Make your own indoor games


Make with grandma, play with grandma.

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Grandma is visiting my Brisbane Kid Ellen. Grandma is living overseas, so we have to make the visit memorable. My memories of my grandma are of sock knitting and playing board games. Now I am well aware that nowadays computer games are the games to play, but the grandma’s I know still prefer the old ways and Ellen is fascinated by them. So I hope she will remember making it with grandma and playing it with grandma. Here are some games we made and played.

Remember also great for storm season, when electricity is down and batteries are low.

home made checkers


  • Pottery plaster
  • Two different shapes silicone  ice cube moulds
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cardboard

When I was wondering what else you could do with small plaster molds of dolphins and penguins, besides making fridge magnets, I figured they would look cool as pieces for checkers. Mix the pottery plaster (2 cups plaster to 1 cup water) and poor in the ice cube moulds. I had dolphins and penguins already, but you can use any shape. For a field of 64 you need 12 pieces on each side (so 12 dolphins and 12 penguins). Wait until pieces are dry and take them out of the mould. Paint to your liking.

On a big piece of cardboard make a field of 64 squares (8×8) and start playing. Crowning a piece will be difficult, but we’ll find a solution when that happens.


Rainbow Memory

  • Paint chips
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Craft knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Sticky back plastic

Ellen loves colors and rainbows. Rainbow memory is a perfect little game for her. Glue the 7 colors of the rainbow in paint chips on cardboard. British Paints has perfect square ones. On the other side stick on a nice sticky back plastic. Cut out the squares with a craft knife and start playing.

home made fish game


  • Origami paper (7.5×7.5cm make 4 out of 15x15squares)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Little scrapbooking studs
  • Magnets
  • String
  • Sticks

Ellen’s  grandma loves fishing, but Ellen is too small for that. The best solution; an indoor fishing game. Make a bunch of fish, we made 16, but since we glued 2 fish together we had to make 32 fish following the steps on the photo. (insert: games make fish). Fold the origami paper into 16 squares. Cut of one row of 4 squares. Cut two slits into the left 3 x 4 squares piece of paper. Fold the corners as per photo and glue 2 of these together. Cut of two squares of the one row of 4 squares to make fins if you like. Use little scrapbooking studs for eyes, the magnet can pick these up. If you do not want to buy these you could also use metal paperclips.

Take a couple of sticks from outside that look like good fishing rods or if you have pieces of dowel will do as well. Attach a piece of string and glue a small magnet to the other side. Start fishing. Ellen loves it, but then she is cheating a bit as well.

blow football

Table blow football (soccer)

  • Cardboard or cardboard boxes
  • Straws
  • Glue or sticky tape
  • Light weight ball (ping pong or we used a felted bead)

Make 2 goals out of cardboard or cardboard boxes. Make sure they have 2 sides, a top and a back. You can decorate the outside if you feel like it. We just drew a couple of lines that looked like the goals netting. Sticky tape two straws together and hey presto you can already start playing.

homemade bowling

Bottle bowling

  • 6 to 10 empty plastic bottles (we used 600ml)
  • All kinds of craft leftovers
  • Soft ball

Of course you can just put the bottles in a triangle and start playing, but it is a lot more fun to first decorate the bottles. Use decorated paper for clothes, draw eyes and mouths onto paper and cut them out. Use leftover cotton or wool as hair and come up with all kinds of creatures, the try and knock them over.

Note: with my 2-year-old Brisbane kid we are making up our own rules. The real rules for these games you can google.

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