How to Make Easy Game Pieces

Written by janice farnsworth
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Board games often come with a lot of pieces that get lost if they are not carefully cared for. Children are not always careful about putting away games; pieces disappear and before you know it, there are no more pieces to play the game with. Game pieces are easy to make and can be substituted for the missing parts instead of having to purchase expensive replacements. A green, thrifty use for things you would normally throw away, is to make personalised game pieces.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • 5 bottle caps
  • White child-safe paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • 5 foam circles, 1 1/2 inches, various colours
  • Glue
  • Yarn and other embellishments
  • 5 juice can lids
  • Various magazine or family pictures
  • Various colours of construction paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Foam letters

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    Plastic Bottle Caps

  1. 1

    Spread newspaper over the table that you will be working on.

  2. 2

    Paint plastic bottle caps from 2-liter or 591ml. bottles white on the outside with the paintbrush. Allow them to dry for 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Cut the foam into circles of 1 1/2 inches if they were not purchased pre-cut.

  4. 4

    Draw eyes, a nose and a mouth with the marker on the flat top of the painted bottle cap; personalise it or draw whatever form of a face that comes to you.

  5. 5

    Glue each bottle cap, open side down, onto the middle of a circle. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

  6. 6

    Glue the embellishments onto each piece to make it personal; yarn can be used for hair, glued onto the edge of the bottle cap above the eyes. The bottom of the circle below the mouth of the bottle cap can be used as a collar and decorated with sequins, glitter or whatever you choose. Allow pieces to dry for 24 hours before use.

    Juice Can Lids

  1. 1

    Trace the circle around the juice can lids on the magazine or family pictures and on the construction paper; you will need one picture and one piece of construction paper for each lid.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle shapes.

  3. 3

    Cut the double-sided tape to fit the pictures to the size of the lid. Stick the double-sided tape onto the lid. Put a picture on each lid.

  4. 4

    Turn the lid over. Cut the double-sided tape to fit the construction paper circles. Stick the tape to the lid. Stick the construction paper circle onto the tape.

  5. 5

    Cut the double-sided tape to fit the edges of whatever foam letter is being used for this piece (so it cannot be seen under the letter); you will use the person's initial as the letter. Stick the tape onto the construction paper in the middle of the lid. Stick the letter onto the tape.

Tips and warnings

  • The amount of bottle caps and can lids is an example. Use the amount for the game pieces you need to make.
  • You can use pre-cut circles or pre-cut letters, or you can cut them yourself.
  • Let children make or pick their own designs for their game piece to make it extra special.
  • Supervise children with small pieces, glue or scissors to avoid accidents.

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