March 2, 2011

Tutorial: Felt Tic-Tac-Toe Boards

Tic-tac-toe games are no longer the paper and pencil variety of Xs and Os. These days, anybody can spice up the game with a little creativity and some fun loving companions to share it with. Tic-tac-toe is a great first game for kids because it's 1) easy 2) quick and 3) simple to transport. But the game is not only for kids - stay tuned for how you can incorporate tic-tac-toe in your workplace or home!

Felt in various colors

1. Start out with a square piece of felt in the size board you want. (Mine was 9" x 9".)
2. Cut four strips of contrast felt for the lines, about 1/4" wide and the length of the board.
3. Use a ruler to help place the lines so that your board has nine equal squares. Pin the lines and then hand sew, machine sew, or glue the lines onto the board.

4. Now comes the fun part! Think of a theme for your board and create two different shapes for the pieces. You will need five of each shape.
5. Use scissors to cut the felt into each shape (I doubled up the felt for a sturdier piece). Then embellish each piece with a button and yarn details.

6. Place your finished pieces on the board and get ready to play!

For the kids, create as many different sets of pieces as you want! If your kids are old enough, they can help make their own shapes and designs and embellish them by gluing googly eyes, feathers, or yarn. The pieces can also be used for younger kids as they learn to sort, count, add, and subtract.

For adults, here are some fun ideas about how to use tic-tac-toe to transform a boring or annoying situation to a super fun one:
1. Make a board and keep it at your office. Battle the mid-day blues by challenging your co-workers to a game (loser buys the winner something from the snack machine).
2.Play tic-tac-toe with your spouse/partner/roommate to decide who does the dishes/changes the kid's diaper/responds to child's tantrum/cleans the closet. Also great in determining who chooses the movie for the evening, what toppings to go on pizza, and any other situation where conflict may arise.