Cover Image
close this book Tools for teaching - A visual aids workshop, and instruction manual for health educators
close this folder Session 1. Introduction to the visual aids workshop
close this folder Handout 1.8.1 Making & using visual aids (Supplementary learning materials)
View the document Introduction
View the document 1. Chalkboard
View the document 2. Charts
View the document 3. Diagrams
View the document 4. Flip charts
View the document 5. Flannelboard
View the document 6. Posters
View the document 7. Comic books
View the document 8. Pamphlets
View the document 9. Flyers
View the document 10. Flexiflans
View the document 11. Games
View the document 12. Puppets
View the document 13. Masks
View the document 14. Slide presentations

11. Games

Learning games are an excellent way to reinforce an educational message in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Games provide a change of pace from more formal presentations and have the advantage of being able to stimulate maximum audience participation. Games require players to think about and use the knowledge they have acquired. Team activities promote cooperation amongst participants.

There are countless games which may be devised or adapted for the purposes of health and nutrition education: card games, board games, guessing games, action games, team games. There are games which may be played with as few as two or three participants, and others that can accomodate 20 or more players.

On the following pages you will find some suggestions for a variety of learning games. Try them out. They are easy and fun to play. Then try to devise some games of your own.



This is a good activity for introducing and explaining the three basic food groups to a community meeting.


To prepare the market game:

1) Draw and color pictures of a wide variety of local foods on separate pieces of heavy paper or poster board. You may want to make duplicates of the most common foods such as rice, fish, chicken, and pork, etc. Be sure you draw more items from each of the three basic food groups than there will be number of players.

2) Glue a piece of sandpaper to the back of each picture.

3) Cut three strips of paper 10 cm. wide and 30 cm. long (4" x 12"). Print the name of a basic food group - energy-building foods (tagapag-bigay ng lakas), body-building foods (tagapag-buo ng katawan), and body-regulating foods (tagapag-saayos ng katawan) on each strip. Glue sandpaper to the backs of the three food group labels.

4) Make a basic food group chart or get one from the Nutrition Center of the Ministry of Health in Manila.


To play the market game:

1) Set up a large flannelboard and randomly display all the food pictures.

2) Tell your audience that the flannelboard represents the market. Invite them to come to the "market", two or three at a time, to select one or two food items that they would like to "buy".

3) After all the participants have "bought" their food, clear the flannelboard of any leftover food pictures.

4) Display the food group labels across the top of the board and briefly discuss the three basic food groups with your audience. Explain about energy foods, body-building foods, and body-regulating foods. Explain why we need to eat foods from all three of these groups in order to keep healthy.

5) Now, ask participants to guess which group their food item belongs to. Ask them to put their food back on the flannelboard under the appropriate label.

6) When all the food has been replaced according to food group, display the basic food group chart. Ask the audience to check their classification with the chart. If they see that their food item has been incorrectly classified, participants should replace it in the proper category.

7) After participants have-replaced their food items under the appropriate label, select two or three volunteers to classify any remaining food pictures that were not "bought" during the first "trip to market".

8) Once again, the audience should be invited to go to the "market". Ask them each to "buy" three foods for their lunch or dinner.

9) When everyone has "bought" their food, participants should take turns telling the group-at-large what they bought and why.


Alternative method:

1) Assign a realistic market value to each of the food items displayed on the flannelboard.

2) Give each participant some play money equivalent to the average daily food budget for that community group.

3) Ask two or three volunteers to act as vendors.

4) Invite participants to go to the "market" and "buy" the food items they will serve to their families for the next three meals.

5) After everyone has been-to the "market", participants should take turns telling the group-at-large what they bought, how much it cost, and how they will prepare the food.



To make the card game:

1) Make a list of 25 local health problems along with a possible solution or method of prevention for each.

2) Cut heavy poster paper into 50 cards 7 cm. x 10 cm. (3" x 4").

3) On 25 cards draw pictures to illustrate the problems. On the other 25 cards, draw pictures to illustrate a solution or preventative measure for the problem. Number each pair of cards from 1 to 25.


