Car Games - Travel Checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Make Your Own!

 101 Car Travel Games & Ideas for Kids
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How to Sew Your Own Travel Game

Easy instructions to make checkers and tic-tac-toe to go!

Make this travel game to play checkers and tic-tac-toe in the car on long trips! It's a drawstring bag made from old fabric scraps. The game pieces are also made of fabric and are kept inside the bag when not in use. It's fun to make, easy to store in your car, and fun to play.

My daughter and her friend needed to do a project for school that involved recycling. They had to create a usable durable product from mostly recycled materials. They chose to do a sewing project with some old sheets that would otherwise have ended up as rags.   Here's how to do it:


  • old sheets or fabric scraps of different colors
  • string or yarn
  • fusible webbing (very inexpensive, available at wal-mart)
  • marker or fabric paint


First, Make the draw string bag:
Cut a large piece of fabric about 11" x 22".  Lay a piece of string across the long edge and fold down the fabric over it about an inch. Sew it carefully keeping the string inside. Then fold the fabric in half and sew the two remaining edges of the bag. Turn it inside out to keep the raw edges on the inside. You should end up with a drawstring bag about 10" x 10". 

My daughter and her friend were in 5th grade, and this was a great first sewing project for them to learn how to use the sewing machine. 

Next, Make the game board:
The bag its self will become the game board.  Iron some fusible webbing onto the back of a different colored fabric that was used for the bag. Then cut this fabric into 1 inch squares using pinking shears. Lay the squares onto the bag (fusible side down)  in the shape of the checkers game board. It should be 8 x 8 squares (4 dark and 4 light for each row). Then iron them onto the bag.  Use the background of the bag as the dark squares, so you only have to iron on 4 actual cut-out squares per row.
On the back side, use fabric paint or a fabric marker to draw a large tic-tac-toe board.  Be careful that it doesn't soak through the fabric to the other side.  You may want to test it first on a small scrap piece before drawing it on your game bag.


Finally, Make the game pieces.
Using the pinking shears, cut at least 24 small squares about 1x1". Make half of them a dark color and half a light color. You might want to cut a few extras in case any of them ever get lost down in the cushions of your car seats.  Use the fabric paint to draw a crown or a "k" on one side of each piece for the "kinged" checkers pieces. 

To play:
Lay the bag on your lap, the seat next to you in the car, or on a book. The fabric game pieces are great because they will not slide all over the place when you are riding down the road. For checkers, each player starts with 12 pieces.  Use the plain sides up to start the game. Flip them over to the other side that you have marked when you want to "king" a checkers game piece during play. 

You can use the same pieces for tic-tac-toe. Instead of X and O, just use the different colors.   Store all the pieces inside the bag when you are not playing, and keep it in the glove compartment so it's always handy!

Have fun!

--Laurel (Road Trip Mom)

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      ((¸¸.·´  ..·´   Road Trip Mom -:¦:- 
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Laurel Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom.  Visit her website for more than 101 travel games and activities for kids at

This article is copyright ©2007 
All images associated with this article are also copyright ©2007 and may not be republished on other websites or print media without permission. If you would like an article to use on your website, please see the articles available for reprint here.

For more "make your own travel games", don't miss all the Printable Car Games at



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