Chopsticks are thin pieces of wood, steel or ivory that are used as eating utensils in Asia, much as Americans and Europeans use forks. They can be used for more than eating, however. Games with chopsticks can help kids practice hand-eye coordination and dexterity, as well as give them a skill they can use if they ever travel to Asia as adults. Chopstick games are entertaining for children, so they can have fun while learning and practicing motor skills.
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Chopstick Pickup Relay
This game can be played with one or more children. Each child needs two bowls, placed about 8 feet apart, and a pair of chopsticks. Fill one of the bowls with an object such as marshmallows, pieces of candy or marbles. Some objects will be easier to carry than others. Each child's bowl should contain the same number of items. Using only their chopsticks, the children will carry the items from one bowl to the other. The child that carries all the items first wins the game. This can be played with a single child (with a prize at the end for finishing) or as a team relay. In a relay, divide the children into teams. Each team member takes a turn carrying an item to the empty bowl before handing the chopsticks off to the next player.
Chopstick in the Hole
You need at least two players to play this game. Give each player a single chopstick. Tie a string around the end of the chopstick. For older children, tie the other end of the string around the waist. Younger children can play with the string tied to their wrist. The object of this game is to get the chopstick into a glass bottle (or any other object with a small hole at the top) without using hands. Have the children lean over the bottle and try to lower the chopstick through the hole. The first one to get it in wins. This game works as a relay as well. Choose teams. Time the rounds instead of stopping when the first player succeeds. The team with the most chopsticks in the hole wins.
Pass the Object
Arrange the children in a circle and give them each a pair of chopsticks. This game works best with four or more players. Choose an object such as a marshmallow, a peanut, a walnut, a gummy bear or a marble. Give the item to one child to start the game. The children should pass the item around the circle using their chopsticks. If someone drops the item, he is out. Move the circle in and continue the game until there is only one player left standing.
Chopstick Math Races
Chopstick math is a good learning activity for a single child or for a group. In a group setting, turn the game into a race, where the first person that finishes the activity wins. Give each child a pair of chopsticks and a bowl filled with items. Use a candy that comes in multiple colours, such as gummy bears or M&Ms, or choose a mixture of objects. Fill each bowl with an equal number of items to make the game fair. Give the children a specific task. For example, you may want them to separate the items into groups of five or arrange them by colour. They should perform the task using only their chopsticks.
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