Activity Idea: Simple Strategy Game PLUS Sample Program Schedule

I’m always looking for  new activities and games to play with youth, and especially for ones that will make them stretch their logical thinking muscles and expose them to new ideas or cultures. Today’s find from Multicultural Kids Blogs does ALL of those!

Pong Hau K’i is a simple board game from China, and can be played using supplies that you already have at your Club. All you need is a piece of paper, a marker and ruler to draw the board, and four playing pieces- checkers would work PERFECTLY.

You can find the instructions as well as a video on how to play via the link below. And because we know I’m always looking for a way to work in a read-aloud book, I’m also posting a link to a list of some wonderful Chinese folktales. I especially love Lon Po Po and The Seven Chinese Brothers. These are all common picture books that should be easily available in your local library, or would make great additions to your Club library.

So how could you plan a programming block around this activity? Here’s a sample breakdown:

  • Welcome youth to the program area! Start by playing a name game like the Alliteration Game from the YD Toolbox. (Find name games in Quick Tools- Community Builders!)
  • Introduce the activity by explaining that today, you will be playing a game that comes from China. If you can, show where China is on a map or a globe.
  • Read a Chinese folktale aloud. Be sure to ask reflection questions afterward, based on the content. Some general questions could include what youth liked about the story, how did the characters solve the problem, how did the characters feel, etc. Many of the stories in the link are versions of other tales they may be familiar with, find out if they make the connection!
  • Use a grouping strategy such as Fold the Line from the YD Toolbox to get youth into groups of two. (Find groupers in Quick Tools!)
  • Explain the rules of the Pong Hau K’i. If you are playing with older youth, guide them in creating their own boards. Younger youth may need pre-made boards or more assistance. Then model how to play the game.
  • Play several rounds. Have youth switch partners after a few minutes of game play. Depending on your program time, have them switch several times.
  • Gather the youth back together for a reflection. Ask youth what they enjoyed about the game, and what they would change. Ask older youth if they developed a strategy. If time permits, give youth a chance to see if they can create a variation of the game with more tokens, or plan to do this another time.
  • Thank youth for playing and spending time in your program area today, and give high-fives as they move onto the next rotation!

That sounds like a plan! This activity could be run in many areas of the Club, with a variety of age groups. Find all of the instructions and list of read-alouds below, and be sure to subscribe to the Club Experience Blog at the bottom of this page so that you never miss a post!

What are your favorite activities? Comment below or email your best ideas to to share with the Movement!


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