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Ultimate Game Book

Game Book

Sometimes I wake up with very good ideas. This game book is, IMO, one of them. It is simple to assemble, costs next to nothing and also makes a great gift.

You'll need:
Two file folders of any color
Markers or pens
One or two wet erase markers
Stickers to decorate with if desired
Clear Contact paper
Instructions file [.pdf format]
Game print outs to use or to serve as templates.

For this game book I've chosen to use our very favorite games to amuse ourselves with while we are waiting at a restaurant or need to play quietly somewhere. There are classic games like Tic Tac Toe, Hangman, Checkers and the Dot Game. I've also included a game from New Zealand called Mu-Torere that we all enjoy. Nine Men's Morris is often credited to the Vikings but has also been found on the roof of an Egyptian temple and on a cloister seat in Westminster Abbey.

To Make:
Open two file folders and place one on top of the other. Now move the top file folder slightly to the right of center. Open your stapler as if you were stapling something onto a message board. Place folders on top of a cork bulletin board and staple 3 times to the right of the seam of the top folder. Staple down the seam so that the staples and seam are parallel. Gently lift the folders off of the board, flip over and push the staples closed.

Close your book and open each page. The right hand side of the top file folder will not open well or lay out flat for play. You will need to make a strong crease one fourth of an inch to the right of folder's seam. This shortens that 'page' of the book but ensures that each game can be played on a flat surface.

You may want to cover the staples along the back of the outer file folder. I placed a vertical strip of patterned contact paper over the staples to protect little fingers from possibly getting poked. Masking tape, while not very aesthetically pleasing, would work just as well.

You are now ready to print out the games and glue them on the pages or draw your own. I recommend letting the child decorate the front of the book. Also, the back of the book is an excellent place to put any directions you may need - especially if these are given as a gift.

Once each page is labeled, decorated and ready to go cover each page INDIVIDUALLY with clear contact paper. Do not cover folder seams - they pucker. Your games are now more durable AND re-useable. Wet erase markers will come right off of the contact paper. It is best to test - just in case but I can tell you that dry erase markers have stained my games.

The files you need can be found here. You'll notice there are no files for hangman, the dot game or checkers. I thought that the re-useable hangman board should be made with the length of words your child is ready for. There are no files for checkers or the dot game b/c they are classics that can be quickly hand drawn. No need to print them out and waste your ink.


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