Being a Shellfish is a lonely job

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

A game to teach your kids self-sufficiency, responsibility and selflessness all the while having fun. 

As human beings most of us are attracted to playing games, whether they are on our phones, on the field or in our minds. Using this principle, I came up with a fun game that I figured would get my kids thinking as well as working together to complete tasks that would take them on a Hong Kong adventure and teach them a very valuable life lesson.


The way the game works:



There are 7 rules.


1. You cannot ask (dad/doug) any questions

This meant that although I am there I will not help them problem solve, if they make a mistake or get lost, then they need to figure it out on their own.


2. You must always stay together

Giving the kids the responsibility to look after each other, if one of them gets lost then they cannot complete the task at hand.


3. You must stay within 5m of dad/doug

Basically, if there was something that they just could not figure out on their own then they could communicate via pen and paper. 


4. In case of an emergency, you can ask dad/doug for help by writing it down

Basically, if there was something that they just could not figure out on their own then they could communicate via pen and paper.


5. You will receive a new task only when your current task is completed

This forces them to follow the rules in order to proceed and not allow them to jump ahead


6. If you behave poorly and the police take you, no one will help you

Unfortunately, this rule is needed to prevent my kids from being fully savage and causing too much trouble.


7. You must take a selfie of the group at each task

A fun way to conclude each task. 


Once the rules have been established the kids are then given their first task which is to go to a set location where they can meet up with any other participating friends. Together they find that they have money, a map as well as a mobile phone as their resources and so the adventure begins.


The tasks take them on a journey which involves using public transport, a bus, train and taxi in order to get them to the desired location. In this case, it was Kowloon bay which meant having to change trains a couple times. From there they had to find their way to a designated mall where with a budget they needed to buy themselves lunch. After lunch (which was chosen and paid for by themselves) came the toughest part of the challenge. They needed to go to their favourite store (Smiggles) but instead of buying something for themselves they had to buy something nice for someone else. This was really tough on my kids, knowing that they are at their favourite place and that they will be leaving empty handed really got them in the beginning. Once they have the gift in hand they head back home where they could deliver the gift as well as give the reason for the choice of gift.


After the adventure was complete we were able to sit down with the kids and go through what they learnt and how they felt about the whole experience. The lesson has definitely hit home with my two monkeys and I have seen them trying to go out of their way to help others knowing they will get nothing in return.


If you decide to try this out with your kids, then be sure to send us some feedback on how it went or get in touch if you need help with any more of the details. Watch the video if you would like to see how it all played out.