Game of Life
Here are the two versions I picked up off this list. We did a variation of both versions. To make it so everyone played and it didn’t take all night we broke the kids up into 6 teams (we ended up with 4 or 5 to a team. We had 6 starting places on the floor. Each team went at their own pace doing what was on the square they landed on. There was no competition between teams. It would have taken too long to have each team take a turn and the kids would have become bored.
We used many of the ideas listed but used our own as well. The game as outlined below was too sophisticated for us to pull off so it was reduced and modified. Even our modified version went over really well and the kids commented it was one of the best activities that we’ve had.
The bottom line was it didn’t matter at the end how much money they had. Only blessings counted (of course we didn’t tell them that) and if they didn’t have enough they were sent back to a designated square on the board to keep going until they did have enough blessings to enter the Celestial Kingdom
Unfortunately I didn’t keep the headers on these so I can’t give the submitters their due credit but I’m sure they can be found in the archives if you need it.
Instructions for the Game of Life!
* You will need several leaders to be involved in passing out blessings, babies, M for marriages, Bishops, newspapers, pizzas, etc!
THE BOARD PIECES. These pieces were printed by my computer onto 8 1/2 x11 white paper with a cute border and the DJ Doodlers font. I took them to a copy place and had them copied onto card stock as follows.
Game Board Square/ No. of Blessings/ Number of Pieces Copied Color
Start Here /1 White
Read New Era/ 50 blessings /2 Orange
Civil Marriage /-300 blessings /6 Red
Married in the Temple /300 blessings/8 White (Be sure to place the marriage spots before the baby ones on the floor! We taped a big M on their backs when they got married)
School Dance /0 blessings /2 Blue
Attended Scout or Rough Camp /50 blessings /2 Orange
If You Are Married, You Just Had A Baby!/100 blessings /5 Pink —If not married, no baby no blessings
If You Are Married, You Just Had Twins!/ 200 blessings. /4 Pink —If not married, no baby, no blessings (When they got babies, we gave them a baby that was printed on cardstock, cut out and stuck on a popsicle stick.)
Bishop’s Messenger /50 blessings. /4 Yellow
They had to go to the designated Bishop (if he wasn’t there) and do whatever he said.
Shopped on Sunday! /-100 blessings/2 Red
Fitness Evaluation for P.E./ 0 blessings /6 Yellow
You have 1 minute to run around the board Collect Fast Offerings! /50 blessings /5 Yellow
You have 1 minute to collect 50 blessings from each ward member! (They collect from each person there, and keep them! It’s just a game…:)
Paid Your Tithing /200 blessings /2 Purple
Got Your Driver’s License /0 blessings /2 Blue
Visited Someone Sick /50 blessings/3 Orange
Forgot Your Scriptures for Class!/ -200 blessings (You’ll Learn!)/ 2 Red
Say No to Drugs!/ 200 blessings /2 Purple
Science Project Due /0 blessings/2 Blue
Earned Eagle Scout or YW Recognition Award /300 blessings //6 White
You’re In the Bishop’s Office! /50 blessings /5 Red
(We taped a cut out graphic of a man at a desk onto the player’s back)
Read the Ensign /50 blessings/2 Orange
Recite the Scout Motto or YW Theme /100 blessings!/3 Green
Try out for Basketball and shoot 1 basket!/ 0 blessings/2 Blue (Need to have a basketball for this one)
Broke the Word of Wisdom!/ -100 blessings /4 Red
Go back 5 spaces to the Bishop’s Office! Don’t collect 50 blessings! (Be sure and place this board piece on the floor 5 spaces after the You’re In the Bishop’s Office piece.)
Paper Route!/ 50 blessings /4 Yellow
You have 1 minute to deliver papers to your ward members (We had folded up newspapers to deliver. A leader collected them a few minutes later.)
Swore at a Church Basketball Game!/ -200 blessings /2 Red
History Exam /0 blessings/2 Blue
Spoke in Church /50 blessings /2 Orange
Sluffed School/ -100 blessings/2 Red
Completed Personal Progress Experience /100 blessings/2 Green or Merit Badge
Secretly Shoveled Snow for a Neighbor/ 0 blessings /2 Blue (You’ll be Blessed in the Next Life!)
Pizza Delivery!/ 50 blessings /4 Yellow —You have 1 minute to deliver pizzas to your ward members! (We printed several colored graphics of a pizza on card stock and cut them out. About 8 inches across.)
