A Native American Game

When we were reading the book, The Courage of Sarah Noble, we read a chapter that talked about the Native American children playing (I’ll leave it at that as to not spoil the book for anyone). As we were doing our discussion for that days reading we talked about what type of games the children may have been playing. Afterwards, we decided to learn a new game that perhaps they may have played. ** Now to be completely transparent this is a Native American themed game, I do not know if this is an authentic game they played. **

The first thing you will need to do is get 6 popsicle sticks. Distribute them to the kids. Have them color 1 side of each of the popsicle sticks they were given. I printed a paper that had a bunch of Native American hieroglyphics on them and what they mean, some kids chose to color their own designs and some chose to put little “stories” on their stick using the hieroglyphics. You will also need to have some sort of tokens to be playing for. We used beans, you could also use corn kernels, candy, pennies, whatever you want. How many you are playing with will also depend on how long you want the game to last. We did a pile of 20. Keep them off to the side as you start the game.

Now to play the game! Gather all the sticks from everyone. The child going first will drop all of them at once. Now you have to read the sticks….

If 3 of the colored sides are up and 3 are facing down, you get to pull ONE bean from the pile.

If all of the plain sides are showing/facing up you get TWO beans from the pile.

If all of the colored sides are facing up you get THREE beans from the pile.

Any other combination means you don’t get any beans and it moves to the next player. You keep taking turns until all the beans are distributed OR you can keep playing and start taking beans from another player once the jackpot pile is gone until 1 player has ALL of the beans.

This is also a great game if it’s a rainy day and you want the kids to take a break from technology but don’t want the mess of a board game.

Our cute 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.


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