We have something AMAZING for you today a Royal Game of Ur template. This template is inspired by the Royal Game of Ur. The game was found in the excavations in Eygpt at the cemetery of Ur by archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley sometimes between 1922 to 1934. It is thought that the first board for this game was created in 2,600BC! So this really is a very old game that we can teach our kids. It gives us some wonderful learning opportunities as well; from talking about Ancient Egypt and the traditions around the dead to discussions about the ancient Egyptian gods. It is also brilliant for learning about Maths, as the nets involved help to understand shapes and engineering!
We have divided this post into a couple of different sections for you so that you are clear; making the game, and then playing the game. There are a number of different rules for the game. You can decide which ones you prefer to use with the template. Both the templates are FREE, but we do ask for donations for them if you can manage it; 80%+ of our profits go to charity, so it’d be lovely if you can help us a little if you can.
If you want the templates – here they both are in our shop:
- FLAT template is FREE, with a slightly cheekier suggested donation of £1.50, and
- 3D one is £4.50, with a suggested minimum donation of £2.50.
It is entirely up to you whether you want to donate more to us, just because you are feeling a little kind.
We spend a lot of time on our resources, and it would be lovely if there was a little appreciation of that and so more to our partner charity as a result. But feel free to go with whatever you want and can afford too.
We actually have a board game version of this ourselves that we played in the 1980s as kids. My children LOVE it and this is the game that inspired us to build this template for all of you.
We really hope that you love it as much as we did as children, and our kids do now too. The rules are detailed below, as well as information on how to build the board too.
How to make the Royal Game of Ur inspired board game
We have two versions of this board for you (as linked to above). There is a flat version, which lets you play, with the dice, as well as a net version. The principles of play are the same for both.
- Royal game of Ur template (see the top and end of the article for the two template links for download),
- Glue or double sided sticky tape,
- White card (you can use paper but it probably won’t be study enough if you do, and
- A rules to make folding a little bit easier.
Making the Royal Game of Ur Dice
For both versions of the game, you need to cut out the dice and make them.
- Print out the dice template sheet
- Cut out the first of the dice shapes – you choose which one you want to do first of course
- We choose the black one here – but you can do any of them that you want! Cut out the complete triangular pyramid net. Then cut out all of the other nets, so you have all four ready to make! Though, of course, you can do them one at a time if you prefer…
- Now you need to make the dice – all of them. Bend the tabs of the dice along the lines, you can use a ruler here to make things easier. Add glue to each tab.
- Once you have added the glue to the tabs and folded along the solid line, you need the assemble the net into the die. Told it up together, and push the tabs on to the triangular sides making a pyramid. Be careful not to pinch it too much. Once you have held it in place for a little while – it should be completed.
- You now need to do the same for all of the die. We have four of them – for the game you need three or four depending on the rules that you are playing.
- You are now ready to cut our the playing pieces and make the board.
Making the Royal Game of Ur board
This can be as simple as putting the plat board together. Or a little more complicated to help teach the kids a little about mathematics, problem-solving and construction.
- Cut out the playing pieces from the sheet – there are green and yellow counter for the game
- When you have finished – you should have 9 different coloured tokens in two sets – one set for each player
- Then you can decide if you are going to use the flat board, or be a little more adventurous and use the flat board. If you use the flat board, just cut it out, and clue together using the tab. If you are using the template to build the 3D board, then read on….
- If you decide to do the bigger board, then you will need the template with all the tabs and based on the Maths net. This is what you need – scroll down to the end of the article to download the resource:
- Cut all of the templates out of the white card you have printed them on
- This includes two blank ones of course as well…you can use a guillotine to help, of course, with some of the straight cuts.
- Once you have cut out all the templates….
You can start putting them all together…
- You need to put them together to create the board from the ancient pyramid – it might help to see this, so take a look at the Wikipedia entry for the game for a picture of the board. Essentially though, it is set up with overlying the square with the start and home spaces on with the other side of the board, using the large table we have to put them together. This is obviously the TOP of the oblong net that makes the Royal Game of Ur board.
- The best way to put it together is to score along the lines on the tabs with each of the templates. Alternatively, follow the templates over the lines using a ruler, which can really help to keep the folds straight. Do all the folds before you try and stick the board together, as otherwise, you will struggle to build it.
- After you have finished scoring all the sides for all the templates, you need to put glue on all the tabs, so that you can join the four templates together. Alternatively, you can use double-sided sticky tape. We found that Pritt Stick worked well, but you could use PVA glue as well, or anything you have in the house!
- Start with sticking the blank templates together to form the base of the board
- Once you have done the bottom, you can now put the top and the bottom together carefully, making sure all the tabs have glue on them and assemble the board. Be careful to fold this slowly, and to glue the tabs down to form the oblong shape of the board. If you need to, hold the sides in place for a little until the glue seems to have dried.
As you can see from the last image above, you can also pinch the sides ever so slightly to hold them together, and if you are building from white card, the board keeps its shape.
- The board should now be completed if you have stuck all the tab together, and been patient enough to wait for the sides to stick. Do top up the glue if you need to.
Once completed, alongside the dice and the pieces, you are now ready to play!
How to play the game using the template
There are a lot of different versions of this game, and there are even some free online versions out there too. If you want to know what the rules are, check out the Masters of Games. This gives you an overview of all the copyrighted rules, from the various different games that have been released over the years; including those from a curator of the British Museum.
Our board has been particularly inspired by the R. C. Bell version of the game. With this in mind, you can play the game with the specific squares means specific actions if you land on them…
Landing on this space means that your opponent can enter a piece on the START space on the board.
This is the most annoying of ALL the squares in the game, and we try and avoid it at all costs, but sometimes you just can’t help landing on it!
This is a much more pleasant square to land on.
For this one, YOU get to add a piece to the START square on the board.
A lot nicer when you land on these than our eye based designs….
We present you with the BEST of the squares last.
If you land on this square, then you are able to move the same number of spaces that took you to the square in the first place.
This means that if you landed on the second one of these on the board (there are only two) with a five, you can get your piece home!
For the movement rules, the dice are used, and how many of the dice land with a white point at the top tells you have far forward you have to move, or if you can enter a new piece on to the board.
We hope you agree the dice work rather well, don’t you think?
Depending on the version you are playing, the rules for moving different slightly.
One of the joys of this game is to find the rules that you like best and stick with them.
Once you have decided on the rules, you are ready to play – good luck!
To download this game you need to take a look at the flat template here – it IS FREE; but if you can spare a little we would be grateful as we are a Social Enterprise:
And then full 3D template here:
We do hope that this is something you can have a go at and will help your kids to have LOADS of fun. We do have loads of other wonderful resources on the site of course, so take a look at them too.
If you like our fabulous shop – do check out some of our other products too won’t you – including our editable calendar.
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