Kids who learn how to play checkers always have something to do on a rainy day. Kids who make their own portable checkerboard have a game to play on car trips or almost anywhere.
Collect bottle caps in opposing colors (you'll need 12 for each side). The caps stack easily, making for  very regal kings. I also like clear glass beads with construction paper glued to the bottom.

What you will need:
A piece of resilient fabric, more than a foot long & wide
Pinking shears
A stamp pad (ink)
Styrofoam to make your stamp
Bottlecaps or buttons - 12 of one color and 12 of another color

How you make it:
Using pinking shears, cut a square of canvas that is about 12 by 12 inches. (The shears protect the edges from fraying and give the board a decorative flare.)
You can use all kinds of materials to make a square stamp that is about 11/2 inches in each dimension. "Supermarket styrofoam" is good, if you can buy something at the market that comes packed in it. An art eraser cut in half works too.
Begin by stamping a single square in the corner of the board, then stamp a second square so that only their corners are touching.
Now continue on until you have  the first two rows.
Repeat, staying neat, until you have eight squares (four stamped, four made of the space between the stamps) along each side of the board.
King me!