Card Game #1 (for 5 players and a facilitator):

1) The facilitator deals 5 solution cards to each player. The problem cards are placed face down on the table.

2) One problem card is turned up. The players search their cards for the solution card to that problem. The player with the appropriate solution card places it face up on the table with the problem card and explains why it is a solution or method of prevention for the problem.

3) Another problem card is turned up and players again search their hands for the solution card. As before, the matching player explains why his/her card is a solution/method of prevention for the problem.

4) Play continues in this manner until one player matches all of his/her solution cards. This player is the winner.


Card Game #2 (for 2 - 6 players):

1) Problem and solution cards are shuffled together, the pack is spread, and players each draw a card to determine the dealer. Highest number wins the deal. In case of a tie, the solution card takes precedence over the problem card.

2) Dealer reshuffles the cards, cuts the deck with the player to his/her left, and deals the cards one at a time in a clockwise direction.

• For 2 - 4 players, deal 7 cards each.

• For 5 - 6 players, deal 5 cards each.


3) The remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center of the table with the top card upturned beside it to denote the discard pile.

4) The object of the game is to match problem and solution cards for points. The winner is the player to first accumulate 300 points. Points are earned (or lost) as follows:

• The first player to pair all the cards in his/her hand 50 points.

• For each problem/solution pair on the table - 15 points.

• For each unmatched solution card remaining in a player's hand - subtract 5 points.

• For each unmatched problem card remaining in a player's hand - subtract 10 points.

5) Each turn always begins with the player drawing a card, either from the stock or from the discard pile. A player may only draw from the discard pile if that card can be immediately matched to a problem or solution card already in the player's hand. The pair is then placed face up on the table and the player must explain why the two cards make a problem/solution pair. If necessary, a player may pick up more than one card from the discard pile provided that the last card picked up is the one to be matched, explained and laid out on the table. Any additional cards that cannot be matched are retained in the player's hand. Every play ends with one card being discarded.

6) Play begins on the dealer's left and proceeds in a clockwise direction.

7) The first player to get rid of all the cards in his/her hand by matching them to the appropriate problem or solution, calls out "Good health!" Points are then tallied for that hand.

• The player who ended the hand by matching all his/her cards automatically gets 50 points for "good health". In addition, s/he gets 15 points for every pair s/he matched on the table.

• Players with cards remaining in their hand must subtract the value of those cards (solution cards - 5 points, problem cards - 10 points) from the total number of points earned by their matched pairs on the table (15 points each).


For example:

• Player A goes out with 4 matched pairs. S/he earns 50 points for "good health" and 15 points for each matched pair: a total of 110 points.

• Player B has 3 matched pairs (15 points each) on the table and 3 solution cards (5 points each) remaining in his/her hand: 45 points less 15 points = 30 points.

• Player C has 3 matched pairs (15 points each) on the table and 1 solution card (5 points) plus 2 problem cards (10 points each) remaining in his/her hand: 45 points less 25 points = 20 points.

• Player D has 2 matched pairs (15 points each) on the table and 3 problem cards (10 points each) plus 1 solution card (5 points) still unmatched in his/her hand: 30 points less 35 points = -5 points.


8) The deal passes to the left and the game proceeds as before. As many hands as are necessary are played until one player accumulates 300 points. This player is declared the winner.



To make Snakes & Ladders:

1) Draw the game board on a stiff piece of poster board 50 cm. (20") square.

• Each of the 100 spaces should be 5 cm. x 5 cm. (2" x 2").

• Follow the example on the next page to number each square.

• Randomly scatter several snakes and several ladders over the board.

• The ends of each ladder should connect a message about good health. Draw a positive message of good health for each ladder.

• The head and tail of each snake connect a visual message about the causes of sickness. Draw a negative message of an unsafe practice for each snake.

The following list describes the messages shown on the sample board. Copy these or write others that may be more appropriate for your audience. Be sure that your pictures make the message clear.


32 - 11:

A dirty yard attracts flies and roaches.

