Run for the Cup!


Head for Australia to stage your own Melbourne Cup! Make thoroughbred fun with a racing board game.


1. What’s the Melbourne Cup? Although they may live thousands of miles from Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, Australians enjoy the annual Melbourne Cup horserace on the first Tuesday in November. The race is 3200 metres (1.9 miles long), so every second counts and every move is important. Horses "jockey" for a position close to the inside. Why do you suppose this makes a difference? Try running in a circle with classmates to find out. Keep this idea in mind as your small group designs a board game.

2. Create horses and jockeys. Form Crayola Dough or Model Magic® into miniature thoroughbred horses. Sculpt jockeys on their backs. Air-dry them.

3. Build a racetrack. Cut a large circle gameboard from light cardboard with Crayola Scissors. Cut out an inside ring. Save it for the game spinner. Think about the rules and method of play for your game. With Crayola Twistables® and Markers, draw your racetrack with a starting gate, finish line, and instructions on different spaces. Figure out a way for game pieces to move from the outside track to the inside track.

4. Make a spinner. Use Twistables to divide the cardboard circle into pie-shaped wedges. Write numbers or directions in each wedge. Cut a straight edge at the end of each wedge so that the circle will land flat. Poke a Crayola Erasable Colored Pencil through the center of the circle and twist for each turn. "The horses are on the track!"

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Learn more about Australia and why this race is such a big event. What horse races are big in your country? Why?
  • As a group, come up with a list of words and expressions associated with racetracks that we use in everyday: "inside track," "jockeying for position," and "photo finish." Study the definitions and meanings as well as their roots.
  • Older students study the statistical system used to establish odds for horses to win. Design your own statistical odds for different things and events.
  • Assessment: Students demonstrate how their games are played, including showing how horses can change lanes during the race.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Erasable Colored Pencils
  • Markers
  • Crayola® Dough
  • Twistables®
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • cardboard



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students gather information about the Melbourne Cup horse race in Australia. 

  • Students study the geometry and physics behind the design of a racetrack.

  • Students work in small groups to problem solve and design their own board games using their findings about racetracks.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards