With our minds full of garden daydreams, but still some time left to wait until real spring can be seen poking through the muddy earth . . .
. . . we decided to bring some of the garden fun. . .
. . . indoors. . .
. . . in the form of. . .
. . . a garden chess game. . .
. . . add in a few spring flowers from the market, and while it may be all brown mud outside, the colors of spring are blooming on this table.
This game is a lot of fun and a great way to learn more about all the different fruits and veggies you can grow in the garden. If you happen to be making the game for kiddos that are a bit too young for chess you could just make veggie checkers. Or perhaps, fruits vs veggies? :)
DIY Garden Chess
- Cotton canvas ripped to a 15" x 15" square
- 1 1/4" Wooden discs (available at most craft and hobby stores)
- Fabric Paint (one color)
- Acrylic paint
- Cotton bag for pieces and cloth game board
- Wood sealer like jojoba oil, beeswax paste, or clear acrylic (optional)
Measure 1/2" in from each corner (in both directions) and make a small mark lightly with a pencil. Connect the lines using a ruler so that you have a 14" square. Measure in 1 3/4" in from each corner of the penciled in square. Make another mark 1 3/4" in from the mark you just made. Do this for all sides until you have worked your way to the other side of each line. Connect these small marks to make a grid of 1 3/4" squares. They should be 8 across.
Start filling in every other square with the fabric paint color of your choice. Shift the pattern on each row by one to make the checkerboard look like the image above. Allow to dry overnight.
While the board is drying paint your favorite veggies and fruits on the wooden game pieces. Use something simple for the pawns (you will need eight of them for each side). Then make six pairs of different veggies, and two sets of royal pairs. For my board I made:
- 8 peas (pawns)
- 8 blueberries (pawns)
- 2 carrots (knights)
- 2 radishes (rooks)
- 2 ears of corn (bishops)
- 2 zucchini ((knights)
- 2 tomatoes (rooks)
- 2 cabbages (bishops)
- 1 eggplant (queen)
- 1 asparagus (king)
- 1 pumpkin (queen)
- 1 artichoke (king)
You can write the name of the game piece on the back of each wooden disc or you could write it down on a piece of paper (and change it up) each time you play. If you'd like to seal your game pieces, this would be a good time to do it.
When the fabric board is dry, use the eraser to remove any unwanted pencil marks. Iron from the reverse side to set the paint.
Store the pieces and the board in a cloth bag and pull them out whenever you'd like to play a game!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Educational Eggs