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Catherine Holecko

Play snow snakes

By January 18, 2013

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I recently read about this Native American traditional game. If you have at least a few inches of snow on the ground, you can try it yourself. For each player, you'll need a stick or dowel that's about two feet long. If you're using a stick, strip off twigs and bark and get the surface and ends as smooth as possible. This is your snow snake. If you like, decorate with paint, crayons, or permanent marker so it looks like a real snake.

Next you need to make a course for your snakes. Dig a shallow trough in the snow, one to two feet wide and at least six or seven feet long. If you can incorporate a downhill slope, even better. (A traditional track is much longer and narrower, but this version is easier to recreate in your own backyard!) Smooth the snow at the bottom of the trough with your shovel. You can even sprinkle in some water to form ice to make your track more slippery.

To play, take turns throwing your snakes down the course (make sure all the players stand together at the start of the course so no one gets hit by a flying snake). The snake that goes the farthest wins.

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