In the modern era, some of us are sick of looking at screens. Yet, at the same time, we’re looking for something different. That’s where life-sized board games come in. Sure, you could settle for regular old board games and fiddle around with a bunch of little pieces that you’ll eventually lose. But why not take things a step further and put yourself in the game?
Below, we’ll talk about some games that you can make as large as life—and are just as fun. While chess comes to many people’s minds when thinking of life-sized board games, with a few alterations, you can play Scrabble, Uno, and Jenga, among others.
If you’ve ever been to the renaissance fair, you’ve probably seen human chess in action. Instead of using game pieces, real people take on the roles of each piece. This game is perfect for large gatherings, as 32 people are needed to play.
How to Make Life-Sized Chess
First, you need a game board. You can really take some creative liberties with this one. You can:
- Outline the game board using chalk.
- Cut out, laminate, and tape together the white/black squares.
- Purchase a life-sized chessboard online.
From there, you’ll need to do a bit of research about who should play what piece. While chess involves 32 pieces, there are only six different “players,” each of which comes with its own roles. Your players could wear costumes, hats, or other markers indicating what piece they are.
The rules of life-size chess are the same as traditional chess. However, when a piece “takes” another one, they can engage in simulated combat! You can learn more about how to play life-sized chess by watching this video.
Scrabble is a game that allows you to create words using tiles with letters on them. You can only make words using your tiles or the ones on the game board, making the end result look something like a crossword puzzle. You also get points for each letter you lay down.
So, for instance, if you make the word “mood,” you could get seven points since each tile comes with its own point value. The game ends when both players give up or run out of tiles.
How to Make Life-Sized Scrabble
This one’s a doozy. The easy route involves taking 8×11 pieces of computer paper and printing out the letters onto them. You could even laminate them if you plan on using them for a long time. There are many downloadable templates that you can find online. This pretty much does all of the work for you.
However, you could even get creative and make the game pieces out of tiles or cork board. Here, you would:
- Find tiles that are one foot by one foot (there are 100 tiles in a game of Scrabble).
- Use a stencil to spray paint the letters and point values onto them.
- Play your game in a wide, open space.
When making your tiles, they should match the tiles that would come with the traditional board game. So, for example, if you only made 26 tiles that go along with the alphabet, you would undeniably have difficulty making words. Click here to learn more about how much of each letter you should make.
Uno is a summer camp favorite where things get competitive really fast. Here’s how to play:
- Each player (and there must be at least two) gets seven cards. The remainder goes into a deck that will be periodically drawn from.
- The first player will take a card and lay it face up. The cards come in red, yellow, green, and blue. The subsequent cards must match the number or color of the one before it.
- If someone does not have a matching card, they must draw one from the deck.
Players continue this pattern until someone runs out of cards, making them the winner. You can learn more about the game’s mechanics by watching this video.
How to Make a Life-Sized Uno Game
This is another easy larger-than-life game. You can use poster board, cardboard, or even construction paper to make giant playing cards. If you’re feeling creative, you could even throw in a few cards that don’t come with the traditional game set.
You can also buy life-sized versions of the Uno playing cards online. In this kit, they measure 7 inches by 10 inches.
When playing Jenga on your kitchen table, it’s almost too easy to slide those little blocks out of place. When you’re playing life-sized Jenga in your backyard, however, things get a bit more complicated.
How to Make Life-Sized Jenga
Like with Uno, you can buy giant Jenga blocks or pre-made life-size kits online. Yet, if you’re looking for an afternoon project in addition to your game, here’s what you should do.
- Make the base. You want your tower to have a solid, sturdy base. Use an 18×18 piece of quarter-inch plywood.
- Make the pieces. Using 2x4s, cut out 52 pieces using a circular saw. The pieces should all be 10 1/2 inches, and they should all be the same size.
To play your game, simply erect the tower as you usually would using the traditional set. Your goal is to slide the boards out of place without knocking over the structure. If you knock over the structure, the game ends, and you lose.
Other Life-Sized Board Games
The only limit is your imagination when making a life-sized board game. Below are some examples of other games you can make:
- Guess Who. Instead of relying on the pictures, why not use real people? Have 10 people sit in a row, and by asking yes or no questions, narrow them down until you find who’s “it.”
- Connect Four. Take a giant sheet and affix rows of Velcro to it. Then, using felt, cut out the red and yellow “checkers.” Players’ goal is to get four in a row either diagonally, vertically, or horizontally.
- Operation. No, we don’t mean actually performing surgery on your friends. Instead, have a person lay on their back and attach the “organs” to their shirt using Velcro. Then, blindfold them. Players’ goal is to remove the parts without having the patient notice.
You can bring your board games to life with just a little time and effort. To get more ideas about life-sized board games, click here.