Washable Game Boards

About three years ago, my child insisted that I teach him how to play chess.   A month after I taught him was the last time I won a game of chess against him.

In order provide him with more challenging opponents, I invited friends to meet at the park.    Unfortunately, none of my friends nor myself wanted to bring our chess/checker boards because we feared damage or lost pieces.

I found that washable chess/checker boards cost about $10 at Amazon.com.  To keep cost out of the equation, I set out to make boards with only FREE items so each player would be equipped to make his own game board.  My design criteria was that the game could be played at the park, beach or pool without concern for water damage or missing pieces.

The solution came when I learned how to fuse plastic.    There are zillions of tutorials that demonstrate how to iron plastic together so I am going to skip the tutorial and just show the results.

Since February 2012, I have made several boards.   The result is that my son plays chess and checkers nearly every week.   We lost count how many times we have taught someone how to play chess or checkers.   The boards and pieces have been subjected to dirt, water, juice and many a nefarious crumb from cookies and chips.   In every case, I either wiped the pieces clean or put them in a laundry bag.  The pieces survive the washing machine just fine.    Hazzah!   Hazzah!   Hazzah!  My mission was accomplished.   The following are a pics of happy gamers:

4th of July picnic in HemetChess at the park

Not-Back-to-School Party at the Splash Pad in Lake SkinnerChess at the Splash Pad.

On a very hot day at Lake Skinner, the boys played chess until dry.  Then returned to the Splash Pad to cool off again.

As of March 2014, my son and I have volunteered to teach chess at a local after-school program.    Shortly after that we were invited to teach at other after-school programs in our valley.

I am will need a lot more bottle caps.  The first goal is to gather 32o caps.   At the time of this post I have only enough for three chess boards which is only 96 caps.     I made cardboard pieces for the other boards so I could use them until I have enough caps.  They are poor substitute, but will do until more bottle caps are procured.   The photo below shows the variety of caps I have used.  These from juice and milk bottles.

For additional resources for playing chess, visit:

I did not stop at chess/checker boards.   I also make backgammon and other classic games.   If you would like to see our valley filled with more game players, please save your bottle caps for me.   I need plastic bottle caps that are an inch or greater in diameter.   We can meet at the Valle Vista library.

* * *

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci [1452-1519]
Italian draftsman, Painter, Sculptor, Architect and
Engineer whose genius epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal.


About Hemet Sunshine

I am a homeschooling mom living in Hemet, California. I am interested in building a better community for the ones I love.
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