Sluffed Church! /-100 blessings/2 Red
Watched General Conference /100 blessings/2 Green
Basketball game /0 /2 Blue
Missed Mutual /-50 blessings /2 Purple
Read Your Scriptures /200 blessings /2 Purple
Bought a New Car/ 0 blessings /2 Blue
Turned Down a Party /50 blessings /2 Orange
Service Project /0 blessings/2 Blue –You’ll be blessed in the next life!
Watched an R-Rated Movie!/ -200 blessings /2 Red
English Final/ 0 blessings /2 Blue
Bore Your Testimony /200 blessings /2 Purple
Football Game/ 0 blessings /2 Blue
Read an Inappropriate Book/ -50 blessings /2 Red
Attended Your Church Meetings /50 blessings /2 Orange
Served A Mission /300 blessings/ 2 Pink
Didn’t Bear Your Testimony/ -200 blessings /2 Red
Cash In Your Blessings For Your Eternal Reward! (Last board piece in game)
The pieces are taped onto the gym floor, kind of like “following the yellow brick road.” Meaning, about a footstep apart from each other. We wound the game board all over the floor, kind of S shaped. We placed board pieces randomly, except where there had to be specific placement as noted above (i.e. go back 5 spaces to the Bishop’s Office.) Obviously Start Here is first, and Cash In Your Blessings.. is last. All the others are just
THE PLAYERS HAD TO WALK BESIDE THE GAME PIECES, NOT ON THEM. We told them in advance that each time the stepped on a game board piece, they lost 50
We made “blessings” on the computer, too. About 100 each: denominations of 50, 100, 200, 300. The words were typed into a graphic of a cloud and all were cut out! (Thank goodness for counselors!) Each player began the game with 300 blessings, 50s and 100s, because sometimes they have to give YOU blessings if they land on specific pieces.
PLAYING THE GAME
The players lined up in single file, the first person rolled the big fuzzy dice onto the floor, and walked that many spaces BESIDE the board. Then they did whatever the board piece told them to do! We kind of kept people together in groups with one set of dice, meaning the first 3-4 people would like take a turn using the dice and take their turn, then another leader helped a second group of 3-4 with another set of dice, etc.
LANDING ON BOARD PIECES
Marriage: If they landed on a marriage, they got a huge M taped onto their backs so we could tell who got babies when they landed on the baby squares.
Babies: We gave them a “baby on a popsicle stick.” It was a CorelDraw graphic printed on white card stock, cut out, and glued to a popsicle stick. We had to make several of these cuz many got twins, and we always ran out!! We announced at the end of the game who had the most children.
Pizzas: We printed a CorelDraw graphic of a pizza onto brown card stock and cut it out (about 30 of them. Depends on the size of your ward.) The player had to quickly deliver a pizza to everyone when they landed on that square. Either a leader retrieve them afterwards or the next person to land on the pizza square picked them up instead of delivering them.
Newspapers: Same as pizza above, but with folded newspapers.
Bishops: We didn’t want the kids to think going to the Bishop’s office was a bad thing, so they got points for being “brave” enough to go for whatever it would be! (Except for the breaking of the word of wisdom square.)
0 blessing squares: Some squares we didn’t give blessings for because they were for things that youth just do, and don’t really have to really make a choice about. Somebody did question why we didn’t support “civil” activities by giving no blessings for them. Something to think about.
TALLYING THE BLESSINGS:
Since the players got or gave up blessings as they landed on each square, all we did was tally points at the end, and write them down, along with how many babies each player had. Then we made the kids all sit down on the floor while we announced who went to each “Kingdom.”
At first we just broke down the kingdoms and they were the same for each ward we went to.
BLESSINGS KINGDOM REWARD
1001 + Celestial Kingdom Snickers mini-bites
600-1000 Terrestrial Kingdom Reeses mini-bites
0-500 points Telestial Kingdom Smarties
Minus points Outer Darkness Nothing.
They had to watch everyone else eat their candy!
BUT THEN, as we went from ward to ward, the points were distributed so differently! So then we just looked at the overall scores and divided the kingdoms however we wanted just to make the game more fun. The kids loved it.
At the end of the game we stressed to the players that real life is not just a roll of the dice like this game. The kingdom they will be in will be based on decisions they make in this life, so think carefully about the choices you make!
