In this new normal of working from home and home schooling, we are starting a new column called What to Do? This column will be filled with activities for adults and children that can be made from things you have at home. If you have any games, recipes, or other fun, interesting things to do—email me (Ellen Stafford at and you can be featured in this column.


A quick review of how to play checkers

WikiHow has a detailed description of game including improving game strategy. The typical game board has 64 squares in an 8 x 8 grid. Originally called draughts (read a great history here), the basic rules of checkers are:

  1. Players set their pieces on the dark squares.
  2. Black pieces traditionally go first or you can flip a coin.
  3. Players take turns moving a piece diagonally (staying on the black squares), one square at a time.
  4. Players can “capture” the opponent’s piece by jumping over it.
  5. The player who captures all of the opponent’s pieces wins.

Note: people familiar with the game, typically play “Kings”. The rules of Kings are explained in the link above.


How to make a checkerboard and game pieces

Start with an empty cereal box



I finished a box of cereal yesterday. Looking at the empty, flattened box, I thought there must be something I can do with this cardboard.







Cut one side and open it up flat









Cut the tabs off








Cut that piece in half

Ensure you have at least one piece that is bigger than an 8″ square.









With a ruler and a marker

Draw an 8″ square. Draw marks every inch on each side. Connect each side using your ruler as a straight edge.









Color alternating squares

The traditional checkerboard has red and black squares with red and black pieces. You can make your checkerboard any colors you like as long as one color is darker than the other color.








Creating the pieces

A nickel is the ideal size for a one-inch square. Use the nickel as an easy template to draw circles. Color in the circles. (I started with black and red pieces, but they become almost invisible on the board. I chose two colors that contrast with the board. In my game, the blue pieces are the darker or “black” pieces.) Cut out the pieces.








Set up the board and have fun!

Place the pieces on the black squares and enjoy your game.













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Ellen Stafford is the Managing Editor for A resident of Cornelius for over 20 years, she loves the area and its people. (Well, maybe not the traffic…) Well-versed in computers and tech, she also enjoys photography, gardening, and cooking.