Peg Pastimes for Education

  • April 27, 2021
  • Posted by David McCord
Peg Pastimes for Education

Play Peg Pastimes Table-top games are generally appreciated for their positive role in developing interpersonal skills, reasoning and problem-solving, as well as strategic thinking and resource management.

According to Learning with Board Games by Elizabeth Treher:

“Board games are an important tool to provide hands-on and heads-on skill and knowledge development for people of all ages on all subjects. Not only do well-designed games create an engaging atmosphere, they also provide a nonthreatening, playful, yet competitive environment in which to focus on content and reinforce and apply learning. Mistakes are useful and point out what we need to learn. The board itself provides a visual metaphor to help connect information. Game elements, discussions, and problem solving with fellow team members about the content are vehicles for learning.”

Peg Pastimes adds to this the emphasis on world cultures and historical context—a natural for the Social Studies curriculum. The games in the series span over 5,000 years of history and delve into the traditions of peoples around the world. In addition to the game play itself reflecting local society and themes, tracing the history of games reveals relationships between diverse cultures.

For example, the game Alquerques traces its roots back over 1000 years to Persia, was taken by the Moors into Spain in the 12th century, and spread to the courts of Europe over the next few hundred years. As the game evolved through the continent, the game eventually resulted in today’s American Checkers.

Another game called Hyena Chase is a very competitive race game from North Africa, where the threat of marauding Hyenas is quite real, and the metaphor of the player’s mother journeying to the community’s well to wash clothes is a very real aspect of life in many tribal regions even today.

Finally, the archeological record is very vague when it comes to rules for ancient games. The academic quest for the way these games might have been played leads to study of social standards thousands of years old. This quest has been pursued by serious game historians in recent centuries&mdasha detective game in itself of deduction, speculation, and interpretation. Every game—even recent commercial games—unavoidably reflect the societies in which they have been created. Each game in the Peg Pastimes series is a window into another culture, and can be a significant factor in connecting a student of any age to the world both past and present.

For any kind of educational environment—public, private, parochial, or in-home schooling—the Peg Pastimes collection can be a great resource. The games have been curated to represent a wide range of strategy game mechanics and themes, opening new experiences to the players they may never have accessed before.

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” — Diane Ackerman, Author and Educator

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