Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#3 - More Questions Answered about Game Making

Here are the remaining questions I was asked:

Other random questions
- What supplies should I always have on hand so I can make a board game or card game at a moment's notice?
- Where is the best place to buy contact paper? Also, you mention patterned contact paper for things like your math cards. Where do you buy that? Is it really expensive?

Taking them one at a time...

- What supplies should I always have on hand so I can make a board game or card game at a moment's notice?

My supplies began as a basket I kept handy. It contained things like:
file folders
Contact paper
cardstock in several colors
3/4" circle stickers
decorative stickers I started collecting
and the usual crafting supplies - scissors, pencils, permanent markers, watercolor markers, colored pencils, rulers, etc.

Some tips about these things. 

File folders - come in a wide variety of colors which make gameboards more fun. Remember that that manilla is a color too! They can be purchased at WalMart (and when I say WalMart I mean any of those type stores). Office supply stores have them as well. You can buy larger boxes of single color file folders at the office supply stores. They cost less this way and there is a large selection of colors. Consider getting with some friends and each purchasing one color and then sharing them. Some friends and I did this with a lot of our supplies.

Clear Contact paper can be purchased in many places. I found my best prices at WalMart. I always had a good supply on hand as I never knew when I would get into a big game-making binge!

Colored cardstock is now readily available in mixed colored packages at WalMart. When I began making games I went to print shops in order to get some good varieties without having to buy a large amount of any one color. Later I started buying reams of different colors at office supply stores - again sharing with friends.

3/4" circle stickers are so nice for making the spaces along a path. They are neat and quick to use. They also come in lots of colors. They can be purchased in multi-color packets at WalMart. To get larger packets and more color selection, check out office supply stores.

Decorative stickers are fun to collect. The children loved checking out stickers every time we would see a display. They add quick, easy, colorful, and fun decoration to a game board. Children love to play a game where they selected the stickers. Stickers may be themed around an interest or unit (such as horses, butterflies, vehicles, or animals). Children like games that are decorated with their favorite characters (Sesame Street, Thomas the Train, Spiderman, or Cinderella). Other stickers may just be pretty or fun (balloons, kites, flowers, or gems). Stickers are inexpensive and your extras can be traded with friends (or given to the children for their sticker collections).

The pictures on this gameboard were cut from a children's workbook and the castle from a picture book.

The crafting supplies (scissors, markers, etc.) are things we all usually have around the house. But here I want to make my MOST IMPORTANT TIP....

Make up YOUR OWN SUPPLY BASKET. I had MY scissors, MY markers, MY colored pencils, ...you get the idea. The children knew that they were never to touch MY basket on punishment of ______. I wouldn't even tell them what I might do if they touched my basket. But it inspired them to leave my things alone.  The reason is simple. If you don't have all the supplies you need in one place, you can spend all your time looking for them. I wanted to be able to work on games at a minute's notice. Sometimes I only had a few minutes, but I could make progress if I didn't have to waste time looking for a scissors that worked well.

- Where is the best place to buy contact paper? Also, you mention patterned contact paper for things like your math cards. Where do you buy that? Is it really expensive?

I have already mentioned that I found the best prices usually at WalMart for Contact paper.

The patterned Contact paper was located right by the clear in the same section as the shelf paper in the household department at most stores. I liked to pick a small pattern as it made pretty backs for card decks. It cost the same about as the clear. It would be expensive to purchase a patterned paper for just the backs of one deck. But you have to remember I was making LOTS of games. I bought several different patterns and, again, I would share with friends.

Notice the patterned Contact paper on the back of these cards.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT TIP -- remember to watch for all these things at garage sales and thrift stores. I have found partial rolls of Contact paper for just a few cents. Stickers (both the circle stickers and decorative ones) are often found (sometimes even unopened packages). I also have found file folders.

Don't forget the sharing with friends. This was also a great time for us moms to get together and talk about other things we were doing in our homeschools. We would share supplies, trade game ideas, and cutting boxes....

Oh, speaking of cutting boxes....This is ANOTHER BIG TIP... Keep a cutting box. Old workbooks (especially for phonics) with nice pictures are so helpful when making games. Children's picture books provide awesome pictures for decoration. Yes, I do cut up books. These are often torn, worn out, or duplicate books. I have find wonderful books in FREE boxes at garage sales. Some of the pages may be torn or missing, or all the pages have been done in the workbook, but the pictures are what I want. I have even purchased books at sales or thrift stores just to put into my cutting box because of the good pictures in them.

This game shows pictures from a book I paid full price for....

The pictures in this sticker/workbook were so darling I bought more than one copy of this book. I have made many games using the pictures from these books. I remember being so excited to find a copy in a garage sale FREE box. People often didn't understand my excitement over tattered books I would find...but my friends did when I would share at a game making day.

If you have any further questions, post a comment or email me at cole102486@yahoo.com.

Have fun game making.

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