40 - 2:

Too much salt raises blood pressure.

61 - 24:

Flies on the food can cause diarrhea.

73 - 31:

Cigarettes are bad for you.

74 - 8:

Bottle-fed babies may get sick and die.

84 - 55:

Drinking alcohol is bad for you.

91 - 72:

Drinking water from streams and rivers can cause diarrhea.

99 - 15:

Coke and candy rot your teeth.



6 - 37:

Visiting the RHU for prenatal check-ups protects the life of both mother and baby.

10 - 56:

Breast-fed babies are fat and healthy.

21 - 58:

An education prepares you for the future.

44 95:

Brushing teeth gives you a beautiful smile.

49 - 70:

Boiling water makes it safe to drink.

63 - 97:

A well-balanced diet makes you strong.

68 - 94:

Immunization keeps your child healthy.

71 - 93:

A backyard garden provides food for the family.

80 - 100:

Limit the size of your family to the number of children you can comfortably afford to feed and care for.


SNAKES & LADDERS (sample board)


2) Use different color buttons for game markers, or paint pebbles different colors.

You will also need 1 die.

One die


Alternative methods:

1) Draw the game board on a large piece of brown paper. The paper can be taped to a table for play and rolled into a cylinder for storage and transport.

2) Write, rather than draw, your messages. But do draw some pictures here and there to add interest.


To play Snakes & Ladders:

1) Snakes & Ladders may be played by 2 - 6 players. Each player rolls the die. The player with the highest number starts the game. If 2 or more players tie for the highest number, they should roll again to break the tie.

2) Play begins at square 1 marked START. The first player rolls the die and moves his/her marker according to the number shown on the die. A roll of 6 entitles player to throw again for another turn.

3) If the marker stops on the head of a snake, the player must move his/her marker down to the snake's tail. The player must also describe the snake's message to the rest of the group to explain why s/he had to move back. After the message has been interpreted, the player's turn is over. His/her next turn begins from the square at the tail of the snake.

4) Should a player's marker stop at the foot of a ladder, the player may move to the top of the ladder. S/he should also describe the ladder's message to the other players so that everyone knows why s/he was able to move ahead. After the message has been explained, the player's turn is over. His/ her next turn begins from the square at the top of the ladder.

5) Play moves in a clockwise direction. When a player has completed his/her move, the die should be passed to the left.

6) The first player to reach square 100 wins the game. However, the player must roll the exact number needed to land on that square.


Alternative method:

1) Snakes & Ladders may be played by 6 - 8 persons, playing on two teams of 3 - 4 players each. In this case, 2 dice should be used.

2) One member from each team rolls the dice to determine which team will start the play. The team rolling the highest number starts.

3) Play alternates between both teams and players. In other words, if there are two teams, A and B. with 3 players each, play will progress from A1 to B1 to A2 to B2 to A3 to B3 and so on back to A1.

4) The first player rolls the dice and moves his/her marker according to the number shown. Rolling doubles gives the player the option of moving the exact number shown or ½ the total. (For example: a player rolling a double 6 may move either 6 or 12 spaces.)

5) As in the individual play described above, players landing on the head of a snake must slide back down to its tail and explain the message to the other players. Ending a move at the foot of a ladder entitles the player to climb to the top. The ladder's message must be described before the next player rolls the dice.

6) The first team to place all its markers in square 100 wins the game. As above, each player must roll the exact number needed to land in that square. Thus, a player on square 99 can only move to square 100 by rolling a double 1 (see step 4 above).



To make House of Health:

1) Follow the example on the next page to draw the game board on a piece of stiff poster board 25 cm. x 50 cm. (10" x 20"). If you prefer, the game can be drawn on a large piece of brown paper which may be taped to the table during play.

• The game board should include 4 vertical rows with 12 blocks in each row.

• Draw houses in Rows 1 and 4. Color the houses in Row 1 on the right side of the board black. Put bright colored roofs on the houses in Row 4 on the left.