The game of life should be played by teams, or ‘families’. Each family has a maximum of 5 youth. Each family has their own adult advisor who travels thru the game with them as an observer, referee, and scorekeeper. Each family proceeds thru the game at their own pace. There is no waiting for turns. Each advisor has one 6-sided die for making moves. The game board should have multiple starting points. This should help relieve congestion at the start of the game. The multiple starting points/paths should be identical in content and converge into one path that leads to the end-goal of the game. Each family starts with $2500 cash and a $2500 salary. There are two areas in the gym set-up to assist the teams. They are
1) The Bank.
Here the families go to deposit extra money into savings accounts(to earn interest) and/or make loans, if they have incurred debts that they cannot pay. The other location is
2) The Bishops Office.
Here the families go for interviews if they need church welfare assistance(in lieu of a bank loan), and tithing settlement. They also see the Bishop when they get their temple recommend interviews just prior to reaching the end-goal of the game.
There should also be large props at different locations in the game to help make it a more 3 dimensional experience and not just a bunch of flat pieces of paper on the floor.
Along with money, the game uses ‘blessing’ cards to assist the family reach to end. These cards are accumulated throughout the game and play a vital role in their temple recommend interview. There cannot be a negative amount of blessings.
If the family loses all their blessing cards and lands on another ‘loose a blessing’ square, there is no change.
Here are some of the ideas I’ve had for squares on the game board they are divided into two categories and should be mixed-up on the board:
Finish High School or get a Job – Early in the game the family should choose to either finish school or get a job at minimum wage(salary $5k) If they choose to get a job, and have financial trouble later on, they can choose to return to this point in the game to Finish High School.
Business Route – a separate path in the game board for those who choose not to go to college. They get a salary increase to 10,000.
College route – a parallel path to the business route. They need high school for this. They have to pay tuition of $2,000 unless they are lucky to land on a scholarship square ($1,500) There should be a series of squares for the family to land on that will determine their degree and their salary.
Doctor-$25k; Journalist-$15k, Lawyer-$20k, Teacher-$10k, -$15k or general degree for $10k. Whatever square they land on will be their starting salary for the game. Since the die only has 6 sides, they should land on one of these.
This would be a good place to bring the separate starting paths together
All Families must stop on the following squares (regardless of their roll):
Payday – every 8 or 9 squares should be a payday. On payday, the family receives the salary due them(this changes throughout the game). They also need to pay bills; insurance premiums, interest on loans, tithing, mortgage or rent, etc. Every 2nd or 3rd payday square or special. They include a raise; 5% for college grads or 3% for non-grads. They are also the time for tithing settlement. Have them go to the bishops office for an interview. Last, they are for paying taxes. 10% for salary less or equal to $10k, 20%
for salary less or equal to $20k, 30% for salary less or equal to $30k.
Buy Insurance – The family chooses whether or not to buy different kinds of insurance; Life, Automobile, Health, or Homeowners/Renters. These are explained by the advisor. Buying insurance reduces their ‘take-home’ pay but relieves financial stress later on in the game should they land on an accident square. There should be several of these squares throughout the game so they can postpone their decision and take the risks. Each insurance policy they have should cost them $100 per payday.
Buy a Home – The family chooses one of three housing alternatives. Buying a house will cost them $1k per payday. Buying a condo will cost them $750 per payday. Renting an apartment will cost them $500 per payday. They advantages of buy vs. renting are explained by the advisor. At the end of the game, the investment in real estate will payoff more for a house than a condo, and none for an apartment.
Buy Stock – Families can buy stock if they land on these squares. They pay $100 for each share. Later in the game they will land on ‘Stock up 10%’ or Stock down 10%’ squares. The advisor keeps track of the current stock value. Stock can be sold at anytime during the game to get cash to pay debts, etc. It is sold at it’s current price, not the purchase price.
Grocery shopping – pay $500 for food $500 for clothes. If the family cannot afford this, they have 2 choices. They can go to the Bishops office for assistance or go to the bank for a loan or withdraw money from their savings. If they get assistance from the Bishop, they must ‘work’ at the storehouse. One idea for this work would be to assign the family to a room of the Stake Center to clean-up. They would go there immediately and stack the chairs, pick-up trash, clean the chalkboard and eraser, etc. This would be done to the satisfaction of the advisor.
