Growing up, Kayla Erps and her younger sister Amanda loved drawing on sidewalks.


“A couple weeks ago I purchased an 80-piece chalk kit at the store hoping to create something fun during the quarantine. I had recently played the game Monopoly and thought we could transform the neighborhood into a life-sized game board,” Erps said.


Today, Erps is currently a third-year dental student at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry while her sister is finishing up an Art Education Degree at the University of Northern Iowa. Their younger brother, Connor, has also spent the past two years playing college baseball at Iowa Central. He plans to transfer to Iowa State University to continue his education with the hopes of one day becoming a CPA.


Now, with the siblings quarantining together due to the impact of COVID-19, Erps and her family decided to get creative on how to turn their neighborhood into the perfect life-sized game board.


“It took Amanda and I nearly 30 minutes to decide the layout of the game. Our neighborhood is not a perfect square, so we had to get creative,” Erps said. “We finally mapped out the game and began drawing. We are both very detail-oriented, so we divided and conquered, each drawing a quarter of the board at a time.”


The two sisters began drawing the Monopoly game board around 3 p.m. on Sunday April 19, not making it to the last quarter of the game until around 6:30 p.m. They, then, recruited other family members to help out, finally finishing around 7:30 that same evening.


“We recruited our brother, Connor, to help us wrap up before sunset. My mom prepared dinner, so my dad came out to let us know it was time to eat. Little did he know he would get roped into drawing a couple squares just to help us finish,” Erps said.


From start to finish the game board included around 36 squares that followed the original Monopoly game as best as the siblings could. The Erps’ also used arrows to indicate when players would need to cross the street. Erps said that while creating the game, many people would walk by and comment that they couldn’t wait to come back and see the finished product.


Unfortunately, the game has since washed away due to rain that came through but not before Erps and her siblings were able to play Monopoly with some of the neighborhood children, all while social distancing. The siblings are now working on brainstorming other things they can do once sunny skies return to the upcoming forecast.


“It was great to see people from outside the neighborhood enjoying the game,” Erps said. “One neighbor came over and suggested we submit photos to the news to shed light on how fun our neighborhood is. We live in a neighborhood that has many children and were happy to bring them some entertainment for a few days. It was a lot of fun to see kids and families come over to check it out.”