• Rows 2 and 3 show pictures of various causes of, and ways to prevent, sickness. The pictures of sickness are bordered in black. The drawings of good health practices should have bright colored borders.


2) Paint 12 pebbles different colors (or collect 12 different colored buttons). These are the "community member" markers.

3) Leave one pebble unpainted (or use a black button) to represent "sickness".

4) You will also need a pair of dice.

HOUSE OF HEALTH (sample board)


To play House of Health:

1) The game requires 3-13 players, and is more lively with larger numbers. One player elects to play "sickness " while the others play "community members".

2) "Sickness" places his/her marker in the first black square in the bottom left corner of the board (showing a mother crying over her sick child).

3) "Community members" place their markers in the black houses on the right side of the board, one marker per house, starting from the top.

4) The objective of the game is to move all the "community members" from the black houses on the right side of the board to the colored "houses of health" on the left. They must travel along the rows of the board without getting caught by "sickness". When a "community member" marker is in a colored square, it is protected from "sickness", even though the "sickness" marker may land on the same square. However, if a "community member" is caught in a black square at the same time as the "sickness" marker, regardless of who got there first, the "community member" becomes ill and must leave the game board.

5) The game starts with one "community member" throwing the dice and moving one of the markers down along the row of black houses and then up the adjacent picture row. "Community members" may move in one direction only, following the arrows. They work as a team, however, and can move any "community member" marker they choose. Only one marker may be moved for each roll of the dice.

6) The "sickness" player then rolls the dice and may move in either direction, forward or backward along the rows. "Sickness" tries to attack the "community members" by catching them in a black picture square and removing them from the game.

7) The game continues with the "community members" taking turns tossing the dice alternately with "sickness".

8) As players land on a square representing a cause of sickness or a way to prevent sickness, they should explain what they see in the square and how it influences the family's health.

9) The game ends when all the "community members" arrive on the left side of the board or are out of the game. Count the number of pieces that have been attacked by "sickness".



This game is patterned after the game of dominos with foods from each of the three basic food groups being matched instead of dots. The purpose of Nutri-Dominos is to familiarize players with the foods belonging to each food group.


To make Nutri-Dominos:

1) Cut poster board into 40 5 cm. x 10 cm. (2" x 4") pieces.

2) On each card, draw pictures of two different foods that are locally available. Try to balance the foods represented amongst the three basic food groups - body-building foods, body-regulating foods, and energy foods.



3) Prepare a master sheet listing all the foods represented on the dominos in alphabetical order and classify them according to food group.


To play Nutri-Dominos:

Method #1 (for 2 - 4 players, 1 monitor)

1) The monitor should spread all the domino cards on the table, picture side down.

2) Each player randomly selects 5 dominos, being careful not to let the other players see what foods are represented on his/ her cards.

3) The monitor selects one domino to start the game and places it face up on the table.

Placing one domino


4) The player on the monitor's left must match the food group shown on either end of the first card by placing one of his/her dominos next to the matching picture.

Placing the second domino


5) With play proceeding to the left, the next player must match one of his/her dominos to either of the unconnected ends of the domino chain.

Domino chain


For example, s/he may either match KANIN to TINAPAY, or PAKWAN to PETSAY.



6) If a player cannot match food groups from the dominos in his/her hand, s/he must keep drawing from those face-down on the table, one at a time, until s/he is able to do so.

7) Any play may be challenged by the other players if they suspect that food groups have been mismatched. However, the challenge can only be made at the time the active player places his/her domino on the board. In the case of a challenge, the monitor will check the master list. If the challenging player is correct and the dominos have been mismatched, the player who made the error must take back his/her domino and forfeit his/her turn. Play then proceeds immediately to the player who made the successful challenge. If, however, the challenging player is mistaken and the dominos have been correctly matched, the active player may take another turn before the game proceeds further. In the case that two or more players challenge the same move, the monitor will determine which player spoke first and assign the responsibility for the challenge to that individual.

8) The first player to get rid of all his/her domino cards is the winner.


Method #2 (for 2 teams of 3 - 5 players each)

1) Each team will select one member to act as monitor.

