Before we started we had spent a few weeks learning how to follow and write step by step instructions. It became clear, as we introduced the idea of board games, that not many children had played actual board games before. Many were familiar with chess, snakes and ladders and a variety of card games.
So in order to ensure that the children had some knowledge to draw on when creating we played board games in teams and filled in lots of necessary vocab: roll the dice, miss a turn, go forward 3 steps, move backwards, take a card, start again.
We discussed how many different games had many different ways to win - from having the most money or points to being the first over the finish line.
I work predominantly with the boys who are 2+ years behind in their literacy, numeracy and key competencies - so we had extra filling in to do.
For this group of children we provided the choice of 4 different board templates that they could choose from. The boys had free range over hw their game played and the theme of the game. We encouraged the boys to have extra options like money or prizes associated with the theme of their game.
One group used random card selection to decide where the player moved to that had different challenges with different levels of prizes depending on the challenge completed - so creative. Most groups used colour coding to indicate different options within the game.
This group were unable to write their instructions independently but were able to discuss, share and refine their choices with final writing of instructions and rules being done by a teacher.
The game pieces were designed and made and the boxed were decorated,
All in all the boys went through a scaffolded design and creation process that resulted in them having their own board games to share with their friends.
The boys have thoroughly enjoyed sharing their games with others in the class and talking through how to play - they are revelling in being the "boss" of something, being the most knowledgeable in the room and teaching others. As they have played they've practised turn taking, sharing and conflict resolution - and have been very successful.
Board game creation has been a raging success.