Children playing
Children playing

Role of games in education

A game, a physical or mental activity or contest that is conducted according to rules (structured type of play) with participants in direct opposition to each other for fun or amusement, can serve as an important educational tool. 


Throughout history, games have played a pivotal role in education in many cultures. In Ghana, games play a pivotal role in education, especially at the basic level. Not only are most of these indigenous Ghanaian games excellent sources of entertainment and learning but also serve as good opportunities to exercise.

Yes, through such games the holistic development of the child is assured – “mens sana in corpore sano” to wit a healthy mind in a healthy body. The following are some common games for pupils all over the country.


Ampe is an energy-driven game played by school-age children, especially girls. Typically, the leader and another player jump simultaneously, clap and thrust one foot forward. If the leader and the other player have the same foot forward, the leader scores a point.

Songs are sung by the players following the rhythms of the jumping and clapping. Ampe helps children with coordination, balancing and counting.


Skipping rope or jumping rope is another common game among basic school pupils in Ghana. It involves one or more participants jumping over a rope swung under their feet and over their head(s). it is energy-intensive and a good form of exercise. In recent years though, skipping rope has become very popular among adults, especially sportsmen and athletes.

In Ghanaian schools, pupils skipping rope accompany it with activities that are commensurate with the rhythm such as spelling their names, towns and countries, among others. The songs or activities can be adapted to learn many other things such as rivers in Ghana, mountains, etc.

The skipping rope helps pupils with coordination, balancing and the development of their mental faculties via the associated academic activities.


Ludo is yet another popular game among schoolchildren in Ghana. It can be played by both sexes. It is a strategy board game for two to four players. The players race their four tokens from start to finish according to the rolls of a single die. The game of Ludo helps children with basic mathematical arithmetic (addition and subtraction).


Dame (draught) or international checkers is a popular Ghanaian board game for males. It is played between two opponents. It is exciting and entertaining. It has the potential to boost the memory recall capacity of the players, develop concentration, and improve problem-solving skills, effective strategising skills, logical thinking and reasoning, among others.


Oware is an indigenous Ashanti game. It is an abstract strategy game that involves the use of pit and pebbles by two players. The objective of the game is to capture the most pebbles. It helps in the mental stimulation of the players as it involves strategic thinking and planning and helps in hand-eye coordination via the movement of pebbles.


Scrabble is yet another game that has gained popularity among Ghanaian students in recent times. It is a board-and-tile game in which two to four players compete in forming words with lettered tiles on a 225-square board.

 It is a game that helps students develop and expand their repertoire of vocabulary thereby improving their literacy skills. The game of Scrabble also helps children to learn how to strategise and how to concentrate.


It is evident from the foregoing that games play an important role in educating children. With the advent of the internet, there are many games that children engage in unknown to their parents.

What plausible benefits are they deriving from these games? Parents need to help their children to select games that will not just entertain but also educate them. What games are your children engaged in?

The writer is a teacher.
E-mail: [email protected]

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...