Scott Robertson

Picaria Native American Game

By: Posted On: 2012-06-05


(Republished with permission of ScouterMom

I’m still looking for Native American games for next month’s Bear den meeting. I came across Picaria. It looks pretty simple. It seems like a cross between tic-tac-toe and checkers. The board is pictured on the right. A printable version of the board is includes with the instructions, but it is simple enough that the scouts can draw their own. They can even color it or decorate it with Native American symbols.

This game will work well with

  • Bear Elective 24b: Learn, make equipment for, and play two American Indian or other native American games with members of your den. Be able to tell the rules, who won, and what the score was.
  • Tiger Elective 3: With your family, play a card game or board game or put a jigsaw puzzle together.
  • Wolf Elective 10: American Indian Lore (doesn’t specifically fulfill any of the requirements, but could be used as enrichment or gathering activity for a meeting focused on this elective)
  • Indian Lore merit badge requirement 3a: Learn three games played by a group or tribe. Teach and lead one game with a Scout group.


  • Board (printable copy above includes one)
  • Two sets of markers with three in each set. You could use two different colors of stones or two types of dried beans or even checkers


  1. Start with an empty board
  2. Players should decide which color marker each will use and who will go first
  3. Each player takes turns placing one marker on the board until all of the markers have been placed. They cannot place a marker in the very center intersection of the board during this phase of the game.
  4. Next, players take turns moving one piece along a line to a different intersection on the board. During this phase of the game, they can move their markers to the center intersection.
  5. Players win by getting all three markers in a row, either in a straight line or diagonally.

I originally came across this idea on The Little Travelers site, but the rules on that site might be a little different than the traditional rules. But coming up with “house rules” is half the fun of playing games.


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