Gourds by Laurie Banner

Gourd Games

Bean Game

Very easy game!!!! Great for young children

Materials Needed:
1 small bottle gourd with the top cut off and decorate it anyway you like (perhaps with the child's name if it's a gift)
Beans (uncooked please :)

Keep 20 (or so) beans inside the gourd holder for this game. Have your child count out a number of beans, which you both agree on and place them in your hands behind your back. Place some of the beans in each hand and show the player the beans in one of your hands. They have to count the number of beans in that hand and tell you how many beans are in the other. (i.e. If you are using 10 beans and they count 6 in the hand you show them, they will conclude that you have 4 in the other one.) This game can be played with very young and also older children. Once they have mastered all of the possible combinations of that number increase the difficulty by adding beans. This game is also great for older children to play with younger ones!


Gourd Dice Game

Native American's used many natural items to play various dice game which were popular among children and adults.

Materials Needed:
1 small bottle gourd
Scrap gourd pieces (to cut the dice from)
Markers or Paints
Spray Finish

For this game we will create dice using circular pieces cut from gourds.

Simply trace a small circle onto a piece of paper and cut it out to use as a pattern. Then trace around the pattern onto a gourd making at least 5 dice. I would suggest making an extra just incase one gets lost. Cut the pieces out using an exacto knife or dremel tool. Then draw small images on one side of each of the dice using markers or paint and spray with a sealant to protect the drawings. One side of the peice should be blank. Allow sufficient time for the pieces to dry.

To play the game the first player will throw his dice into the air and let them land on the ground. The scoring is as follows.............

* Plain side up = 0 points
* Turtle side up = 1 point
* Bird side up = 2 points
* Snake side up = 3 points
* Arrow side up = 4 points
* Lightning bolt side up = 5 points
*All five dice land design-side up =5 extra bonus points

After each persons turn their points are added until the winner reaches 25 points (or whatever # you decide to play to)

Be sure to add a small piece of paper in the gourd with the scoring instructions on it.

Note: Rather than using Native American symbols, you could customize the dice for a unique gift! You could put football logos on them, different flowers, cartoon characters, or pictures of different gourd shapes and decorate the bottle gourd to match.................

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