2) Each monitor should be given 20 dominos, 19 of which should be dealt out to his/her team members, one at a time. (It does not matter that some players will have one more domino than the others.) The monitor then places the last domino face up in the center of the table.

3) This method of playing Nutri-Dominos is a race so play will begin for both teams at a signal from the facilitator. The player sitting to the left of the team monitor starts the game by matching the food group represented on either end of the starter domino with one of his/her cards.

4) Play proceeds to the left with the second player matching one of his/her cards to either one of the unconnected ends of the domino chain.

5) If a team member is unable to match food groups with any of the domino cards in his/her hand, s/he says "PASS" and the action proceeds automatically to the next player.

6) Since the object of the game is not only to get through first, but also to finish the game with the fewest possible mistakes, teams need to work together. Both the team monitor and nonactive team members should pay attention to the matching player's move. If they think s/he has made a mistake, they should say "ERROR" and give the active player a chance to change his/her domino. When everyone is satisfied that the match is correct, the game proceeds to the next player.

NOTE: Neither the monitor nor the non-active members of the team may help the active player select a domino. They can only inform the active player that they think s/he has made an error. The active player then has the option of retrieving the misplaced domino and allowing the action to proceed to the next player, or s/he may try to match food groups with another domino. If after three tries the player is still unable to match food groups to the team's satisfaction, the next player automatically becomes responsible for making the match and play continues to proceed to the left in the normal manner.

7) When a team has matched all of its dominos, the team monitor should call out "CHECK". The other team must cease play until the facilitator has checked the first team's domino chain against the master list.

8) If the facilitator can find no errors in the food group matches, the first team is declared the winner and the game is over. If, however, the facilitator sees one or more mistakes in the chain, s/he should point them out to the team members without identifying the food groups of the mismatched pictures. When all the errors have been pointed out, the facilitator signals for play to resume.

9) The first team then tries to correct its mistakes before the second team finishes.

NOTE: Teams should remember that it is not enough to simply change one or two mismatched dominos. A mismatch in the center of the chain may require all subsequent pieces to be readjusted.

10) Each team is allowed one CHECK by the facilitator to give them each an opportunity to correct any errors they might have made. Play must cease for both teams while the facilitator does the checking.

11) When a team thinks they have corrected all their mistakes following a CHECK, the team monitor should call out "DONE". Again, the other team must cease playing while the facilitator reviews the first team's corrected domino chain. If all the matches are now correct, the first team is declared the winner and the game is finished.

12) Should the facilitator identify any remaining errors, the second team may resume play until they have had their first CHECK and an opportunity to correct their mistakes. When they consider themselves DONE, the facilitator should review their matches. If there are no errors, team #2 is declared the winner even though team #1 finished first. If the facilitator identifies any mistakes remaining in the second team's corrected domino chain, the team having the fewest number of errors shall be declared the winner.


Example: Master List















gata ng niyog




daing na isda


kamoteng kahoy







halamang buto

dahon ng ampalaya

langis panluto


dahon ng gabi



dahon ng saluyot








karneng baka









laman loob




















taba ng baboy













puso ng saging






talbos ng kamote








This game promotes discussion about, and analysis of, local health traditions and superstitions.


To make Take It or Toss It:

1) Draw and color an open suitcase or trunk on a piece of poster board. Draw and color a trashcan on another piece of poster board.

2) Cut a slot in the open suitcase and a slot in the top of the trashcan.

3) Construct envelopes as shown and glue them to the backs of the posters underneath each slot. Bow the envelope slightly so that it will catch cards fed through the slots.



4) Make a list of local health traditions and superstitions. Make another list of general good health practices.

5) Write each local tradition, superstition, and good health practice on a separate 3" x 5" card. These will be the "baggage" cards.


To play Take It or Toss It:

1) Prop the two posters on a table leaning against the wall, or on two chairs. Shuffle the "baggage" cards and place them in a pile face down near the posters.

