Native American Basket Game

March 13th, 2014 in Crafts

(psssst…looking for the Tangram instructions? They are here.)

Cameron did a summer camp at the Natural History Museum last year all about Native Americans in Utah. (Abby is signed up to do it this summer, she is thrilled!) Cameron has been talking about it non stop since August! She talks about the dancing, the storyteller, how you basket weave. She was so obsessed with the cactus candy they gave her that I gave it to her for Christmas. They taught her how to play a game like the Native American children love to play. It was just so fun and simple that I decided to make it for the house.


Craft Paint



Basket with handles that has some sort of lip on it. I bought this one at Ikea.


Lets talk about the wood. If you have an old yardstick you could cut up, that would be a good weight and thickness. Those sticks that you stir a paint bucket with are too thin and don’t have enough weight to them. These shims in the package below or the long wood below are the perfect weight and thickness. They are called WOOD LATHS. ¬†Home Depot carries them for under 50 cents a piece and you don’t need more than two.¬†




1. So saw the wood to pieces about this size…


2. Then sand the edges just a bit so the kids don’t get splinters.



How to play the game:

1. Place all the blocks with the painted side down.


2. Decide ahead of time how many flips or shakes or throw in the airs you will give each person in the game. If you are just starting out, maybe 10. When you get really good, 2.

3. The person who starts takes all their turns in a row. After you flip (think taking a pan like fancy chefs do, tossing the pasta in the air, and catching it back in the pan) each time look down and see if you have turned a “pair” over. The pair is the blocks with the matching colors. If some fall on the ground, they don’t count but you can pick them up and put them back in the basket for your next turn. However many matches you make in your set turns of flipping is your score.


4. The other players refill the basket with all of the blocks, and do the same thing!

It is such a simple simple game, but fun! Lots of times the best things are really so simple.


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