Finding ways to boost wellbeing and feel good at home are imperative towards maintaining healthy bodies and minds.

Getting creative with the kids is a great way to keep them entertained for hours and help their imaginations continue to run wild while staying at home. Over the course of our closure, we'll be sharing quick and easy-to-follow guides for fun family crafts using bits and pieces from around the house.

Make your own snakes and ladders-style game

Friday 8 May marks 75 years since Victory in Europe Day (VE day). When Britain and Europe celebrated the ending of the Second World War in 1945. VE Day marked the beginning of the end of a lot of restrictions which the people of Britain had lived with for many years. During WW2 it was difficult to buy lots of different things, including food, clothes and for children, toys. So in the 1940s, children needed to get creative to find ways to entertain themselves during the black outs and the blitz.

While we are living with our own unusual restrictions in lockdown, have a go at making your own toy or game from things you find around the house.

You could make a snakes and ladders game, or like us, you could create paint spillages which you slide down, and ladders you climb. You could use anything, what about ropes to slide down, and trees to climb? Or stairs to climb and slides to slip down?

Equipment needed:

  • Cardboard (an old cereal box is perfect)
  • Paper
  • Colouring pens or pencils
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Blu Tack (optional)
  • Old magazines (optional)
  • Dice (if you have one, but you can make a spinner with a cocktail stick, short pencil or a pen lid, or an online dice simulator)
  • Counters (you could use some from a different game you have, or make your own)

Have you got everything? Let's begin.

1. Draw a square on your cardboard and cut it out. It can be any size, but the bigger the better.

2. Draw lines across your cardboard to create a grid. It depends how big your cardboard is, but the squares should be a minimum of 2cmx2cm. It doesn’t matter how many squares there are in the end.

3. Decorate your board however you like, and use a felt tip pen to number your squares. Start in the bottom left hand corner and zig-zag up the board. You could make the finish square a different colour to make it stand out.

4. Next, make your snakes and ladders (or paint spillages, ropes, trees - or anything else you can imagine) by drawing them on some paper. You can make as many as you like, but make sure they are different lengths.

5. Glue them to the cardboard and cut them out.

6. Use the Blu Tack to stick them down while you play. Whenever you play you can position them in a different place on the board.

You’re nearly done. You just need counters and a dice. If you have them already, you can skip the next step, but if you need to make your own here is how:

7. To make counters, cut out coloured paper or paper you've coloured in, or, like us, you could cut out little pictures from a magazine. Stick them to some more cardboard to make them less filmsy.

8. To make the spinner, cut out a square of cardboard, then cut the corners off. Draw lines between the corners, and number each slice from 1 to 8. Ask an adult to help you stick a pencil, or a cocktail stick, or a pen lid, through the middle. You can spin this instead of rolling a dice and whichever number it lands on is the number of spaces you can move.

Ta-dah! Grab some friends or your family and play!

Remember to share your photos of your finished games and toys with us. Be as creative as you can – what about inventing your own game?