inch square out of each magnetic sheet and out of the sheet of medium-weight cardboard. Peel off the backing from each self-adhesive magnetic sheet, and stick one sheet to each side of the cardboard.

Next, cut two sheets of plain cardstock paper to fit over the magnetic sheets. Glue one square to each side of the game board. Smooth out any air bubbles or wrinkles, and allow this to dry completely.

To make a checker or chessboard, use the ruler to draw 3/4-inch horizontal and vertical rows (eight each) on one side of the game board. This will create a grid of small squares. Color these in, alternating black and red squares.

As you probably know, each magnet has two sides: a side that attracts other magnetic things and a side that repels. Place the small round magnets on the board so that they “stick” to the board. These will be the playing pieces. Take one piece of cardstock and cover it with a light layer of glue.

Now, place 30 small magnets upside down on the cardstock. When they have dried completely, cut each piece apart and trim down the cardstock on each piece. To make checkers, color 15 pieces red and 15 pieces black, or draw symbols on each piece to make chess pieces.

On the other side of the board, you can recreate any classic board game, like backgammon or Sorry!. Simply sketch the board in miniature on the cardstock and color it in. Make playing pieces by using the same technique as used for making the checkers, only color the pieces to go with the game—or glue magnets to the bottom of old playing pieces from the actual game! Travel dice can be purchased in any dollar store.

If you need to play money for the game, cut small squares of brightly colored paper and write the amounts on each bill. Finally, the board and all pieces can be kept in a small box, such as one that stationary might come in, and the box can double as a bank or a surface for dice rolling during play.

If you are planning a very long car trip, one fun idea is to make up games on the road. Pre-make the boards and pieces, but leave them blank. Then, hand a set to each passenger, along with pencils, a ruler, and markers. Instruct each passenger to invent a board game—this should keep kids and adults alike entertained for at least an hour or two! When everyone is finished, take turns playing the new games.

If you are planning

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