There are many games that, in addition to being enduring favorites, also are nearly universal in their distribution around the globe. This leads to many opportunities for cross-cultural lessons. Otedama, a Japanese form of Jacks, uses small rice-filled bags in place of the familiar six-pointed metal stars. This allows for unusual tricks and novel ways of playing. An Otedama set consists of 5 ojami and instructions for play. (We have these for sale.)

Cat's Cradle String Game

Cat's Cradle, and the related string figures, are found around the world in many cultures. Using a simple loop of string figures of great complexity may be formed. Children (and adults!) of all ages are fascinated by this activity. In addition to individual string figures, our workshops include instruction in partner and group figures. (Both individual and group (GIANT!) strings are available for sale.)


Rounders is a bat and ball game based on the siege of a castle. Played since Tudor times, it was referred to in a 1744 book of games by the alternate name of "baseball." It is, indeed, most likely a precursor of our modern game of baseball. The game, as we present it, is a re-creation as it might have been played during the Renaissance. When used in conjunction with a history block on the Renaissance, the game of Rounders helps shed light on the people of this fascinating time period. It emphasizes that who we are today is a result of the past, and that history is more than memorizing dates and events. When brought to a group of children or adults the results are often delightful. (We have an instruction/rules booklet as well as handmade leather Rounders balls available for sale.


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