Don’t Eat Pete is one of my family’s favorite games. It’s also been a favorite in my classroom! Since so many people have been sheltering-in-place because of the coronavirus, my mom (and former teacher herself) had the genius idea to make Don’t Eat Pete kits to drop off to local families with kids. She made each family a game board (or included stickers so the kids could decorate it themselves) and also included candies to use to play the game. (Click here or here to read my posts on how to play.)
So, here’s the template and you can let your kids decorate their own board! Crayons, stickers, markers, glitter*, paint* or colored pencil, just let your kids get creative!
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I’ve written about Don’t Eat Pete before (How to play,How to play/easy Valentine’s board and St. Patrick’s Day board), but I just love this game and it’s perfect for any holiday. Seriously, I played it at every single classroom party (as a kid since my mom was often the Room Mom and again as a teacher) because it just continues to be a kid favorite… the there’s hardly ANY prep involved!!
But if you’re that teacher who wants to make something once and never have to worry about it again, here’s a post for you. My mom made this style of Don’t Eat Pete board for each holiday and then all she ever had to do was buy the candy, cereal or snack she was going to use for the game.
Step 1 – choose 9 die cuts from your school’s Halloween collection. If your school doesn’t have die cuts and you don’t want to head down to the district office to do it, just wing it and cut some simple shapes yourself. Cut them out of colored construction paper (Be careful which construction paper pack you get! one I recently purchased from Amazon didn’t include purple! Here’s a small low-priced pack that has all the basic colors!)
Step 2 – Lay them out 3 across in 3 rows on big construction paper (here’s a low-priced pack) and place small strips of construction paper between them to form a grid. If you’re in a pinch, just draw in lines using a sharpie or other permanent marker (here are some awesome metallic ones that work great for writing on black!)
Step 3 – Write numbers on each shape. This just makes it easier to remember which one is “Pete” for that round. You can also silently remind your kids by holding up fingers.
I’m pretty fond of this new Don’t Eat Pete board (updating my collection here!). I think it turned out nicely, so I wanted to share with you! Perfect for any St. Patrick’s Day party, this would work perfect with Lucky Charm cereal or rainbow Skittles for the treats!
3 – 10 kids sit around the game board. The adult or moderator puts a small treat (M & M, chocolate chip, Cheerio, or whatever) on each number. The “guesser” leaves the area so they can’t see or hear what’s going on. Another person points to a number to choose “Pete”. The “guesser” comes back and starts taking the M & M’s (or whatever) off the board and gets to eat them. When the guesser touches “Pete”, everyone yells, “Don’t Eat Pete!!” and the guesser’s turn is over. The guesser eats the last one he got called out on to keep it sanitary!
More game boards! I’ve decided you can’t ever have too many blank game boards in your classroom to use with review games (click here to read about some of my favorites). This one’s Thanksgiving themed, and would be perfect to use with math facts, spelling words, etc. They’re actually really simple to use: for example, hand 2 kids a game board (it’s best if you laminate them first) and a die. Kids can roll the die and earn that many spaces if they get a math fact right (just hand them a stack of flash cards) or if they correctly spell a word on their weekly spelling list. Enjoy!
If you know me, you’ll probably know that I love to use games in my classroom! I think playing games is the best way to create a fun learning experience. I usually have some blank game boards (like these) handy in my classroom to use with one of my favorite review games. I decided to make some new ones for fall, since I didn’t have very many. So here’s my first one: I call it “Fall is fabulous!”
The teacher I learned this idea from swears by it… and I totally see why! It doesn’t take very much effort on the teacher’s part, and it’s an entertaining way for kids to practice vocab! Here’s how it works:
Week Before: Using the week’s vocabulary words, write a few fill-in-the-blank style questions to test student’s vocabulary knowledge. For example, if the vocabulary list included the word “clumsy”, the teacher wrote this sentence: “The _____ girl bumped into the table and broke the vase.” Since the vocabulary list this teacher uses has 10 words on it, she writes 2 fill-in-the-blanks for each word. She says this takes her about 5 minutes a week to type and print these questions. She cuts them up into strips or cards on Microsoft Word and makes a set for each game board (see below). She uses the same game board for an entire season (changing to the next theme/holiday’s game board).
Week Of: When kids are done with an assignment (especially during the literacy block), they can play 5 in a row tic-tac-toe. Her game boards sometimes use a 3 x 3 grid, but when I talked to her, she suggested making 5 x 5 grids so the students have to practice more questions before the game ends. The teacher keeps each set so she can use it next year (their school uses the same vocabulary lists every year for each grade).
The Game Boards: I’ve made 8 game boards for different seasons. I suggest printing each one on different colored card stock so it’s easy to tell which ones go with which season and they will last longer than regular paper. In addition, laminate them if you can.