Rocking Noughts and Crosses { Tic Tac Toe DIY }

by Claire Minnaar


Noughts and Crosses is a game we all once played and is possibly one of those games that possibly created any form of competitive spirit we had as kids! You can draw it out and play, you can buy sets in the store OR you can simply create your own! Today, we look at how to make a DIY set of Noughts and Crosses as a fun and interactive craft day with your little one!

You will need:

  • 10 Rocks / Pebbles (ideally smooth surface pebbles)
  • Your choice of surface where your noughts and crosses will be placed on e.g. a Tree Slice, a Tile, a wooden board, an old picture frame, a piece of material, brown paper
  • A permanent marker and ruler or tape
  • Optional: Paint, coloured pens or markers (dependant on your “style” of noughts and crosses”)


  1. First off, clean off the surface as best you can. If you’re using a tile, wipe it down with a good solution. If you’ve opted for an old picture frame, tree slice or piece of material, try ensure it’s clean and dusted off. Put to the side or outside to dry (if applicable).
  2. Now, we start on the pebbles:
  3. Wash the pebbles off in some soapy water and leave to dry out in the sun.
  4. Once dry, decide whether you will be creating a “0” and a “X” or if you are going to be more creative and create 2 different types of colour pebbles e.g. 5 x yellow bugs and 5 x red bugs. This is a fantastic opportunity to get little hands creative.
  5. While pebbles are drying, prep the surface. Create the outlines of the game with either the tape or the permanent marker. You’re wanting to achieve an outline of 9 squares which are made up of the lines crossing over one another. You will be drawing to lines parallel to each other from the top of the source to the bottom and the other 2 will run from left to run (perpendicular to the 2 that run top to bottom).
    • When using a permanent marker, use a ruler to ensure your lines are as straight as possible.
    • If using a tape to create lines, make sure to measure the length you would like to tape to be so you don’t cut it too short / too long.
  6. Once the surface has been completed, grab the pebbles and either make a “0” mark on 5 of the pebbles and the “X” on the other 5 pebbles OR make your pebbles into 2 sets of designs e.g. lady bugs and beetles. Once done, leave for a few minutes to make 100% sure the pebbles and surface are dry.

Now, you’re ready to get your Noughts and Crosses on!

Alternative Ideas

The key aspect to Noughts and Crosses is that you have 2 different teams – Team #1 (Noughts) and Team #2 (Crosses). The instructions above have been with the use of pebbles, but you can really choose anything to create 2 different teams – I have listed some alternative ideas below. As long as you can identify and recognise which item belongs to each team, you’re sorted to play the game!

Whether you’re looking for an alternative surface or team element OR you fancy creating different Noughts and Crosses sets, below are some alternative options for each of the elements mentioned in the steps above.

Alternative Ideas for the Surfaces

  • Piece of cardboard cut-out from an old box
  • Your garden’s lawn
  • Lego
  • Chalkboard
  • A Blanket
  • Piece of felt or material

An alternative to pebbles

  • Buttons
  • Lego Pieces
  • Acorns
  • Corks
  • Marbles
  • Tic Tacs or Jelly Babies (different colours)
  • Fruit e.g. strawberries and grapes
  • Chalk Pieces (if using a chalkboard, then just use the chalk to make your mark)
  • Checkers pieces

Alternative lines / separators

  • Sticks
  • Long pieces of wool / string
  • Twine
  • Ice-cream Sticks
  • Pieces of ribbon

Original images and their credits available on Pinterest

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