Provide them with resources that show how to make board games!
They're fun to make - and incredibly cool
. (Two important criteria for most kids.)
They can be as simple (inked paper gameboard and cardboard or "found" game pieces) or elaborate (i.e. inlaid wooden boards and hand-painted miniature playing pieces) as one cares to make them. So they're easily doable by any age group. And the "repeated giving" a game provides is always a plus. Especially if the game becomes a family classic.
I have an embroidered fabric Pachesi board with traditional shell "dice" and wooden playing pieces my grandmother made one summer when she was a girl that still gets happily played during family gatherings. It's well over 100 years old and will soon be handed over to a member of the next (4th!) generation. As long as this game is around, Anita Roy will always be present, along with her "children’s children's children," whenever the family sits down to play it.
Note: Best if they make an unusual game. Or one you can't easily buy such as Nine Men's Morris
. There are some truly enjoyable and playable games from the past that aren't easily obtainable in commercial editions. Xiangqi
(or Chinese chess) is a favorite of mine. Just different enough from traditional chess (which I'm not
that great at) to level the playing field. (see below)
Even better yet is encouraging them to invent their own games...
Provenzo's book Favorite Board Games You Can Make and Play
is a good starting point. Many board games, with illustrations and rules, can also be found on Wikipedia.