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Create your own board game, inspired by the games in the National Museum's collection. Some are more than 100 years old!

Did you know ...

Board games often reflect events or trends in society. Board games were popular family entertainment in 1913, when there was no television or computer games.

Games on the arrival of the first Australian naval fleet and exploration in Antarctica were included in the Glorious Days: Australia 1913 exhibition, on show at the Museum in 2013.

How to make your own board game

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Do you like to play board games?
  • Can you think of board games you have played that show events or trends of the time?
  • What is it about these games that show they come from a particular time? (Hint: Compare an old version of Monopoly with newer versions, which have electronic banking and credit cards).
  • What sort of board game would you design?
Make your own board game: fun at home activity 6:56
A variety of items that could be used to make a board game including paperclips, stickers, pens, buttons and modelling clay.

Skill level: ★ Easy — you may need an adult to help
Time:
40–60 minutes

What you need:

  • A3-size cardboard or paper that can go through a printer
  • printer (optional)
  • spare items from the stationery drawer such as paperclips, stickers, cardboard, stamps, sticky notes, pens and pencils
  • anything you have around that could be used as a game piece, such as buttons, modelling clay, rocks or photos
  • a dice or spinner (or you could make your own out of modelling clay or cardboard).

Step 1

You can draw your own board game on a piece of cardboard or you could print out one of our two templates, above. They are A3-size when printed.

  • Template 1 is a simple roll the dice game for younger children. Let your imagination run free and decorate your board to match your theme.
  • Template 2 is aimed at older children. You can make your own game cards to place in the speech bubble space in the middle of this board.
A board game template entitled 'Summer Holidays'.

Step 2

Think of a theme. This might be the hardest part! Your theme can be about anything. We chose a Summer Holiday in Australia theme. Here are some suggestions if you need ideas:

  • Best Pets in Show
  • The Grand Final Game
  • A Healthy Eating Game
  • Rivers and Roads around Australia
  • Animals of Australia
  • Landmarks of your Town
  • The School Excursion Game

The possibilities are endless.

Step 3

  • Make game pieces from everyday objects such as buttons, coins, shells or small rocks. Here are some ideas for making your own:
    • Get a photo or do a drawing of each of your players. Cut out and mount on paper or bulldog clip.
    • Put some modelling clay in a small cupcake case and stick coloured flags on top.
    • Model your own characters with clay.
A section of a board game template displaying the words 'Bitten by Mozzies Back 3!' and a drawing of a mosquito making 'BUZZ' sounds.

Step 4

  • Now that you have a theme, you might like to decorate your board with textas or pencils.
  • You will also need to think of rewards or challenges in your game that fit with your theme. You can place these rules or moves on your board using textas, stickers or sticky notes.

Step 5

  • When you have finished making your board game, challenge your friends or family to a game and enjoy!

Share your creation

We’d love to see your creation by emailing us a photo to: programs@nma.gov.au

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