How to create a magnetic board game for kids

Updated February 21, 2017

Magnetic boards games are convenient for use with children for a few reasons. First, pieces are misplaced less often since they stick to the board. Second, they excellent during car rides where bumpy roads and potholes might send pieces flying with an ordinary board game. Making a magnetic board game for kids has a few additional benefits, most notably that you can personalise the colours to suit each child's preferences.

Select a square, flat piece of wood in the size you want your board game to be. Sand any rough edges and prepare the wood for painting.

Paint the top and bottom of the wood with magnetic paint. Allow to dry.

Add two more coats of magnetic paint, waiting for each to dry before continuing.

Paint the entire piece of wood with one of the colours of vinyl paint and allow to dry.

Sketch your board game lightly onto the surface of the paint with a pencil. If you want to create a draughts board, sketch an eight-by-eight grid.

Paint in the board you've drawn with vinyl paint in a different colour. Allow to dry.

Flip the board over and sketch a second board, such as tic tac toe on that side.

Paint in the board with vinyl paint.

Use strong magnetic disks, such as ceramic magnets, as game pieces. A draughts game requires at least 12 pieces for each side. Paint the disks in opposing colours. These pieces can double for tic tac toe. If you are creating a chess game, paint the chess piece symbols on the tops of the magnets.


Use the children's favourite colours for game pieces if you are making a chess or draughts set instead of the traditional colours. Consider using stamps to create your game board instead of hand-painting it. Alternatively, use white board paint on one side on the wood and draw on a dots grid for the game dots or a tic tac toe grid in permanent marker.


Be careful not to keep electronics near your magnetised game board.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat, square piece of wood
  • Sanding paper
  • Magnetic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Vinyl paint in at least two colours
  • Pencil
  • Strong magnet disks
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About the Author

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.