Pilolo - a game from Ghana

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a traditional children's game played in Ghana


pennies or smallish items, timekeeping device (watch/stopwatch)


Ghana: Pilolo
In rural parts of Ghana, in West Africa, children's choice of toys is quite limited, but they find plenty of ways to have fun.
Players: Six; ages 4 and up
What You'll Need: Sticks and stones, or if that would be confusing for kids when playing in a backyard packed with them, you can use pennies, one for each player.
How to Play: Designate a leader and a timekeeper, and determine a finish line. The leader secretly hides the pennies while the other players have their back turned. The timekeeper waits at the finish line to judge which player is first. When the leader says "Pilolo!" (which means "time to search for") the timekeeper starts the watch and players race to be the first to find a penny and take it across the finish line. The winner is awarded one point. To play again, gather the pennies and designate a new timekeeper and leader. The game is repeated as many times as energy allows; the player with the most points wins.


  • commonwealth
  • Ghana

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