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How the Game is Used


YAN-KOLOBA is a developmental activity that enhances the Multiple Intelligences described by Howard Gardner.

Learning Styles or
Howard Gardner’s characteristics How Yan-koloba develops this intelligence
Mathematical strengths
This child loves to engage in scientific thinking, experiments, testing theories, math and problem solving. He/she enjoys breaking codes, doing puzzles and solving mysteries. Yan-koloba provides problem-solving opportunities within the group.

It also provides age-appropriate puzzles for reinforcement of learned concepts.

Visual/Spatial strengths This child is picture or image oriented and loves to create visual patterns. In fact he/she may need to conceptualize information visually in order to fully understand it. Yan-koloba presents different variations based on patterns players draw before passing the blocks. Players are encouraged to conceptualize and create the variations that suit their particular gatherings. Yan-koloba is a visual illustration of what a cohesive working team looks like.
Bodily/Kinesthetic strengths This child seems to naturally understand the "wisdom of the body" and tends to move around and touch things in order to understand them. He/she enjoys craft activities, athletics, dance, drama and movement. Yan-koloba is a physical activity that fully develops the tactile skills. Players love the feeling of the handcrafted wooden blocks, as well as the handling and solving of the Yan-koloba puzzles. Kinesthetic skills are emphasized as players pass blocks to their neighbors. The body and brain fully participate in this game.
Musical/Rhythmic strengths This child has a strong sensitivity to rhythm and beat most enjoys musical activities and rhythm exercises. Yan-koloba enhances the development of rhythm as players pass blocks to each other simultaneously, rhythmically and continuously. Players sing during the game in order to keep the rhythm.
Naturalist strengths This child learns through observing and absorbing natural patterns, and enjoys sorting and classifying activities, observing nature, caring for pets and nature projects. The Yan-koloba posters and puzzles offer the child the opportunity to observe and play with nature.
Interpersonal strengths This child learns through forming relationships, communicating and negotiating. He/she enjoys discussions, debates, verbal puzzles and team-games. Yan-koloba is a team game in which up to 50 players can participate at the same time. The team is only successful when each player is successful. Players rely on each other for team success. Players negotiate their position in the playing circle, adjust their positions and roles in the team as different variations are introduced.
Intra-personal strengths This child has a strong sense of inner states of being, a strong sense of self and learns through these intuitions. He/she enjoys independent research projects, solitary hobbies and activities, writing, making unique collections and just thinking. Yan-koloba is designed to raise self-esteem as each player’s name is introduced and praised by the entire group. The Yan-koloba posters and puzzles help internalize and reinforce the notions and skills learned during the game. They provide the learners the opportunity to reflect individually and to express these ideas in writing.

Verbal/Linguistic strengths This child loves to read, write and tell stories and enjoys verbal play, storytelling, creative writing, joke telling, and other word-based activities. When asked to describe the posters these players create some of the most unexpected comments and stories that are often subject of entire group discussions.

Yan-koloba creates an environment conducive to learning. This environment is characterized by fun and laughter, character building, diversity and multiculturalism, self-esteem development, and a high degree of concentration.


Players interact with others in a fun and very enjoyable environment. Having fun while learning provides a more meaningful and lasting experience. Learning and fun are rated among the highest reasons why players love the game.
BUILDING CHARACTER Players learn the character traits that are prerequisites to any learning: respect of self and others, responsibility, teamwork, trust, acceptance, collaboration and cooperation.

Players evolve in a diverse environment where anyone can participate, regardless of their age and culture, or their physical or mental abilities. In addition, they are exposed stories and songs used in this African children's game.
LEADERSHIP Participatory leadership is promoted. The leader values each player for her/his contribution, and expresses it publicly, frequently and individually. Leadership is enhanced by self-confidence, responsibility and readiness for new situations.
SELF-ESTEEM Players’ self-esteem is boosted. Each player is praised as each individual’s name is introduced during the game.
CONCENTRATION Because the game involves the simultaneous use of all the learning styles, it requires a high DEGREE OF CONCENTRATION from participants. This concentration will help the learner in many other learning opportunities. Concentration is rated as the most needed skill to play the game.
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