Do you know ‘Mowgli’ the jungle boy and the ‘Jungle Book’? Do you like the adventures of Mowgli? Well, it is written by Rudyard Kipling. Many of the works of Kipling are meant for children. He has designed many games for them. If you are a Boy Scout or Girl Guide you have all the chances of playing the ‘Kim’s Game’. This is a very popular game with Girl Guides.
What is Kim’s Game?
‘Kim’s Game’ is an exercise used to develop a person’s capacity to observe and remember specific details. The name is derived from Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim. Kim is the story of the orphan son of an Irish soldier in India who grew up among the native boys and was later trained for government intelligence work. The training began by showing Kim a tray of precious stones and gems for a minute’s observation, then covering it, and asking Kim how many stones and what kind they were.
At first Kim could remember only a few, but soon, by practice, he was able not only to say exactly how many, but to describe the stones. Then he practiced with other articles, and ultimately was able to glance to see all sorts of details of items that were of value in tracing and dealing with criminals. It is also called ‘Keep in Mind System’.
Robert Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting, describes the playing of Kim’s Game in his book Scouting Games in detail. He uses the game as a Scouting Activity.
“The Scoutmaster should collect on a tray a number of articles knives, spoons, pencil, pen, stones, book and so on not more than about fifteen for the first few games, and cover the whole over with a cloth. He then makes the others sit round, where they can see the tray, and uncovers it for one minute. Then each of them must make a list on a piece of paper of all the articles he can remember or the Scoutmaster can make a list of the things, with a column of names opposite the list, and let the boys come in turn and whisper to him, and he must mark off each of the things they remember. The one who remembers most wins the game.”
This game is commonly played with young pre-school aged children, as it is great for developing memory, observation skills and can be used for learning new groups of objects, such as shapes or fruits.
Types of Kim’s Game
Basic Kim’s Game
Equipment : A tray with 20 small articles (may or may not be related by theme!), pencil and paper for each person, and a watch or timer.
Game : Uncover the tray and hold each article up, while naming it so that they whole group sees each thing and hears its name separately. Cover the tray after 2 minutes and allow the group 5 minutes to write the names of as many of the 20 objects as they can remember.
Scoring : Award one point for each correct article in the list of the contestants.
Camping Observation Kim’s Game
Fill a small bag or small box with a variety of small man made items, about 30 in number, and a list of the items. At camp, rope off a small area (e.g. square meter) of trees or bush. Hide the items in the bush, attempting to camouflage several of them.
Have the contestants walk around the circle for a set period of time and record the ones they see -- advise them not to point them out until we are all ready to share our answers. Encourage the contestants to change direction, crouch down, etc., to see more items. After everyone has discussed the answers and why some things are harder to find than others, collect your items and store your bag for next camp.
Some items that camouflage very well : green tie, bobby pin, delicate bracelet, plastic animal or bug, matchstick, etc.
Feeling Kim’s Game
This is done much the same way, with textures being the thing guessed. You can use cooked spaghetti, a bag of elastics, macaroni noodles, peeled sectioned oranges, sand, raw diced carrots, etc. In between each feeling there may need to be a place to rinse your hands. Or you could use rubber gloves for each person. Immediately after feeling something they could record their guess, someone could be taking dictation for this!
First Aid Kim’s Game
This game is suitable for contestants aged 9-12. Have on hand about 25-30 items which could have come out of a complete first aid kit. The contestants are divided into teams. Each team has 2 minutes to view the items, then they go off to separate corners and have 5 minutes to, collectively, list as many items as possible. The contestants have to be silent during the viewing.
After each team has had a turn to view the items, they all come together to discuss what they have seen. The contestants are allowed to ask identification for unknown items, and to ask reasons for items that they don’t understand.
Flying Saucer Kim’s Game
Have a bag instead of a tray, with your 20 objects in it. You need two contestants for this. One person takes the article out of the bag and tosses it to the other contestant, who holds it up, names it and puts it in their bag. After all the objects have done their flying saucer act the contestants have 5 minutes to record as many of them as they can.
Hearing Kim’s Game
This version requires some preparation and a tape player. Make a cassette tape of 10 sounds that you would hear. This could be 10 nature sounds, or 10 city sounds, or a mixture of the two. Unlike the above versions, the contestants record what they think they are hearing as they hear them. So, you play your first sound, and the contestants are given 10 seconds to write down what they think it is, then you play the second sound, etc.
