Staff at the Hunters Hill Respite Care Centre thought that some of their elderly clients would enjoy a game of Scrabble during their visits to the centre, but an ordinary set was too small for them to see and play with. Over the years TAD volunteers had produced enlarged versions of other board games so they took on the job.
The first board, made by volunteer Norm Evans, was such a success that the staff asked TAD for a second board, which was made by Deborah Jones. “Nobody was particularly keen at first,” said support worker Anne Van Ash. “But one group started to play and enjoyed it, so another group wanted to.”
Norm Evans’ board has a base made of 3mm hardboard which is hinged to fold in half. To this he glued a colour copy of a commercial Scrabble board, enlarged by 50%, made at a photocopying centre.
To make the tiles, Norm cut white plastic into squares which are a comfortable size to handle and carefully hand-painted the letters and values onto each piece. He then got out his router and made four timber racks which hold the enlarged tiles at the correct angle.
Deborah Jones, who made the second set, is an unusual TAD volunteer as she is only 24 and female. Her work with TAD was part of the industrial training segment of the Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Master of Biomedical Engineering degrees for which she was studying.
Deborah designed and made a folding Scrabble board which has a fabric bag for storage. For the base she used a 64cm square piece of heavy cardboard, which she painted black and also covered with an enlarged colour photocopy of a board. She used bookbinding tape for the spine of the board.
For the tiles, Deborah used 3cm squares of balsa wood, which she painted cream. Using her computer, she scanned and enlarged the letters and their values and glued them to the tiles. She then finished each of the 100 tiles with a coat of lacquer.
To make the racks, Deborah used a piece of PVC right angle which she cut into strips, and then glued a section at each end. The tiles and racks also have their own bag.
Staff and residents are delighted with both their Scrabble boards.