Catching Seven Pieces

Originally played with small inch-square rice bags, this traditional Chinese game is similar to Jacks and Knucklebones and can be played with either, or even a collection of pebbles, if you don't want to make your own "pieces".

Catching Seven Pieces

Age: Any

You will need:

7 small inch-square bags filled with beans or rice. These are a fun project for kids to make themselves, and they will enjoy playing the game even more when they have their own "pieces" to play with.  Instructions to make the little bags are below.

How to play:

Children sit or stand around a table, of sit on the ground. Take turns to play as follows:

Holds all seven pieces in one hand. Drop them onto the surface, trying to spread them out so that the pieces aren't touching - but don't spread them too far or the game will be difficult!

Pick one of the pieces up and toss it in the air, grabbing another piece from the surface with the same hand before catching the original piece before it falls back to the surface. Still holding two pieces, throw one up in the air, grab another from the table, and catch the air-bound piece again. Continue until you hold all seven in your hand.

Obviously the game gets harder the more pieces you hold in your hand. If at any time one of the pieces falls out of your hand, the air-bound piece falls back onto the surface, or any of the pieces not being grabbed are touched or moved, play passes to the next player.

When you get good at this level, try picking up 2 pieces at once, then 3 pieces, and so on - until you are throwing one piece up into the air and scooping all remaining 6 pieces into your hand before catching that first piece again.