Posted: Jun 04 2014
What better way to peak your child’s interests in learning a new activity than by introducing it as a spy game. Kim’s Game from Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim is a fun activity for all age ranges. As you may recall, Kim, the heroic protagonist, masters certain spy techniques by playing games as part of his training.
This is a great activity for rainy days and saying that it as a spy game will make it even more fun and exciting. It’s a perfect exercise in memory and observation; all good spies need to have excellent recall and attention to detail after all! It can be played anywhere since you can use items that you find around you. We've also included some variations for you. This is one of my Mum's favourite games and we often played this when I was a little girl. I play it with my son now and he loves it, too :)
The traditional game is to gather up to 20 items and display them on a tray. Hold up each item, one at a time, naming it. Or let your child handle each one individually. After a set amount of time (this should relate to the number of items) replace all items on the tray and cover them with a cloth. Ask your child to recall as many items as they can (using a pen and paper to write them down). Allow up to five minutes.
Kim’s Sound Game
A fun variation would be to replace the items with a list of sounds. You can record them yourself or research the internet for some sound effects or look for a smart phone application with different sound effects. These can be anything from a car horn blasting to chirping crickets, as long as they are recognizable. Just as in the original version, you will play the list a few times and have your child recall them on pen and paper.
Kim’s Smell Game
Find some distinct smelling items in your kitchen, like lemon slices, ground coffee, soap, oregano etc. Add small amounts to little bags and number them. If it’s possible, try to keep the original substance from being seen as it might be recognized by sight. Ask your child to guess what the smell’s origin is and after they've smelt each bag get them to write down as many as they can remember.
What to Remember, What to Forget
You can also use this simple game to illustrate the importance of memory and recall, as well as forgetting. Start by discussing the important things in life that are good to remember, you can give a few examples to help them start thinking, like remembering birthdays and brushing our teeth. Ask them to give you examples of important things to remember. The principles of forgetting would be something like forgiving and settling quarrels. You could point out that we are all imperfect and sometimes make mistakes, so forgiving one another is key to nurturing happy relationships.