Game: Moccasin Game

All, Parks at Home for Kids, Games

Are you experiencing an influx of idle young hands around the house recently? It is a story as old as time itself, and one that the American Indians who have called these lands home for centuries knew just how to deal with.

American Indians played a large variety of games in their day-to-day lives. The purpose of these games varied, but some benefits included increased dexterity, hunting practice, cognitive training and, of course, entertainment. Try out this fun family game and watch the time fly by!

Tune in to Parks@Home each Saturday, where we’ll be sharing different games that were played by American Indian tribes each week. Try all of these fun games with your family!

Moccasin Game

  • Played by: Shawnee (Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania), Iowa (Iowa), Cree (Central Canada), Oglala (South Dakota) & more
  • What You Need: A token or small ball, four moccasins or clean socks
  • How to Play: Players will divide themselves into two teams and sit opposite each other. Four moccasins are to be placed in between both teams. Teams will take turns placing a token or ball under one of the moccasins. The objective is to use sleight of hand and deception to convince the opposing team the object is under a false moccasin. Four points will be awarded to a team if they guess the correct moccasin. If they guess incorrectly, four points will be subtracted. Play as many rounds as necessary or time permits.

What was your sleight of hand strategy? Share your winning photos below!

Information about this game cited from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Will Buelsing
Nature Interpreter, Miami Whitewater Forest