Native American ‘Stick Game’

Using the book ‘Math Games & Activities from around the World’  by Claudia Zaslavsky, we decided to make some games of chance.

The first was a Native American game ‘Stick Game’ -

Materials needed: 4 popsicle sticks or tongue depressors, markers, and optional small items for counting

We started by decorating one side only using a different design on each stick. This is the ‘face’ of the stick. DSC04896

To play the game hold all the sticks in one hand, straight out in front of you. DSC04899 Open your hand and let the sticks fall. DSC04901 Now you score: all four showing the same side (face or back) = 5 points / three the same with 1 different = 2 points / split two and two = 1 point

{we changed the scoring to be 3, 2, 1 instead of 5, 2, 1 to make easier for counting up the total at game end for younger children}

Traditionally you would count up the points and take that many toothpicks, beans, etc and add to your tally pile. The player with the greatest amount at the end of the agreed upon number of rounds wins. We didn’t use a tally pile. We used paper and tally marks or wrote down the numerical score and added up at the end of the rounds. We usually played 5 rounds.

This game can also be played alone just for fun, but best with 2 or more. We also played with everyone having their own sticks and dropping in front of themselves all at the same time. Then we had fun deciding round winner.

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