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Cultural games with simple materials

Inspired by the creative games and on one workshop I made 1 month ago, I suggest one idea that has been taking by a teacher/artist in Brazil, Jorge Luiz Hoffmann. He develops toys and games motly with recycled woods. This principle can be adapted to other materials such as plastics, papers, tires, etc. Games like puzzle, chess, Hanoi Tower, domino colors and others can be made through recycled materials, instigating on children creativity, imagination and cognitive skills. The pictures exposed on this section are Jorge's work.

Photo of André Fernandes
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Cultural games have a history alongside humanity history. All around the world, since the most ancient times, games similar to puzzles as other games based on communication and interaction are both playful activities as indicators of cogntive development.

Basing on how I got this idea of cultural games, we can imagine the following scenario:

Jorge is an artist and educator, he writes books, researches and develops educational activities through manual toys and playing games. Through his work at schools and in partnership with local cultural/educational institutions, he publishes books about cultural games and his researches, gives workshops to introduce the games and its ideas to teachers in other cities.

Maria is a teacher at a local public school, who joined the workshop on cultural games to update her daily work with children's education. In addition to the knowledge she acquires, she also spread the idea with other teachers at the school and other schools, as well as to the children in her family.

Fernanda wants some ideas about how to work with children at the NGO, with something they can develop new skills and exercise their imagination. She access to contents online about cultural games to remember even songs she used to sing on her childhood. 

A low-cost and practical source is to publish local cultural games, storytellings and songs on videos and social media. A Facebook page or some similar platform would make possible to share this idea to local educators, parents and other interested to work with children. If possible a blog or website, even better. Important to pay attention that many traditional sings have been taken out of daily life. So this platform would be useful to keep local traditions and introduce them to younger generations.  

How might you work in your country/city/neighbourhood? 

Any suggestions or feedbacks, feel free to comment!

Sources (in portuguese):


A arte de brincar

Garrafa da leitura com o Cei Mário Avancini

Tempo de Brincar

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Adapted with other materials that are normally destinated as trash, it can benefit teachers, schools and NGOs with creative alternatives for children's cognitive development. One interesting aspect of this idea is to involve local traditions and stories to engage children and adults.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Adapting cultural and classic games such as puzzle, domino, chess, etc. with recycled materials.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Teachers, community leaders, parents, artists, everyone with ideas to build games with local materials.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • This idea is meant to inspire. I hope someone else takes it on!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Irene Blas

as I have already put in other posts , I find ideas fusion between the culture of children and materials in this land. If carried out , it is a way to grow with very deep values ​​that can be transmitted from parents to children . as I say is a really simple but deep-rooted in the culture and life values ​​input.

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