When beaches, parks, and playgrounds are closed, it can be hard to stay entertained while releasing pent up energy. Monopoly, The Game of Life and other classic board games, while timeless and accessible, can quickly make one feel idle and bored, especially younger kids. To keep up the creativity and the movement during quarantine, I’ve designed a little fun craft for students to do at home. Read further to find out how to make your very own exercise board game!
First, I grabbed all the necessary materials: A cardboard box, some printer paper, scissors, drawing materials, glue, and, of course, a child (Trey, my seven-year-old brother, was kind enough to assist me with this). Instead of cardboard and printer paper, one could always use poster board, but since we didn’t have any in the house, we thought this would be craftier. After thinking up a fun name for our board game, we decided on “Exercise Ninja” (Trey’s suggestion). Then we got to work.
The first step is to cut out one side of the card board box to create a rectangle basis for the game board (make sure to have a parent with you while cutting). Also, cut out an extra strip of cardboard to make the game pieces later on. After your cardboard rectangle is adjusted to your liking, glue some printer paper on one side of the board. On the papered side of the game board, loosely sketch out a pathway of squares. I drew my squares freehand; if you want your lines to be even, use a ruler.
Trey and I split up our responsibilities at this point to make the process go faster. He wrote down all the different exercises he could think of and made game pieces from the cardboard strip we cut out earlier, while I started coloring in the squares on the game board.
Trey’s list of exercises consisted of jumping jacks, sit-ups, crunches, squats, push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, planks, high knees, butt kicks, doing the grapevine, and running in place. We changed the amount or duration of these exercises in different squares and also added some special spaces. We have a couple spaces where the roller could choose an exercise for the rest of the players to do from another spot on the board, some spaces where the roller could choose their own exercise in the same way or a few lucky spaces where the roller would get to skip exercising during that turn.
From here, we added a couple of decorations to the board, grabbed a dice from another game (though one could use an online dice), and forced the rest of our family to play along with us. I hope you have as much and get as much of a workout from Exercise Ninja (or whatever you decide to call it) as we did.
If you choose to make your own version of the game, we would love to see pictures! Tag us on Instagram @pvtorch or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.