Activity Plan: Games We Play

Grades K to 3 | Physical and Health Education / Social Studies

Big question

What games do kids around the world play?

Activity description

Students will research games played in other cultures/countries and share what they learn with the class.

Grades and curricular area(s)

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Physical and Health Education (PHE)

Big ideas

Physical and Health Education Social Studies
Kindergarten Daily participation in physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity levels benefits all aspects of our well-being. People from diverse cultures and societies share some common experiences and aspects of life.
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3

Curricular competencies

Physical and Health Education Social Studies
Kindergarten Describe factors that influence mental well-being and self-identity Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3


  • Student journals
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Marbles
  • Tape

Videos and Articles: South Asian children’s games (K-3)

Videos: South Asian children’s games (Grade 3)


Title Author Notes
A Morning with Grandpa Sylvia Liu
Finding Om Rashmi Bismark Optional read-aloud video
Go, Grandma, Go! Lynn Plourde
Grandmother School Rina Singh
Grandpa’s Girls Nicola Campbell
When I Was Young in Nunavut Deborah Kigjugalik

Other resources


Download Rules of my Game (.docx)

Step 1

Class discussion:

  • What makes a good game?
  • What games do you like to play?
  • How did you learn to play those games?
  • Do you think kids everywhere play the same games?
  • Do you think your parents/grandparents/ancestors played the same games as you do?

Step 2

Read one of the books suggested in Materials/Resources or another book with a similar message.

Step 3

Discuss (as a class), using the following questions, and capture answers on the board or on chart paper.

  • What did the child in the book learn from their grandparent?
  • What have you learned from your parents/grandparents/caregivers? (Examples: how to make roti, how to jump rope, how to play checkers)

Step 4

As in these stories, games and traditions are often passed down through generations.

Step 1

Show students the video of children playing Kanche (Kanche is also referred to as golli, goti, lakhoti, bahntay – or marbles in English).

Show on a map and discuss where this game is played. Ask students:

  • Are you familiar with this game?
  • Does it look fun?
  • Where can you play this game (inside or outside)?

Show students how to play marbles on pavement. If you would like to play it in the classroom, you can set up the game using masking tape instead of chalk.

Step 2

Ask students to learn a new game to share with the class. Students can:

  • Work with a big buddy from another grade
  • Explore picture books with new games
  • Have a parent/caregiver help with research
  • Find a game that has different names or rules in different countries (such as hopscotch)

Step 3

Have students describe their game in the “Rules of My Game” template.

Step 1

Have students share their learned game with their classmates by:

  • Leading the class in playing the game
  • Creating and showing a drawing of people playing the game, and explaining what’s happening
  • Demonstrating how to play the game with one or more players to explain how it works
  • Showing special equipment used in the game (e.g., cricket bat, field hockey stick)
  • Sharing a book that talks about the game

Step 2

Class discussion:

  • What do you wonder about this game?
  • Is this like a game you already know? How is it the same? How is it different?
  • Who do you think invented this game?

How does this game reflect the culture of the country it came from?


Have students assess themselves or work with you to assess using the sample reflection rubric. You may choose to co-create this rubric with students at the beginning of the activity and discuss what they should be focusing on.

Download sample single-point rubric and reflection (.docx)

With students, explore other games from around the world. For example:

  • Ten Popular Kids' Games from Around the World
  • Teach students a traditional game to include in PHE activities or to use as a ‘brain break’ in class.
  • Invite family members or caregivers to lead the class in playing their childhood game(s).

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