Fun & Games

Sure, FusionFest is a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds from all around the globe. But that doesn’t mean you’re just a spectator here! At our Fun & Games station, you can join in the playtime rituals of 22 cultures. Bounce a ball, flip a stick or engage an opponent in a board game of skill and strategy. There’s fun and friendship to be had whether you’re young or old.

Afghanistan

Spinning Top Fighting

At least two teams of three to 10 players each

The teams form a circle, with seven coconuts (or bean bags) at the feet of Player One. That player tosses the coconuts one at a time to the player  on her left, who puts them at his own feet. Once all seven are at the feet of Player Two, he has to throw them one at a time to Player Three on his left. Play continues around the circle until all the coconuts are back at the feet of Player One.

Australia

Coconut Shell

At least two teams of three to 10 players each

The teams form a circle, with seven coconuts (or bean bags) at the feet of Player One. That player tosses the coconuts one at a time to the player  on her left, who puts them at his own feet. Once all seven are at the feet of Player Two, he has to throw them one at a time to Player Three on his left. Play continues around the circle until all the coconuts are back at the feet of Player One.

Brazil

Peteca

Two or more players

Players stand in a circle and take turns hitting the peteca (a type of shuttlecock) to one another.

Each player has to hit the peteca upward, using his bare hands. No scoring, no points, just friendly play.

CHINA

Mahjong

Four players

This game of skill and strategy uses 144 tiles decorated with Chinese characters and symbols, plus two dice. Each player starts with 34 tiles, then draws and discards tiles to build specific sets (called a pung, kong and chow) and pairs. Games usually last several rounds; the player with the most points at the end of all the rounds is the winner.

CUBA

Dominos

Two to four players (two teams)

Place all the tiles face down and shuffle them. Each player draws 10 tiles, and the remaining tiles are set aside. Each player plays a tile to match a tile on the board. The turns rotate counterclockwise. A round ends when one player clears all the tiles from his hand, or if no one can make a play. The game ends when a player reaches a specific point threshold: 100, 150 or 200.

EGYPT

Arm Wrestling

Two players

Players lock hands, with their elbows resting on a table. Try to push your opponent’s hand to the table. The player whose hand touches the table loses.

ENGLAND

Hopscotch

One or more players

Draw a traditional hopscotch diagram on the ground. Throw a marker (like a flat stone, a small bean bag, a shell, a button or even a  plastic toy) to land on Square One. Hop through the squares, skipping the one you have your marker on. Pick up the marker on your way back and pass it on to the next player. On your next turn, throw the marker into the next square in the sequence. If you fall, jump outside the lines or miss the correct square, you have to repeat the turn. Whoever reaches the 10th square first wins.

GUINEA

Pebble Toss

Two players.

Each player gets five stones. Throw as many as you can into the bucket that’s placed the same distance from each player. In case of a tie, keep increasing the distance until there’s a winner.

GREECE

Triangle Game

Two players

Stand 10 to 15 feet away from the target, a 3-foot triangle divided into three sections. Throw a stone at the target; depending on which section you hit, you receive 1, 2 or 3 points. (A stone that touches the line between sections receives the lower score.) You may knock an opponent’s stone out of a section. Players take turns, throwing one stone at a time. The first player to 20 points wins.

HAITI

Unity

Gather in a group for a friendly sing-along of songs from the Caribbean nation.

HAWAII

Ulu Maika Stones

Two players

Place two markers 12 inches apart, 20 yards away from you. Take turns rolling a disc through the markers. If you both miss, move the markers apart. If you both make it, move the markers closer together. Keep going  until one player gets it through and one fails.

INDIA

Chess

Two players

The classic strategic board game uses playing pieces of six different types. Each piece can move in a specific way. Players take turns moving their pieces across the board, trying to remove their opponent’s pieces by moving into the same square. The aim of the game is to put the opponent’s king in checkmate, leaving it unable to move in any direction.

IRAQ

Backgammon

Two players 

Each player starts with 15 checkers, distributed across a game board made up of 24 narrow triangles. Throw a pair of dice to determine how many spaces (or “pips”) you can move your checkers. Players take turns until one has moved all of her checkers into final position and off the board.

JAPAN

Bounce The Ball

Two to four players

Bounce the basketball on the ground and spin around in a full circle before it lands. Dribble the ball five times. Take turns, increasing the number of spins with each round. Players who can’t complete the required number of spins (and the five dribbles) fall out. The last remaining player is the winner.

LEBANON

Bargees

Two teams of two players each

Instead of dice, players throw cowry shells. Whether the shelves land face up or face down determines how many spaces you can move your pieces across the board. The first team to get all eight of its pieces into the center of the board wins.

MALAWI

Tossing Stones

Two to five players.

Place the stones in the center of the play area. One player at a time throws one stone in the air. While the stone is in the air, try to pick up another stone from the circle, then catch the stone that’s in the air (with the same hand).

If you were successful, keep going — but now you have to pick up two stones while one stone is in the air. Then do three, and so on. If you drop a stone or fail to pick up the correct amount, the next player gets a turn. At the end of the round, the player with the most stones wins.

MEXICO

Balero

One or more players

The balero is a toy consisting of a stick and a cylinder attached to each other by a string. Throw and flip the cylinder upward to catch it on the stick. Each successful catch is one point. The first player to 3 points wins.

NEW ZEALAND

Poi Rakau

Five to 10 players

The players stand 3 feet apart in a circle, each holding a long stick (vertically). A referee (or one player)  shouts “Maui” for left or “Matou” for right; the players have to release their stick and catch the stick of the player next to them, in the direction the referee called. If it’s too easy, each player takes a step back to widen the circle.

PHILIPPINES

Yo-Yo

One player

This ever-popular toy consists of a pair of joined discs with a deep groove in between them, with an attached string wound around the axle. Flicking your hand makes the yo-yo spin up and down as the string unwinds and rewinds. The skill is to see how many tricks you can do with the yo-yo.

RUSSIA

Fisherman

Four to 10 players

Attach a fish to a string and tie it to your hips. Stand in a square with the other players and try to step on their fish. (You may only use your feet to “trap” the fish.) Pick up the fish once it’s free from the string. The player with the most fish at the end of the round wins.

SCOTLAND

Keepy Uppy

Two or more players

Staying within a marked area, try to keep a soccer ball in the air using only the parts of the body allowed in that game (no arms or hands). The player with the most “keepy uppies” in 30 seconds wins.

SEMINOLE TRIBE 

Ring the Stick

Two players

The game is played with a ring attached to a stick by a string. Using only one hand, flip the ring in the air and onto the stick. The first player to manage it three times wins.