Wednesday, July 29, 2015

History of Flight Printable Board Game

One of the learning themes I planned for us this summer was flight. We've had a LOT of fun making gliders and airplanes and parachutes, but now it's time to put the science aside and focus on the history of aviation.

To do this we could (of course) read books, but I think learning history through a timeline game is WAY more fun.

This game was a labor of love. I hope your kids will enjoy it as much as mine have. Note: It's a lengthy game with lots of reading; I recommend playing with kids 8+. (While our almost-six-year old played along, he grew tired of the slow pace.)

How to Make the Game
Download the PDF of the game, milestones, and game pieces from Google Drive here.

This game would not have been possible were it not for the excellent record-keeping and timeline reporting by The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Print the game pieces and game board on heavyweight cardstock. (Print milestones on office paper.)

Assemble the game board with tape. Since your home printer doesn't print full-bleed (i.e. all the way to the edge of the paper), you'll have to trim the white edges.

Don't worry about cutting the milestones apart; it's easier to leave them as pages and clip together with a binder clip.

Cut apart the game pieces and fold each. Insert the folded end into medium-sized binder clips. (We used small clips and were constantly righting our fallen game pieces. Larger clips will be more stable.)

How to Play
Put all game pieces on the words "START." Player 1 rolls a die and moves their game piece the number of spaces rolled. Whatever number they land on on the board, they should read the event that corresponds. 

The card may provide additional instructions - Fly into the Future (i.e. move forward) a noted number of spaces, Go Back a certain number of spaces, or You're Grounded (i.e. stay put). The player must move forward or back after reading the event. 

It's up to you whether you then read the next event that the player eventually lands on or just move and don't read. (We played this way to speed up an already lengthy game; gauge your child[ren]'s attention span.)

The first player to the finish wins.

We've read a bunch of great books that would be perfect to pair with this game. For a relatively quick picture book, I'd recommend Gail Gibbons' Flying. It provides an illustrated snapshot of the history of flight. The others were also our favorites.


  1. Thank you for the game! I am going to try and play it with my class.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work with others! I truly appreciate it, and we plan to use it on National Aviation Day this Friday.