The following are regular, ‘non-stopping’ squares: There could be many of these. They point is to have the families hit enough of these to learn the consequences of choices made earlier in the game.
Gambling Loss – pay $1k, loose a blessing
Happy Birthday – get $500
Tornado Strikes – If no homeowners/renters insurance, pay $50k, or $500 deductible
Uncle needs help – pay $1k, get a blessing
Car accident – If no auto insurance, pay $5k, or $100 deductible
Speeding Ticket – pay $100
Jury Duty – Go back 2 squares (make sure this doesn’t result in another penalty)
Stock up 10%
Stock down 10%
Reckless driver – loose auto insurance and pay $5k
Home fire – If no homeowners insurance – pay $30k, $10k for an apartment or
condo. $500 deductible
Stock dividends – get $5k
Life Insurance dividend – get $10k
Car repairs – pay $500
Burglar strikes – If no homeowners insurance – pay $5k, $500 deductible
Doctor/Dentist bills – If no health Insurance – pay $1k, $100 deductible
Buy a luxury car – pay $20k
Property taxes – pay $25k
Take vacation – pay $10k
Payday – The payment of tithing and offerings on a payday square is optional. The family must choose what to do. Tithing is 10% and fast offering is 1% of the current salary. If the family chooses to pay, they receive 1 ‘blessing card’. If the family chooses to pay 2% instead of the 1% for fast offerings, then they get another blessing card.
The following should be intermixed throughout the board:
Keep Word of Wisdom – get blessing
Don’t keep Word of Wisdom – lose blessing
Morally straight – get blessing
Honest – get blessing
Dishonest – lose blessing
Support Church leaders – get blessing
Accept a church calling – get blessing
Refuse a church calling – lose blessing
Late for church – lose blessing
Attend all meetings – get blessing
Pray every day – get blessing
Forget to pray – lose blessing
Have family home evening – get blessing
Study scriptures – get blessing
Don’t study scriptures – lose blessing
Family dispute – lose blessing
Do home/visiting teaching – get blessing
Forget to do HT/VT – lose blessing
Split with missionaries – get blessing
Invite a friend to church – get blessing
Do genealogy – get blessing
The Day of Reckoning
When a family reaches this point, they have an interview with the Bishop. This is their temple recommend interview. In order to get their recommend, they must present the bishop with at least 10 blessing cards. If they cannot do this, then the Bishop instructs them to return to one of several points in the game where the family can try again to accumulate the blessings needed to get their recommend. There should be several points, perhaps 3, in order to avoid congestion. The bishop picks the point that would cause the
least confusion. If the family has the required blessing cards, the bishop and the advisor take a few minutes to review the families progress thru the game and the lessons learned. Their accounts are closed, and a total cash figure is determined. They have a tithing settlement and pay anything owed to make them a full-tithe payer. The Bishop reviews the basic questions from the actual temple recommend interview. This is just a review and does not affect their ability to complete the game. Finally, a recommend is issued
and the family proceeds to the temple. An adult male, (in a white suit if possible) takes the recommend and the family enters the temple. They have completed the game.
For the temple, I think we could set-up the stage area with soft lighting (not the florescents) and the couches, chairs and tables/lamps from thestake center. The curtains could be partially closed. I was hoping to build a basic set of stairs about 3 feet wide that would lead from the gym floor up to the stage. This wouldn’t cost too much. Once the families have reached the temple/stage, they are free to go to the kitchen for
refreshments, etc. They shouldn’t get in the way of other families still playing the game.
The following are comments from another person about this game:
We had a game board taped down with masking tape on the gym floor. The pieces were 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper (colored card stock). The game board spaces consisted of things like:
Paid your tithing, 200 blessings
Married in the temple, 300 blessings
Civil marriage, -300 blessings
Recite the YW values (even the YM had to do it!)
Go the Bishops office (we didn’t say why to make it negative, it could be for a calling, etc). We put a picture of a man at a desk on their back when they were in the Bishop’s office)
Read your scriptures, 200 blessings
Service project for a neighbor – Zero blessings, you’ll be blessed in the next life! Etc.Etc. Etc.
We also had squares that said, “If you are married, you just had twins!” and they got two pictures of babies, glued to popsicle sticks.
They got “blessings” or lost blessings for every square they landed on.
Some of the squares were “broke the word of wisdom” -300 blessings, etc.
