Traditional Children's Games in South-East Asia (Interactive Games)

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Traditional Children's Games in South-East Asia (Interactive Games)

Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok. 2011.

ISBN - 978-92-9223-394-5

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The documentation project of children's traditional games was undertaken in five cultural sites in four country partners: Luang Prabang (Lao PDR), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Penang (Malaysia), the Northern region and Bangkok (Thailand).

It was made into an interactive CD with cartoon animation, highly accessible by children and teachers. It is also accompanied by three short documentary films of children's games in Thailand.

About the Project

The Asia-Pacific region has one of the richest repositories of intangible cultural heritage including traditional children's games, the cultural elements that are said inseparable from community life. 

This pilot documentation project of children's games was undertaken in five cultural sites in four South-East Asian countries: Luang Prabang (Lao PDR), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Penang (Malaysia), the Northern region and Bangkok (Thailand). 

The project aims to encourage involvement of experts, scholars and educators in safeguarding traditional games, to reinforce public awareness and to promote information sharing and permit future comparative studies among experts, scholars and educators on the basis of the documentation work of the project.

Game-based Curriculum: Lesson Plans for School Teachers

Games can be incorporated in both teaching and learning. There are many advantages for schools or teachers to adopt game-based pedagogy. The excitement of being able to ‘play’ improves the class atmosphere for learning. Games are generally motivating because children often find them enjoyable. Besides putting play back into the classroom, games help children experientially grasp skills and concepts relevant to their cognitive, affective and psychomotor development.

Schools or teachers interested in integrated curriculum models or sequential learning models should consider adopting games-based pedagogy in their lesson plans. Game-playing is an excellent example of an integrated approach to learning where cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning is activated simultaneously. It is also a good model of the sequential approach to learning, where learning competency at higher levels is dependent on prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.

Skills developed from playing traditional children’s games are compatible with skills targeted in various subjects, especially those at the primary school level.  To help teachers take advantage of the rich repository of traditional children’s games in the region, the project offers a simple game-based curriculum for students of primary schools. The curriculum encourages the use of traditional games from the region as a teaching and learning resource.

For the convenience of teachers, the game-based curriculum is categorized by subject areas taught in school. The curriculum spells out how games can benefit the teaching of concepts and skills relevant to each subject area. A list of games relevant to the subject area is included together with pre-game and post-game activities which serve as warm-up and reflective tools respectively. Teachers may incorporate ideas from the game-based curriculum into formal classroom teaching or use it in co-curricular activities.