Try Your Hand at Fun Fruit and Vegetable Games
By the end of the lesson, participants will be able to:
- Describe at least three health benefits associated with eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
- Recognize fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity as important elements of a healthy lifestyle.
- Recognize the role that fruits, vegetables, and physical activity play in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
- The Health Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables handout (p. H – 3)
- The fruit, vegetable and physical activity playing card sets
- Paper and pencils for groups to keep score, if the game requires scorekeeping
- Become familiar with the content of the Health Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables handout prior to implementing the lesson. Photocopy the handout for each participant.
- Depending on your class size, organize an adequate space for participants to play the card games. Participants may either sit in a circle on the floor or around a table with a playable area between them.
- Familiarize yourself with the fruit, vegetable and physical activity playing card set, which includes a standard 52-card deck organized into four color groups and two jokers, the couch potato card and the junk food card.
- Select the game(s) to play and review their instructions.
- Distribute the Health Benefits of Eating Fruits and Vegetables handout to each participant.
- Review the handout with the class, and engage participants in a discussion about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
- Use this discussion about fruits and vegetables to introduce the playing card set and the four color groups that comprise the four suits—Blue/Purple, Red, Yellow/Orange, and Green.
- Demonstrate to the class how the four suits of the card set feature fruits and vegetables from the different color groups.
Game 1—Couch Potato
- Arrange participants into groups of two to six players.
- Instruct each group to pick a dealer.
- Make sure to include the couch potato card with each deck.
- The objective is to avoid being caught with the couch potato card at the end of the game.
Playing The Game
- The dealer shuffles the cards and deals out the entire deck, one card at a time. The number of cards each player receives does not need to be the same.
- Before starting play, all players must match the pairs of cards in their hands—for example, two 6s, two 7s, or two jogging kings. The players then place all of their matched pairs face up in front of them so that the other players can see them.
- If a player has three of one card—for example, three 5s—he or she may only use two of them to make a pair.
- The player to the dealer's left begins play by selecting a single card from the dealer's hand. If the card matches one of the cards in his or her hand, then the player places that new pair face up in front of him or her for the other players to see.
- The player then offers his or her hand to the player to his or her left, who selects a card.
- Each time a player matches two cards, he or she must identify one health benefit of fruits and vegetables.
- Play continues to the left until all of the pairs are matched. One player will be left with the couch potato card at the end of the game.
- The player with the couch potato card becomes the dealer for the next game.
During the game, have the players tell each other their favorite way to eat one of the fruits or vegetables every time they match a pair.
Instead of the couch potato card, use the junk food card.
Game 2—Aces Wild
- Arrange participants into groups of two to four players.
- Have each group pick a scorekeeper and a dealer.
- Provide each group with a pencil and a sheet of paper.
- Do not use the jokers for this game.
- The objective is to score the fewest points possible by getting rid of all cards.
Playing The Game
- The dealer shuffles the cards and deals five cards to each player. The dealer places the remaining cards face down in the center of the play area. The dealer then turns over the top card and places it next to the pile. This becomes the discard pile.
- The player to the dealer's left begins by playing a card that matches the top card in the discard pile either by number or by color. For example, if the top card is the red 5, then the person may play any fruit, vegetable, or physical activity face card from the red suit or any other card with the number 5, such as the blue/purple 5 or the green 5.
- All of the aces are wild and may be played at any time during the game. When an ace is played, the player must say "Eat more fruits and vegetables every day." The player then must choose the color of the cards being played. The next player must play either a card from the designated color or another ace.
- Each time a player changes the color of the cards being played, he or she must tell the other players one of the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
- If a player does not have a card that matches the number or color being played, then he or she must draw from the facedown pile until he or she can play a card. If a player takes the last card from the facedown pile and still cannot play a card, then his or her turn ends and play continues to the left.
- Play continues to the left until one player has run out of cards or until no one can play another card.
- Players then total the value of the remaining cards in their hands. An ace is worth 20 points, a physical activity face card is worth 10 points, and the other cards are worth their face value—for example, the red 10 counts as 10 points.
- After each hand, record each player's total points on the sheet of paper.
- The person to the dealer's left becomes the dealer for the next round.
- The game ends when one of the players goes over 100 points.
Each time a participant plays a physical activity face card, the person must say the name of the activity and "enjoy more physical activity every day with family and friends."
If time is limited, have participants play until one player goes over 50 points instead of 100.
Game 3—Go Shopping
- Arrange participants into groups of two to four players.
- Instruct each group to choose a dealer.
- The objective of the game is to make the most "books" of four cards—for example, four jogging kings, four 10s, four 5s.
Playing The Game
- The dealer shuffles the cards and deals five cards to each player. The dealer places the remaining cards face down in the center of the play area, and these become the "shopping" pile.
- Before beginning play, each player should group the physical activity face cards, the number cards, and the aces in his or her hand. For example, the 5s should go together, the dancing queens should go together, and all of the aces should go together.
- The player to the dealer's left begins the game by reviewing his or her cards and then asking any other player, by name, for all of his or her cards of a particular number. For instance, a player asks, "Rosa, do you have any 10s?" If Rosa has one or more 10s, she must give all of her 10s to the player who asked for them. A player must have at least one of the cards in his or her hand before he or she can ask another player for them.
- If a player receives the cards he or she asked for, the player may continue asking the same person for cards of a different number or face, or the player may ask a different player for the same or different cards.
- If the person asked does not have the requested card, he or she says "Go Shopping!," and the player requesting the card then draws a card from the center pile.
- The player who said "Go Shopping!" has the next turn.
- When a player collects a set of four numbers, four of one physical activity face cards, or four aces, he or she must show them to the other players and then place them face down in front of him or her. This set of four is called a book.
- After a player completes a book of four cards, he or she must share with the other players his or her favorite way to eat one of the fruits or vegetables in the book. If the book is made up of physical activity face cards, the player must tell the other players where he or she likes to do one of the physical activities.
- If a player runs out of cards during the game, then he or she immediately draws the top card from the shopping pile.
- The game ends when the last card from the shopping pile is drawn.
- The player with the most books wins.
Buy a book of card games or ask the class participants which card games are their favorites, and adapt the fruit, vegetable, and physical activity card set to the new games.
- Use the fruit and vegetable cards as visual aids when discussing how to prepare different fruits and vegetables or when asking participants to describe which fruits and vegetables they like and dislike.
- Use the cards to demonstrate easy examples of how to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Offer fruit and vegetable snacks to participants while they play the card games.
- Take physical activity breaks between card games.