Learning Story – Dene Games

What Happened? 

At Bushkids today one of the childrens’ Grandfather, Pippa, came to show us some Dene Games.

We were all in the wall tent. We had a blue tarp placed on the ground for comfort. We started a game where we had one little rock and three sticks. You had to hide the rock in one of your hands and if the other person correctly guessed which hand it was in, they gained a stick. If they were incorrect, they would have to give a stick to the opposite team.

The next game we played was leg wrestling. Two children had to lay on the ground opposite ways from each other then had to swing their legs up and flip the other person over. All the children really seemed to enjoy this game.

Why is this meaningful? 

It seemed like some of the children already knew these games. They may have played them at school or at home. There were a few children who seemed a little bit more competitive than others. Some of the kids wanted to keep trying until they won. The games we played can be considered competitive play because each team tried hard to win. These games are also an example of cooperative play and physical play because the children worked together and were active at the same time. 

Opportunities and Possibilities

Through their play the children will develop physical and mental skills that were originally used by the Dene to prepare for the hunting and fishing season, and to entertain. These activities also allowed the children to use their fine and gross motors skills. Dene games can help the children develop physical skills of dexterity, eye hand coordination, stretching and agility. They also teach children how to have fun, relate to one another, test oneself, and show them how to be a good sport and play fair.