2) Explain to participants that "Maria" (or any other name you choose) is moving to a new house. She has lived in her old house all her life and her parents had lived there for a long time before she was even born. The family has accumulated a lot of baggage over the years and now Maria must sort through it all. She only wants to take useful items with her. She needs you to help her decide what to take and what to toss out.

3) Ask for a volunteer to play "Maria" (or facilitator may assume the role).

4) Maria picks up the top "baggage" card and reads it to the group. She then asks the group: "Shall I take this tradition (or practice) with me? Or should I toss it out?"

Participants must decide whether the item is useful or not. When they reach an agreement, they tell Maria to either "TAKE IT" or "TOSS IT" and give their reasons. Maria should feel free to question the group's decision. If this should happen, it is up to the group to convince her that the item is (or is not) useful.

5) This procedure is repeated until all the "baggage" cards have been sorted through.

NOTE: Volunteers can take turns role-playing "Maria" by switching places every two or three items.



Food Swap is an action game which may be played with a large number of people. It is a good way to help a community group get acquainted, have fun, and learn something about nutrition in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.


To prepare the Food Swap game:

1) Draw and color pictures of a wide variety of local foods on separate pieces of paper approximately 15 cm. (6") square.

2) Arrange chairs in a closed circle. There should be one less chair than the number of players.


To play Food Swap:

1) Ask each person to select a drawing and tape or pin it to the front of his/her shirt.

2) Select a volunteer to act as leader.

3) All the players sit in a circle while the leader stands in the center and calls out the instructions.

4) The players with the foods mentioned in the instructions swap places.

5) While the players are trading places, the leader tries to find a seat.

6) The person left standing in the middle becomes the leader and calls out the next instruction.

Sample Instructions

All body-building foods swap places

All energy foods swap places.

All body-regulating foods swap places.

Fruits and vegetables swap places.

All proteins swap places.

Green, leafy vegetables swap places.

Food swap



Although NUTRITION 20 QUESTIONS does not require any supporting visual aids, it is a good way for people to become familiar with the basic food groups to which local foods belong. NUTRITION 20 QUESTIONS can be played with large or small groups of participants.



1) Have participants sit in a closed circle.

2) Establish two teams (for scoring purposes) by counting off around the circle, 1-2-1-2, until all participants have been assigned a number. If there are an uneven number of players, facilitator can join the game so that each team has an equal number.

3) Regardless of whether the facilitator is in the game or not. s/he should begin the play by stating that s/he is thinking of a particular food item, identifying the food group to which it belongs and describing its color. For example, s/he might say-: "I'm thinking of a body-regulating food that is primarily green and red."

4) Participants take turns asking questions about the food that can be answered by either YES or NO, e.g. "Do we usually cook this food?" "Is it larger than a basketball?" "Is this a seasonal food?"

Questioning proceeds in an orderly fashion around the circle in a clockwise direction, alternating between members of Team #1 and Team #2. Each participant may ask only one question per turn.

5) When enough information has been elicited to convince a participant that s/he knows what the food item is, s/he may specifically ask if it is that item: "Is it a watermelon?"

If the answer is YES, that player's team earns 5 points. The participant who guessed the food item correctly becomes the leader and "thinks" of a food, describing it to the rest of the players by food group and color. Questioning continues where it left off, proceeding in a clockwise direction so that all the players have a chance to ask a question and so that each team has an equal number of question opportunities.

6) Players, however, should be cautious about making "wild" guesses as to the identity of the food item. An incorrect guess resulting in a NO answer costs the player's team 2 points. Thus, if Teams #1 and #2 each have earned 5 points for correct identification during the first two rounds of the game, and a player from Team #1 makes a wrong guess on round 3, Team #1 loses 2 points and the score becomes Team #1: 3 points, Team #2: 5 points.

7) Only 20 questions may be asked about any one food item. If the food item remains unidentified after all 20 questions have been used, the leader's team is awarded 3 points. The opportunity to be leader and "think" of a food item passes one person to the left.

8) The facilitator (or a volunteer) should keep a score tally on the chalkboard. The first team to accumulate 20 points wins the game.