I don’t know about you, but I love to play board games. You may recall all of our family game nights and trips to game cafes – there’s just something about eating yummy snacks and moving tiny figures around a board. When I started teaching on Outschool, I knew that I wanted to share games with my students, but it took me a while to figure out how that was going to work. I am happy to say that I seem to have cracked part of the code, and I’m here today to share one of my very favorites with you.
I have played many a game of Candyland, so I knew that I wanted to make a game that would play similar but online. Once I got my Canva subscription (which you should run to your computer and do right now if you do any type of designing), I realized I had everything I needed to create a fun game board, spinner, and cards. I am here today to walk you through creating the same type of game – but it doesn’t have to be winter. It could be candy and monster themed for Halloween. It could be a fun spring trip through different flowers. The only limit here is your imagination. Whatever version you are going to make, you will follow a few basic steps.
Step 1: You need to create a fun background for your game board. It should have different terrains and elevations for visual appeal and optimal game play. I chose a winter wonderland with an icy bridge, chilly waterfall, mountains, trees, and some hills.
Step 2: You need to decide where you are going to make the start and where your end goal will be. On this board, I chose to start by the waterfall and then inserted an Ice Palace in the distance to welcome players to the end of the game.
Step 3: It is now time to create a winding path from your starting point to your end goal. I chose to use blue hexagons because they gave me chilly vibes and they meant the path could naturally twist and still interlock.
Step 4: This is my favorite step. This is the part where you get to make 6-7 creative checkpoint areas. These will be the areas of the board that you put on the cards that players will draw throughout the game. They will either be thrilled to skip ahead of everyone else or crushed to have to retrace their steps by moving back. I love to give these spaces personality and really play up how fun they might be to the kids – Don’t eat too many marshmallows in the fort! Be careful, they might be throwing snowballs up ahead! Don’t worry, the Yeti looks scary, but he’s really a big softie. 🙂
Step 5: You have created your areas, now you need to add some sort of marking to the actual spaces that people will go to when they draw those cards. I like to be sure there are 5-7 spaces between the special spaces, but you can make them as close or far apart as you like.
Step 6: Now is the time to make really fun names for all of your special areas. If my students are working on specific sounds, I will try to put them in all of the areas. If I have a mixed group or we are just working on language, I don’t stack sounds as much. This is another really fun step – I love making up names!
Step 7: The last step is also a naming step – you need to name your game. The name here was obvious before I even made the board, but please feel free to be as creative as you can with your name.
That’s it! You have a finished game board! Now you just need a spinner (make a circle like the one below and use a pencil and paperclip to spin) and some special cards (black and white versions are easiest on your printer).
Of course, if you don’t want to reinvent the horse, and if you would like some really nice words lists for L, R, S, and TH sounds, I have already done all of the work and you could just buy this resource in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It can be found under Winter Wonderland Game with R, L, S, and TH Target Words. I have a few other winter and arctic animal themed games coming really soon and a free SZ Snowman Guess Who Game available as well. I hope you will check it out and click the heart to follow me so you don’t miss any of my new products. You could also join my email list if you want to be the first to know all of my news.
What was your favorite board game as a kid? What about now? Leave me a note in the comments if you found this helpful or if you have a suggestion for another game I should try to make. I have some others coming soon, but I am always looking for new ideas. Have a winter wonderful day! 🙂