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Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 | 2 comments

DIY Kids: Outdoor Checker Board

DIY Kids: Outdoor Checker Board


I stole this idea from the play area at Arcadia educational farm. It’s an outdoor checker board. I had the perfect board to use — a big piece of wood I had painted in chalkboard paint and was sitting mostly unused in the back yard. Occasionally, the girls would draw up a menu for mud pies on it. Seemed perfect for a new incarnation as a checker board.

I drew a grid with white chalk with 8 squares horizontally and vertically.


I moved the board inside to do the rest of the painting since it was too darn hot to do the rest outside. Play checkers maybe, but paint, no way.


Then, I used painter’s tape to mark where we would paint white stripes with outdoor paint.


Meanwhile, Nadja painted the rocks with outdoor paint. It took a few weeks to collect 24 perfectly sized rocks — you’ll need relatively flat rocks that can be stacked when a piece is crowned and becomes a king. We found them on walks, and Katie found a bunch in a ravine near where her son Jack plays baseball. Nadja painted 12 with red and silver, and 12 with blue and gold.



After the paint dried marking the grid, I filled in the squares with the rest of the paint.



Next, I sprayed the entire board with a protective enamel. And later in the afternoon, we were ready for play. Here are the girls setting up the two competing sides.


And Ana making a carefully thought-out move. (Sometimes she uses her feet to move the rocks.)


The board, although a great project for checker tournaments on the lawn, is going to make its permanent home in the courtyard of Ana’s elementary school.


  1. I’ve never seen this type of game before! I really would like to hear how you play it? Can you, please, describe the rules? It looks so nice! Would like to do one myself…:)

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