Chinese Chicken

This game dates back at least three centuries in China. It can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults, and involves a fairly good amount of coordination. Like all such games, its funniest when played by people like me, who have limited coordination. It makes a great beach game.

Number of players: 5 – 30.
Ages: 7+, or earlier if participants can hop on one foot.
Space: Playground, gym, or most ideally, the beach.

This game is played with small blocks of wood, bean bags, or as played in China, with shoes. The objects are placed in one or more straight rows of five to fifteen each, with about then inches between them. The players divide into groups of 5-10, and divide up based on the number of lines.

The game is played the same way by each team. While the game can be a competition between different groups, it’s traditional played between individuals. The first player in each group is a “lame chicken,” and hopes on one foot over each object until they reach the end of the line. The player then uses the “lame” foot (the one in the air) to kick the object away from the line, and then picks it up and returns to the line, repeating the process with the other foot until both feet hit the ground.

Only one foot may touch the ground at a time, and can only touch once between each object in the line. The bags can’t be touched, except the one at the end of line which is picked up. The person picking up the bag must do so without using the “lame” foot.

When the “chicken” breaks any of these rules, they turn the play over to the next person in line. The winner is the player that has the most objects at the end of the game.

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