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Poverty-free game collection

In the Poverty-free Game Collection quest children are asked to create a collection of games and leisure activities that can be built using low-cost or unnecessary household items. The goal of this game is first, to carefully make children realize that not everyone are given the same opportunities and reflect on their living standards, and second, to offer the opportunity to take part in games for children with low-income background.


Material needed



Learning objectives


Pen/pensil and pieces of paper (A4 format)

6-12 years old, working in group, indoor or outdoor

> 50 min

Untitled (600 × 100px) (6).png
Untitled (600 × 100px) (7).png

Pedagogical interest 

Becoming aware of differences: Children generally have a strong sense of inequality, however often they don't realize that not anyone can afford the same as they do. Carefully making them aware of their privileges, along with providing them with a practical task/tool to combat inequality, they understand that they can make a difference in society. This activity channels their creativity, while also encouraging them to reflect upon their own living standards. For children from a low-income background, this activity offers the opportunity to fully participate and foster understanding of their situation without singling them out.

Developing creativity using imagination and household materials: Inventing poverty-free games can enhance children's development in different ways:

  • Using household items or even their bodies children get their creativity and imagination to a new level, which contributes to their ingenuity and autonomy.

  • Children's fantasy is stimulated. Children learn to think differently and to adapt to the environment, skills which they can apply in their academic and adult life.

  • Children's creativity is stimulated. Visualizing enables them to think in a solution-oriented way.

  • Children learn that even with minimal resources it is possible to come up with something interesting and fun.


Developing collaboration skills:

  • Since children should work in teams and each member of the team has their own role, they learn to work with their teammates.

  • Working in a team and division of roles provides children with an important experience that will help them in their further academic life and adulthood.

  • Children learn to communicate their ideas properly

Approaching SDGIn the future, it is extremely important for children to be familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals, namely with the fact that poverty is one of the biggest issues of today's society, and to learn how to address it.

Skills, which children learn from inventing poverty-free games are:

  • Creative "out of the box" thinking

  • Spatial awareness

  • Communication & collaboration

  • Problem-solving ability

  • Tolerance and empathy

Game rules

*These rules are for learners between 6 and 12 years old (the target of the Unplugged project). Other rules are available by downloading the material for students aged 13-16.


Game narrative: Apprenons à jouer à des jeux sans utiliser les jouets habituels ! Dans ce jeu, nous utiliserons tout ce qui se trouve autour de nous : chaises, tables, sable, pierres, fleurs et même vos propres jambes et bras.

Game organisation: The game is organized into two or more teams (3 players per team). Let children take turns.

Each team should have one turn and take one card with the role assigned by the teacher (cards must be printed before the game starts):

  • Communicator - the person responsible for communications inside the team (the one that makes sure that each team member communicated their ideas of games*). The communicator is responsible for choosing the final game out of all ideas

  • Problem manager - the person responsible for communications outside the team (the one that should report the problem to the teacher)

  • Writer - one person responsible for writing down and sketching the ideas

*Since all members of the team invent at least one game, each member should present their ideas after the time for inventing it has passed.


Children can use everything that they see around them (chairs, balls, trees, flowers, their own legs and hands etc.), and invent games. The team that comes up with the most interesting in the teacher's opinion game is going to win. The winners can get either the highest scholar grade for this game or a physical remuneration like, for example, a cake.

Role of the teacher and game flow:

  • The teacher explains the rules and forms the teams.

  • The teams/teacher assign(s) roles (communicator, problem manager, writer) and distributes the Role Cards to each team member *it is important to consider kids' desires and abilities (for ex.: a child cannot/doesn’t want to write yet, so s/he could take another role)

  • The teacher announces the start of brainstorming (children begin to express their ideas and act according to the role assigned) * the teacher is supposed to help solve problems emerging in the teams.

  • Children present their games (the teacher asks who wants to go first, second etc.)

  • The teacher distributes pieces of paper where each member of the team can vote for one of the teams they liked except their own team.

  • After 5 minutes teacher gathers the voting cards and counts the votes, then announces the winners.


  • 10 minutes for rules explanation

  • 30 minutes for inventing the games

  • 20 minutes or more to present the games (10 minutes for each team)

submit your work

Poverty-free game collection

Feel free to share you work with the unplugged partners and even with the European teacher's community! This will enable us to follow your achievements and reward you with game materials and other surprises to thank you for your participation in raising children's critical thinking! You rock!

Upload pictures of your creations

Going further

Topic 1 - Children's books about poverty & hunger

Children can become aware of the fact that there are people all over the world who do not have enough resources to live a healthy and active life by reading one of the 18 books written for children about poverty and hunger, which could help them answer their questions and have more empathy, compassion and eager to help people who are less lucky than themselves.

Children can reach out to the site with the books via QR code link (retrieved from:, where they can find books written by authors from different countries and continents and choose from various stories of characters

Topic 2 - Creative Thinking

To explore further how to teach children creative thinking, you may consider referring to other Unplugged quests, such as Pop-up City of the Future, Poverty-free game collection, Fantasy out there!, Form Factor, The Perfect City. Creative thinking starts with creative crafting. Here's a couple of online libraries that provide crafting activities :

Topic 3 - Worldwide known children's games

There are several simple worldwide known games that do not require anything but one's own body and household materials (for example, "hide and seek", "rock, paper, scissors" and "catch-up" games). But also, each nation has its own traditional "unplugged" game, and some of them we can observe following this link:

Topic 4 - Design Sprint Methodology

Find out more about the Design Sprint Methodology here. For the purposes of the quest, we combine the Define and Sketch phases. Consult:

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