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Students will create their own checkerboard using cardboard or wood and paint.

By Andrea Mulder-Slater


checkers, checker board, folk art, functional art, games, family, board games, strategy, rules, fair play, color, design



  • Students will have a look at checker boards of the past and present. They will discuss decorations on checker boards – why some have them and why others might not.


  • Students will learn about the game of checkers. How do you play? Where was the game invented?


  • Students will create their very own version of a folk art checkerboard.


  • Students will learn to appreciate the art created not only by them, but by others as well.

What You Need:

  • cardboard (or wood)
  • acrylic paint or magic markers (tempera paint will do just fine)
  • water-based sealer (or a glue and water mixture)
  • white glue
  • straight edge
  • licorice candy or modeling clay
  • masking tape

What You Do:


  1. Take your wood plaque or piece of heavy corrugated cardboard and begin laying out the checkers. Draw a grid pattern on the center of the board using a straight edge. Remember that a checkerboard is made up of eight squares across and eight squares up and down.
  2. Paint alternating squares alternating colors. You can use masking tape to mask off your squares.
  3. Add designs to either end of the checker board.
  4. Once you are finished painting, its a good idea to seal the checkerboard with a coat of water-based sealer.


You can really get creative with your checkers. We have used everything from licorice candy (sealed with a water-based sealer or white glue — no eating!) to beads to cool checkers made of self hardening clay. If you do create checkers with self-hardening clay, be sure to seal them with a water-based sealer or white glue to protect them.