Teach about Europe to Asia trade routes with a GAME! Perfect for both homeschooling settings and for classrooms, Marco Polo’s Silk Road Game provides children with an entertaining way of learning about Marco Polo, ancient civilizations and historical trade routes, and the difficulties and dangers travelers would have faced along the way.
Younger children will probably take 30 minutes to get to China and back, but they will be asking to play again! Older students may want to negotiate the best prices in cities or take multiple journeys to China in one game, so their game will last longer.
If you decide to implement the hands-on alternatives (fabric scraps to represent silk and raisins or another small food for the required “food” allowance, for example) your kids will beg to play some more! It is fun for young children and older children alike.
This game introduces the following concepts:
- Marco Polo traveled through mountains and desert to get to China. (In our game, we return via the same route; Marco Polo returned a different way).
- A paiza (golden passport given to Marco Polo’s father from the emperor of China) provided the travelers a degree of protection from Mongol warriors and gave the travelers hospitality in caravansaries along the way.
- Silk and porcelain from China was worth a lot in Venice.
- Other places on the trade route provided Europe with tin, rugs, jade, and porcelain.
- Between Italy and China are many mountains and deserts.
- Preparation is required before entering a desert, and travelling through the desert is taking a chance.
Included in the zip file are the following:
- Game pieces to print (if you do not want to find small objects, you can print these images on cardstock!)
- Full playing instructions (5 pages)
- Map game board from Venice to Xi’an, China (4 pages to print and tape together)
- A template to design a paiza
- “Take a chance” cards (for when you “take a chance” by landing in the desert)