Basic needs: Five in a row

Use the basic needs poster to get children and youngsters thinking about how duty-bearers are related to these basic needs!

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A step-by-step guide to play the game


Get two 'basic needs' posters and gather some players around the poster.


Divide the group into two subgroups.


Team 1 gets 12 bottle tops in a particular colour, team 2 gets 12 bottle tops in a different colour. The aim of the game is to have five in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) as quickly as possible.


Team 1 puts their bottle cap on one of the basic needs. Team 2 then puts their bottle cap on one of the basic needs and so on. However, before a team can place their bottle cap on one of the needs, they must first answer a question about duty-bearers related to the basic needs (see questions in additional game information). Make sure that players are aware of the meaning of this basic need before asking questions about the involvement of duty-bearers.


The team who has five in a row the quickest, wins!

Extra game information


- Who has access to this basic need? Is this basic need accessible for everyone? Or only for a specific group of people? 

- Why is this a basic need to everyone? What barriers does a person encounter if they don’t have this basic need? 

- What is a basic need? 

- Which duty-bearer(s) is (/are) related to this basic need? Do you need a duty-bearer to get this basic need? If so, who?

- Which duty-bearer can you ask for help is this basic need is violated?

- ...

The game contains a red and a green poster with each poster featuring the same 25 different objects. Each object is linked to Maslow's hierarchy of needs which divides basic needs into five categories:

1. Physiological needs: food, water, clothes etc

2. Safety needs: doctor, justice, money etc

3. Social needs: communication tools, family etc

4. Esteem and self-fulfilment needs: books, information etc

This game has been specially created to work on the topic of duty-bearers with children and youngsters.


(1) Play the same game with duty-bearers within your community and ask them relevant questions to reflect on their own responsibility/role in offering these basic needs to children and youngsters. For example:

- Can I do something about this basic right? Am I responsible for this basic right?

- What other duty-bearers can help children get this basic right?

- What interventions/actions can I take to ensure that children can get these basic rights?

- ....

(2) Eventually, you can link these basic rights to the survival rights, using the general overview poster of children’s rights. Ask children (one of) the specific questions above and let them then link this basic need to the correct survival right. For example:

- Food, clothing, home: article 27

- Books, information: article 17

- Water, health care: article 24

- …

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