When I see wood I get excited (insert adolescent guffaw here).
But seriously, we're in the midst of construction over here and and there was this block of wood that I've been eyeing for quite some time now. There it sat in the backyard, getting pummeled by rain. I waited until it dried, brought it in and began brainstorming.
4-year-old Mr. P. is a big fan of board games. He is a squirmy little worm but when it comes to games, he can actually sit and concentrate for an impressive amount of time (i.e. the two-hour game of Star Wars Monopoly the other day - I was the one getting squirmy.)
So I thought that it was high time I taught him the game of checkers. If you don't have a spare piece of wood lying around, this project would just fine with a thick piece of cardboard, the side of a cereal box....really anything sturdy.
Wood / cardboard surface
tempera paint in 4 colors
If I were more professional, I would have taken the time to sand down the surface of the wood. But I'm not, so I didn't.
Then I had to make a square. I suggest measuring out an 8 inch by 8 inch square to make things easy for you. That way, each checkers square ends up being 1 inch by 1 inch big. My square was something silly like 9 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches which led to all sorts of imperfections in the measuring.
I've decided I hold two graduate degrees in English simply because I wanted to avoid math, so excuse the wonky squares.
Once that was done, I chose my two colors for the board, purple and green (black and red just seemed so boring). Since I tend to work quickly, I dotted all of the squares that were going to be purple and proceeded to paint them in. The tempera paint didn't take very long to dry and then I went in with the green. Once my squares were done, I did one black line on each side and left the natural color of the wood show through.
I've started a new label, "stick a cork in it". We drink a lot of wine around here and I have a lot of corks lying around so I am now attempting to integrate them into various projects. Here is a photo of the serrated knife I used to cut the cork (it takes a steady hand and a sawing motion). You need 12 slices of cork per color, so 24 slices total. I got 4 slices per cork so 6 corks total. Hey, did I just did some math?!?!?!
Then I painted the tops of the cork, 12 blue and 12 red.
I was a bit worried about what would happen when someone got "kinged", but the corks stack nicely on top of one another and really don't move around.
The final touch that I should have / will add later is gluing a sheet of felt on the bottom of the wood so that it can be placed on a table without scratching the surface.
I think this might make the perfect holiday present!