Picaria – A Native American Game

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.

Printable copy of   Picaria


  • 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.


3 Responses to Picaria – A Native American Game

  1. Susan Adcox July 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

    I’ve borrowed your picaria image to go with my story about picaria. I’ve given you credit and linked to you in the photo credit. If that’s not okay, please let me know.

    Love your site! Scouters and grandparents have a lot in common.

    • Scouter Mom July 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM #

      Glad you like the site. Yes, as long as you provide credit and a link, feel free to use the image.

  2. anonyous May 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM #


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