Games are a perfect tool for getting kids excited by cultures

For this event, you will need to choose three to five games from other cultures for the guests to play. When you introduce each game be sure to mention where the game originated, and ask the kids what they know and/or think about the country.

Here are five of my favorite games.

Chinese Jump Rope, which actually did originate in ancient China. In it, two children attach long elasticized ropes or rubber bands to their ankles, while other children jump the ropes in a complicated sequence of patterns. Here is a great link explaining how to play.

Cat’s Cradle, which may also have originated in China, but folk versions of it are found in many cultures. Different cultures have different names for the game. For the event, simply help the kids make loops of string, and be ready to teach them some of the basic tricks. Maybe even have them compete to see who can trade the string back and forth the longest. Here is a nice website explaining the game.

Haka moa, or a standing chicken fight, is an ancient Hawaiian game similar to arm wrestling. Two players hold their left leg with their left arm, grasp their opponent’s right arm, and try to wrestle one another out of a circle. Here is a wonderful website explaining the game’s history.

Kongki Noli, is a traditional Korean game similar to the American “jacks.” Player scatters five small stones on the ground, then picks one up and tosses it in the air and quickly tries to pick up another stone in time to catch the one just thrown. Now the player holds two stones; throws one of the stones up in the air, and picks up a third. This goes on until the player holds all the stones. In the second round, the player picks up two stones per throw. In the third round, the player picks up three stones per throw; four in the fourth, and five in the fifth round. For the game’s last round, the player tosses all the stones in the air and tries to catch them on the back of his or her hand, tosses them up again and tries to catch them in the palm of his or her hand. The number caught is that player’s score. It is the next player’s turn whenever the thrower misses a round.

Catch the Dragon’s Tail, from China. This is a great game for a large group. The players form a human chain by standing in a line and placing their hands on the shoulders of the player directly in front. The child at the very front is the dragon’s head and the very last child is the dragon’s tail. The goal is for the dragon’s head to tag the dragon’s tail; the kids in the body of the dragon try to protect the tail while keeping the dragon together. When the head catches the tail that player becomes the new tail and a new player is chosen to be the head.

During the Game Competition, follow the basic event format. Have everyone introduce him or herself, and say something about where their family originated. Talk about the games they will be learning and the cultures they represent. Play the Games. Give out Accolades. Ask people why they think all cultures have games. Which games were their favorites? Finally, tell them briefly about Global Passport, and invite them to become members so they can attend more events. Point out the recruitment table and thank them for coming. Food at events is optional, but loved by all.

Always keep in mind our Global Passport Goal, making friends and celebrating diversity.

Here are a few other websites to inspire you with international game ideas.

10 fun Games from Around the World

Games from Around the World

Around the World in 80 Games
This site just gives the names of some unusual games without directions.

International Games

Tangrams

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