Let’s Play a Game

game-pieces-smI usually talk about online, but would like to talk today about games for face-to-face presentations. I mentioned in an earlier post that in person is easy, but what I should have said was that it is easier. People can interact with each other in person, you can keep control, hopefully, of the progress and it gets people up and interacting with each other and most importantly, reinforces the learning. We find this particularly valuable when running evening workshops for people who have spent the day working, often outside.

wps-gameWhat I have done is create a series of games for our staff, using a PowerPoint template that was created for a poster. The result, is a 38” x 48” game board. Over the last few years I have created several different games. The first, was a typical board game format for a re-certification program for our Agriculture staff. Since the topic involved insects, I bought some plastic insects that were big enough to handle, but still fit on the board. We created Styrofoam dice for ease of use and so no one would get hurt. The class was about federal regulations, so we wanted to figure out a way to have more fun and still help the class learn what they needed to know to take their exam. The result was a lot of fun and a lot of learning.

volunteer-gameThe next game I created was also a board game, for 4-H volunteers. Instead of having new volunteers sit and watch a PowerPoint, we created a board game with all the information. I used farm animals as game pieces to make it a bit more fun. This time, I bought a package of soft dice in multiple colors.

Then, I was asked to make a garden game for an all-day activity, also for 4-H for and had a bit more fun. I created a garden scene, using stepping stones for the pathway. The result was a fun game board for kids and adults.garden-game

life-gameThe final board game I’ve created so far, is the Life game. It is a 4-H Leader orientation game based loosely on the Game of Life board game. For game pieces, I decided to switch it up a bit and use people. I found a graphic file online (Adobe Stock photo) and printed them out, laminated them with a small laminator we own and figured out a way to make a stand for each of them. The result was great and the cost was minimal.


I should also mention that for printing the board games, we are lucky that one of our offices has a large plotter that can print the game for us. We do take it to UNH Printing services and for a small fee they can laminate it for us for multiple usage. The entire cost is generally around $40 if I am buying game pieces and closer to $25 if not. The games can also be shared with other offices, We used the garden game at the Stratham Fair this past weekend.

Below are some photos of board game pieces, including the card file template I use to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

people-players  game-pieces  insect-cards

We often give prizes to the winners. Nothing big. For example, with the garden game, there were honey sticks and for the regulations board, we had a bag of small candies to give out. For the participants, the rewards didn’t seem to matter. It’s the fun and the learning that count, which is of course what we are after anyway. I’d love to hear any ideas you have for a board game for your school/workshop or class.



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