Make a simple board game

Board games help your early years child learn important social skills like sharing and taking turns.

Make a simple board game

Making board games for kids is one of our fun activities for Early Years.

Scrap cardboard is great for making games.

We used boxes from items that came in the post. 

You can also use food delivery boxes – or even takeaway food boxes.

The whole family will enjoy these games.

Making a bingo game

  1. Draw pictures or numbers on a board made from card. 
  2. Make as many boards as you have players for – each with different numbers or pictures on.
  3. Draw the pictures or numbers separately on small bits of card or paper.
  4. Put the small bits in a hat/bowl.
  5. Choose someone to draw the small bits, one at a time – calling out each picture or number.
  6. The players cover the number/picture called out with a counter. 

We used bottle tops for counters.

The first person to cover all their squares – and shout ‘full house’ – wins the game.

Making a bingo game

Playing snap cards or pairs


  1. Cut picture cards out of old food packets.
  2. Make sure all the cards are the same size. 
  3. Keep two of the same picture.
  4. Shuffle and divide them (face down) between 2 players.
  5. Take it in turns to lay down a card (face up).
  6. Shout 'snap' when you spot a matching pair to win the cards in the pile. 
  7. The winner has the most cards at the end. 


  1. Lay the cards face down. 
  2. Take turns to pick up 2 cards. 
  3. If you flip over a matching pair, you win the cards and have another turn. 
  4. If not, the next player takes a turn. 
  5. The winner has the most cards at the end.
Playing snap cards or pairs

Noughts and crosses

Play this well-known game on paper or by making your own pieces and board.  

  1. Collect 10 milk bottle tops/small stones.
  2. Pen half with crosses and half with noughts.
  3. Draw a grid – or make one out of pencils.
  4. Take it in turns to put your X or O into one of the empty squares. 
  5. Win the game by lining up 3 noughts or crosses horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Nice idea: play the postie
One family has been playing this game with their postman. They hang up a grid on their front door and add their move each week.

Noughts and crosses

What is my child learning?

Personal, social and emotional development: sharing and taking turns.

Communication and language: learning new words; developing listening skills and understanding.

Mathematics: saying and recognising some numbers; developing counting skills.

What is my child learning?

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