For one of our Civil War activities we made an authentic checkerboard from the Civil War era.
I used a light cotton material cut into a 12 by 12 squares. The material needs to be able to be tied into a knot. When the project is finished all the pieces will go in the middle of the cloth and the corners will be tied up in a knot. this is how the soldiers carried their game.
You will need 16 wooden pieces for each set.
My husband used branches that had fallen in our yard to cut the pieces out of.
My husband also made stamps out of wood to make it easy for the kids to stamp the squares onto the cloth.
He made the squares 1 1/2 x 1 1/2. He also put a very convenient handle on them. He made a few sets so more than one child could be working at their game board at the same time. (So sorry for the blurry picture! I accidentally deleted the good one. :( )
You will also need black fabric paint. The soldiers used charcoal, but I tested it out and it would be waaaay to messy for me to try and do with all those kids! So, fabric paint it is! It only took a few minutes to dry because it's such a thin layer of paint that you will be applying. I took a sponge (new) and cut it into pieces a little larger than the stamp. I placed it in a small ramekin, added a few drops of water to help it absorb the paint. Squeeze the paint on the top of the sponge and work it in with the stamp.
When you are ready to start the project take one stamp and press on the sponge to get it nice and black, but not too much paint!
Place the black stamp onto the cloth.
Place another stamp that has not been placed in the paint next to the black stamp.
Now, without moving the white stamp, take the black stamp and place it on the other side.
Now move the white stamp to the other side of the black stamp. Then remove the black stamp and put more paint on it to keep the pattern going. Continue making your first row. You will make 8 squares, 4 white, 4 black. When you get to the corner start the next row. After you get the first two rows set in place you will only need the black stamp to finish.
When you are finished you should have an 8x8 square. Let it dry!
I had the kids write their names with a black Sharpie marker in the corner to keep track of whose was whose.
Put X's on 8 of the pieces and leave the others plain.
When you are finished playing, push the pieces to the middle and bring the corners together and tie them up..............
The kids had fun making these at our reenacting event/living history day.
Only one more day left... :(