Quaker Checkers

Back in 1985, the Unitarian Universalist Peace Network published a Sunday school curriculum called “Peace Experiments.” One of the things I liked best in this old curriculum was a board game called “Quaker Checkers.” It’s simple, fun, and challenging enough to be worth playing more than once. But I can find no reference to this game on the Web, except as a listing in a manuscript archive in the Swarthmore College library. Since the game explicitly states that it is not patented, and that’s it’s OK to copy and/or improve it, I decided to publish a PDF version here:

Click for a printable PDF.

8 thoughts on “Quaker Checkers”

  1. Dan
    Thanks for this great game! I teach a very active and high-spirited group of 4th-6th graders who are often difficult to engage. This game worked wonders! We used colored cereal for game pieces (that definitely helped as well) They were quietly cooperating and working together to solve this puzzle. A moment to remember for our teaching team.
    I knew you way back when in Lexington (when my 5th grader was an infant) and am glad to see you are doing so well…thanks for the great blog–keep dropping those RE ideas in when you find them–we will definitely use them!

  2. Well, I thought I would circle back and let you know that this idea was a real lifesaver. I had to throw something together quickly to sub for a guest speaker who had to cancel. I had about 9 children in a mixed 1-6th grade group. I briefly presented the Quaker Peace Testimony as a central part of that faith community and a particular expression of Christianity. We talked about our UU Principles and discussed a commitment to peace as a part of our faith tradition and values. Then we talked about cooperative games we like to play (the older ones had lots of ideas about this, which was neat.). Then we played Quaker Checkers.
    It was a big hit, and the kids asked to play again on another Sunday.
    In gratitude,
    Mary

  3. Mary, glad it worked for you! That’s been my experience, too — kids find it is a fun game to play.

  4. Hi, I have been trolling the interenet for games i could use in an FDS class and i like the idea of this one (an old game but putting a Quaker spin on it). I am not sure that I understand the directions though – is there “jumping” and do you remove the piece that was jumped (which doesn’t seem right to me). Do you still have the rule of only moving forward and not backward – how do the two teams interact? How could they use strategy to help make the fewest moves. And the square that is made – it is just an amalgam of the different colors(it doen’t matter how they end up?) I just want to make sure i fully understand before I try to play it with my FDS kids so it is not a flop.

  5. Yes, there is jumping. No, you do not remove the pieces you jump. You may move forward or backward. Strategy: play, and you’ll figure it out. The final square must alternate black and white (as shown on the game board).

    Try playing it with someone else, and the rules will make much more sense.

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