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Games

Agile musings on a kid’s game

Goal: Given some cones, small and big rings – come up with a game that will keep kids from the age of 6 to 10 engaged.

I landed on a kid’s sport festival as a volunteering father and was given the above Goal and 10 to 15 minutes to come up with a game plan.

We had 4 classes with 3 sections each. Totally 12 groups would come to play my game. I had signed up for 12 Sprints!

Sprint 1:

I thought let me bring in three to four actions to the game.

  • Jumping
  • Picking
  • Carrying
  • Throwing

I arranged 6 big rings one after the other, placed 6 small rings inside the big rings and then placed the cones in two rows at the end of the 6th big ring. The game plan was simple (I thought so)

  1. Jump from one big ring to another
  2. After every jump pick up a small ring and carry it
  3. When you reach the sixth big ring, you have 6 small rings with you
  4. Now you throw each small rings at the cone and try to land them as many as possible on the cone

I stood on the side and explained once to the kids on the how game worked. Pretty simple game, right?

First Sprint completed! Whew!

What went right?

  • The game seemed to make sense

What could be improved?

  • Kids walked instead of jumping as the big rings were close to each other
  • Kids had trouble carrying 6 small rings
  • A lot of the kids found it difficult to throw rings on cones even from 10 to 30 cm distance
  • A lot of work is involved collecting small rings, settings cones upright and putting small rings inside big ring for each child
  • It took a lot of time to complete this game and the kids had to finish 12 games in all

Sprint 2:

Improvement:

  • Reduced number of big rings from 6 to 4

What went right?

  • The game did not take too long to complete

What could be improved?

  • Explaining what to do did not seem to work for all kids

Sprint 3:

Improvement:

  • Demonstrated the game by jumping, collecting, carrying and throwing rings

What went right?

  • The kids understood the game and it did not take long to complete

What could be improved?

  • One of the said that game was boring ( I felt offended)

Sprint 4:

Improvement:

  • The Sports teacher walked over to me and looked at my game
    • She recommended two queues to speeden the game
    • She recommended to increase the distance between the big rings
    • She recommended to increase the distance between the last big ring and the cones

I implemented the first two recommendations. The third one, I was not sure as a lot of kids had difficulty getting rings into the cones.

What went right?

  • The game took almost half the time to complete

What could be improved?

  • One of the kids asked if the two queues had to compete

Sprint 5:

I wanted to game to be fun and not necessarily a competition. But what you want for a game is not always what the players want. It became a competition especially with the older kids. Sometimes the competition was between girls and boys.

What went right?

  • An element of competition increased the interest in the game

What could be improved?

  • The two rows of cones started to look boring

Sprint 6:

I arranged the cones in a inverted triangle

What went right?

  • The kids had fun trying the closer one first and getting it
  • They challenged each other to get the farthest cone

What could be improved?

  • Picking up rings after kids was getting tiresome

Sprint 7:

One of the parents suggested asking the kids to pick the rings, set right the cones and place them back on the bigger rings on their way back

We implemented this right away!

What went right?

  • The kids loved playing the game forward and backward setting it up for the next player

What could be improved?

  • Sit back and enjoy!

Sprint 8 to 12:

I tweaked the game here and there over time.

It was great to realise that a simple kid’s game can lead you to agile musings 🙂

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