They were just printed in DJ Doodlers font on white paper and taken to a copy place and copied onto colored card stock. You could laminate them ifyou want, but we didn’t. We told each ward that if the kids stepped on a game board square they lost 100 blessings! And if they crumpled up the blessings they were given (they were 50, 100, 200, 300 in the shape of a cloud), they lost blessings as well.
The game was conducted by a roll of the dice. We had the kids all line up and begin the game one at a time, we had three pairs of huge fuzzy dice with several leaders helping the kids get around the board, and several there to pass out blessings, babies, and Bishops offices.
We started with “start college” and “start career” next to one another but on a bit of a slant so that you can create two seperate paths that eventually meet. We copied the squares on yellow card stock (Yellow Brick Road effect). The squares that read Raffle Prize, STOP!! buy Auto insur, Study Scriptures, Part-time job go on the side of “career”. Squares that read Scholarship, Buy books, Cram for exams, Spring break, Dean’s list, and
Graduation day go on the side of “college”. Then “STOP!! Job Search – roll dice to determine your job” is the square that both paths meet at.
We copied the Police Office, Teacher, Accountant etc. on blue card stock and laid those squares out next to the Job Search square – facing down so they randomly chose their job. The rest of the squares we placed one after another making a winding road on the gym floor – there was no real order to them except we placed red “Stop!! Go to Bank for Pay Day” squares every 8 or 9 squares apart. We made sure that the losses and gains and baby squares were pretty fairly dispersed … you may need to make additional “Pay Day”
squares – I don’t think there were enough in the original doc.
Since our theme was “Return With Honor” we had someone paint the theme on a large circle that we placed in the middle of the floor – all the life roads led to the circle.
Oh! We thew the room squares in different places and at the end each family that had not gone to each room had to before the end. The adult family advisors had to make sure they kept good record of where the family had gone.
I loved doing this game but we had 100 kids and I don’t think they got as much out of it as they would have had they played it in their individual wards!
This game has no winners or losers. At the end of the game we will have some prizes for different categories, but no one team will be the winner.
These are your goals in this game:
1.. Live the gospel
2.. Make smart financial decisions
3.. Learn about the ups and downs in real life
The first thing you need to do is choose two people from your team to be the “Mom and Dad”. There is a wedding certificate in your folder that you can fill out for these two. The rest of you are children and your parents may have more children along the way!
The next thing that you have to do is decide whether or not your team is going to go to college. If you go to college, you have to stop along the way and borrow $40,000 to pay for it. But, all the jobs for a college graduate pay more than the jobs for the high school graduates that go straight to work. The choice is yours.
As you go through the game, you must stop on all pink spaces no matter what number you rolled on the die. Do exactly what the pink spaces tell you.
Whenever you have to make a payment (such as for college) you make that payment at the bank unless the square tells you differently.
Every time you pass payday you must do the following:
1.. Go to the bank for your money
2.. Go to the tax collector to pay your taxes
3.. Go to the tithing office and pay tithing (Your team has the choice whether or not you want to pay tithing. As in life, no one will force you to pay tithing, the choice is up to you.)
4.. Go to the grocery store and buy your groceries.
5.. After, you land on the space that directs you to buy a house, you need to stop at the realty office to make your house payment each payday.
6.. After you land on the space that gives you the option of buying insurance, you need to go to the insurance office and pay your premiums each payday. There are red squares that say the following. Go to one of the extra rooms that you haven’t visited. When you land on these squares choose one of the following rooms to visit. By the time the game is over, you should have visited each room. If someone else is in the room you want to visit, wait your turn or choose another room to try.
Here are the rooms. Check them off as you visit them.
a.. Your car breaks down and can not be repaired. Go to the Car Dealer and buy a new one. The car dealer is in the northeast corner of the gym.
b.. Big entertainment tonight!! Go to the multi-purpose room and choose to go to the movie or the stake dance. (Choose only one.)
c.. Stop!! You are lacking experience. Go to the room on the north end of the stage and get some.
d.. You want to be part of the latest craze. Go to the Latest and Greatest room in the northwest corner of the gym and get some.
e.. Your oldest child has decided to get married. Go to the Wedding room on the south end of the stage.
f.. Your closet is full of those “same old clothes”! Go shopping in the southwest corner of the gym.
When you finish the game, go to the bank and settle up on any debts you may have. You can pay any back tithing that you feel you owe. Add up all your money, children, and blessing cards and go to the Relief Society Room