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A local shop at Kumortuli market in Kolkata, India

The paper bag game

A popular and highly interactive game that gives an insight into what life is like for poor people trying to earn a living

Age: 9+ / Youth group (11-18)

A quarter of the world’s population live in severe poverty. Many work long hours in poor conditions just to earn enough to stay alive, often surviving on less than £1.30 per day.

Focusing on poor children in India, this game challenges pupils to find out if they could survive on the streets of Kolkata. Using real cost-of-living prices and wages, players can get an idea of how they would manage if they had to survive making and selling paper bags.

Download our resources

Instructions on how to play the paper bag game.

A PowerPoint presentation to introduce the paper bag game.

A Welsh language presentation to introduce the paper bag game.

Teacher instructions on how to play the paper bag game.

Instructions on how to make a paper bag as part of The Paper Bag game

Work out if your family made enough paper bags to get all the items on the shopping list.

Background information for leaders about working children.

Encourage players to talk about their experience after playing the paper bag game as it is likely to raise many issues for discussion.