As it’s the season of festivities for many I thought I’d conclude this year with some money saving ideas for games and gifts that folk can have fun making and playing. The beauty about making your own version of classic board games is that you can personalize them according to those that play or who you gift them to.
‘Heraldry’ is an example of a game I wanted to invent due to my fascination with coats of arms. The board is made of 64 squares and the aim is to make up your own coat of arms as you throw the dice to land on a square to add to your design. Unlike other board games it’s better to throw low numbers. You start in the bottom left and have to throw the exact number to exit the board when you reach the top row after zigzagging your way up the board.
I laid out some shield designs which could be removed as people land on the squares to limit choice. You could add snakes and ladders to play it that way but the winner is the most elaborate shield drawn using all the elements from the shields you land on, not the first to finish.
Rules of any board game should always suit those who play them. For universal interest for all age groups and abilities the simplest rules are the easiest to both construct and play by, but many games can have levels of play via additional optional rules.
Another passion of mine and an elderly lady who lives round the corner from me is plants. Most of the ideas I had for games arose from her need to keep active during Christmas last year when her son could not visit during Lockdown.
Regardless of how simple a game maybe to play, some games require more elements to play them than others. Monopoly and Cludeo are just two such examples. ‘Botany’ is another that requires playing cards and of course clearly written rules. In this case I used stencils on top of tissue covered cards with stickers on the reverse for images and instructions as you play. I also used air drying clay to make the flower shaped counters. The only thing I had to buy was the dice and floral stickers.