7 DIY Board Game Ideas to Create Family Fun

Learn how to make a board game memorable.

A family laughs while playing a board game.

(Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com)

Do the words BoardWalk, Park Place, or Professor Plum evoke memories? For many across generations, these words take them back to a place of fun and connection. Playing board games is also a great way to spend time during the winter months. How about infusing personality and creativity into family games? Take board gaming to the next level by making your own personalized versions of the classics. 

Today, many families across the globe are staying home due to social distancing or lockdowns. Parents are working from home and children are learning online. After a day on the computer, many families spend time after dinner watching TV, playing online games, or submerging in social media. That’s a lot of screen time.

Turn them off! Reduce your screen time by playing a board game with your  family. Happier Human suggests picking three days a week to play a game together for some laughs and fun. Games also help reduce anxiety and create distraction from stressful events.

For players aged 11 through 79, games also assist in preventing cognitive decline, according to this study from The Journals of Gerontology. Bring out the fun and create memories that last for a lifetime by upcycling your old favorite board games. Put on comfy clothes, wear your craft cap, and beat the boredom. Here are seven classic games that you can DIY.

Boggle

Shake up the letters, set the timer, and go spell! Boggle has boggled kids and adults since 1972. Brighten up your game by creating your own version, as seen on Lovely Indeed. Make your Boggle game by own using wooden cubes, alphabet stickers, and acrylic paint.

Monopoly

Bring Monopoly to your home town. Use local street names, or pick places and characters from a favorite show or movie. Or, instead of street names, use names of family members. Now That’s Thrifty suggests making it an anniversary gift and selecting the places you have been together. Use an old Monopoly game and make it better with their printable templates.

Feel like visiting Privet Drive? An ardent Harry Potter fan even created his own DIY Monopoly board, as seen on Charlie.

Checkers

Embrace the season with this DIY winter-themed checkers game by Lovely Indeed. You can find all of the materials at your local craft store. Or, head to the hardware store. Lovely Indeed also offers an ingenious way of using copper couplings to create a Chinese Checkers board.

Codenames

Read your partner’s mind! A more recent addition to the board game classics, Codenames first came out in 2015.(wikipedia) As opposed to two-player games like Guess Who, chess, and checkers, this game is really fun when played with two large teams.

You can make your own game using the dreamy images on Dixit cards, or create words that are associated with your family. Mikyla Creates offers a free printable Codenames template. Have a special anniversary coming up? Make a Codenames version and go down memory lane!

Game of Codenames set up to play.

(Antonio Batinic / Shutterstock.com)

Chess

Chess is gaining quite a bit of attention these days.  If you have a box filled with random LEGO pieces, here is a way to put them to another use. Select two colors and ask your kids to help you make the pieces, as seen on Teach Beside Me.

Guess Who

Does your person wear a hat? Guess Who has been a popular game since 1972 and has even released special Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel Comics editions. Make your very own Guess Who edition using family members.

Or, tap into your imagination and use cartoon characters, super heroes, or members of a sports team. Lovely Indeed made a Wes Anderson version of Guess Who by including their favorite characters from his movies.

DIY memory game

Memory games are great for young and old alike. Classic memory games have people matching clusters of grapes or cherries, cows, or sheep. Add flair to your game by personalizing it.

Use photos of your family, or match up favorite superheroes. The Homesteady shows you how by using wooden discs, family pics, and Modge Podge. Want to brush up on your geography? Match up flags, then identify the countries!