Jumping Kim’s Game
Gather together about 10 small items (a coin, a button, a paperclip). Keep them in a small box - a metal Band-Aid box works well. The game then is handy for any occasion or moment when a little activity, but not too much, is needed. Contestants stand in a circle. There has to be an umpire Items from the box are spread on the floor in the centre of the circle. The umpire calls out “Jump!” and everyone jumps and turns to face outside the circle. The umpire removes one item and then calls out “Jump!” again. Players jump and face into the circle. The first to spot the removed object raises her hand and if correct becomes the next “umpire”.
Two good gamesmanship ideas can make this a very good game. As some contestants are better than others at spotting the item removed they may win more than once. When the items become too familiar, the box may be filled with a new set of items.
Mime Kim’s Game
This is a camping game. In the bag have a list, which the contestants can not see of 20 camping related articles. Reach into the bag, and one at a time mime the action of taking out and using 20 articles that you would have a camp, i.e. a flashlight, matches, etc. After you have done all 20 actions the contestants see how many they can remember.
Pass - It Kim’s Game
Each team (of at least 6 players) has a no-see-through bag with a selection of the same objects. Teams stand in a line, starter has bag in hand - end player has another empty bag. One by one the objects are to be passed along the team line and into the bag at the end - including the first bag. Now the team has to write down the objects passed. Don’t tell them about the listing part until after they’ve passed all the objects down the line!
Smelling & Tasting Kim’s Game
10 small bags with wet sponges that have been soaked in vinegar, sugar cane juice, tea, coffee, orange juice, water, ketchup, mustard, etc, are lined up and numbered. The contestants smell the contents of each bag and immediately mark down their conclusion. The bags need to be covered so that the contestants do not get hints by colours, or textures.
This one can also be a tasting game, each contestant tastes with a drop of the liquid put on his/her tongue with a tooth pick. For reasons of health, a tooth pick is only used once and never dipped into a bag a second time. Salted water and sugar water can also be used for the tasting version.
Smells of Camp Kim’s Game
This game is especially useful at a camp with a lot of inexperienced campers as a way of underlining the reasons we:
A - Don’t keep food in out tents;
B - Dispose of garbage / slop pail stuff properly;
C - Store our personal care items outside the tent;
D - Clean and disinfect our cooking areas regularly;
E - Don’t wear perfume/make up at camp.
Number a bunch of opaque cans. Fill each cans with something that has a distinct aroma, but is common at a campsite. Some suggestions include Toothpaste, insect repellent, garlic, cinnamon, vinegar, sunscreen, deodorant, dettol, dishwashing liquid, butter, shampoo, mouthwash etc.
The contestants have to pick up each container, close their eyes, open the lid, smell, close the lid, and then open their eyes. There is definitely the possibility of cheating here. Hence, you can cover their eyes with a strip of soft cloth.
Have the contestants record what they think each smell is and then discuss the answers as a group. Afterwards, discuss the fact that animals have much more sensitive noses than we do and will actually eat through tents to get things that smell appetizing. Then explain how we use the rules listed above to prevent unwanted guests at camp.
Get some opaque cans . Label them with numbers or letters. Select things that will make sound when shaken and fill two containers with each. Have the girls shake the containers and try and locate the pairs. Bonus points if they can guess what makes the sound.
Some sample items you could use include: salt or sugar, rice, coins, a marble, carom board pawns, small stones etc.
Touch Kim’s Game
Cut a waste cloth into small rectangles. Select a variety of small items which do not break easily and won’t spoil. Take a marble, an earring back, a jack, a paper clip, a coin, a pen cap, a small plastic toy, a pebble, an eraser, a small pencil, a die, some string, a birthday candle, a ring, etc. and lace one item on each piece of cloth. Fold the pieces over the items and sew up the three open sides with a sewing machine. Use a permanent marker to number the pieces and develop a master list of answers. Have the contestants try and identify the items through the fabric. This can be put away and used again and again through the years. You could also make a few different sets that are easily kept separate by using different fabric colours for each set.
Kim’s Game with Words
A list of selected words has to be prepared at first. When the list is ready, look at a list for about two minutes. Then look away and write down as many words as you can remember.
“ ~ cracy”
“~ ate ”
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