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Friday, October 5, 2012

You're In Trouble!

My baby is now 5 years old! I can't believe it. In fact, I don't want to let myself believe it. I miss the little baby I once held. Zechariah is one of my greatest blessings from God. I cannot put into words how much this little boy means to me.

We had beautiful weather for Zech's party. It was a perfect day to celebrate! I wanted to keep things really simple, so there wasn't much planned for the party. Zechariah invited all his friends over to play his favorite board game, Trouble. The twist on it, I made it life-size. I thought he would have more fun if we played outside and used people as the pieces. It was so much fun! I honestly thought the kids were going to get bored and I was going to end up disappointed with how little we used the game. I was very wrong. We played the game for over an hour and made sure to "help" a team end the game for us. Otherwise the game would have gone on for much longer.

life size trouble game
Most of the preparation for the party was making the game board. It really was easy to make, however, very time consuming. The painting took me somewhere between 25-30 hours. It wasn't hard. It just took forever to paint because the fabric soaks up all the paint not allowing you to spread the paint much.

I started by shopping at Goodwill for some used white sheets. I love that store! I bought 4 flat sheets of various sizes for $6 total. The whites were similar, but not exactly the same. I knew once it was painted, the color of white wouldn't matter. I sewed all four sheets together into a giant 12 foot by 12 foot square.

Once it was sewn, I took it outside to draw the game board. The board was too large to lay out flat in any room of my house. I used our 1986 version of the game to copy. It's what Zech is familiar with, and I wanted him to recognize it when we played. The large circle in the middle of the game, I used a hula hoop to trace. The smaller circles that the people pieces stand on were a plastic lid to a giant bowl of mine. The game is primarily circles and straight lines. This made it very easy to duplicate.

how to make life size trouble game
Once the game was drawn, and my lines were taped with painters tape, I brought the game down to my basement. I put a vinyl tablecloth underneath to protect my floor and took it one color at a time. For the paint, I used the small craft bottles of acrylic paint from Wal-Mart. The bottles were 50 cents apiece, and I needed 3 for each color. The game was a total of $12. Not bad! The only other thing I needed to buy was the giant inflatable dice. I found some online for $10. It was a very inexpensive birthday party. I had found some of these life-size games online for purchase but they started at $90!!! I knew I wanted to make it myself. It was much cheaper, but the labor was very extensive.

how to make life size trouble game
To secure the game board down to the ground, I applied large eyelets around the edge of the game board. I then purchased golf tees to use as stakes. It worked really well! I didn't want the game board to be getting twisted beneath our feet and this solved the problem.

life size trouble game
On our invitations we sent out, we assigned each person to a team color. I had picked out two kids for each team, and then split up the adults that were also invited to the party. Each person was supposed to wear a shirt of their team color. It made it really easy to tell apart the players on the board at any given time. If I use the game again, I might buy different color bandanas for the players to wear.

backyard trouble game
I think the most fun part of the game for the kids was throwing the giant die. They would send it flying high in the sky, and then everyone kept continually bumping it with their heads and body. Towards the end we had to restrict the kids from touching it unless it was their team rolling the die. It made it unfair for kids to bump the die when the rolling team had originally gotten a high number.

life size trouble

The green team won! They were also the first team to get anyone home. For the winning team I found some really inexpensive Popper Magic games, AKA Trouble. They were at Wal-Mart for only $2.50. The rest of the kids at the party were given a sack of candy and a couple card games.

My mom did an amazing job on Zech's cake. It looks just like the board game! She even made a flag out of the birthday invitation. It says, "Zech's been caught turning 5. He's in TROUBLE!"

trouble game birthday cake

I was so happy that the trick candles worked this time. When we used them on Zech's real birthday not a single one would relight. This time they did it several times and got a good laugh from Zech.

For fun, we made sure to pass out the cake color that matched their team color. It was fun to see everyone match their food so well. We also had the table full of small games for the kids to play while they ate. There was Old Maid, Pick-Up-Sticks, Blink, and Rock-Paper-Scissors.

It was such a fun time spent with friends and family. I don't think there's a thing I would have changed about the entire party. It was the perfect afternoon. I hope it makes a lasting memory for Zechariah. He's five years old now!!


  1. What an incredible idea ... I love the life size game!

    1. It really was SO much fun! I've already gotten a few requests from my friends to make other games life-size. I couldn't believe how well it held all the kid's attention.

  2. I love this!! What a fabulous idea to upsize the game to human size. Do come share it at our linky party at !

  3. So cool! What a fun idea. I love your honesty on how long it took to make.

  4. Hi, Amanda, and greetings from Finland! We have a board game named Kimble, which is exactly the same as Trouble. I'm doing some research on the board game Kimble, and I'm just wondering if I could use your web page "You're In Trouble!" as one example of how the board games can be used as inspiration to something fun :) Is that ok for you?

    BR, Merja Lehtonen
    University of Turku (Pori, Finland)



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