Westonbirt Arboretum summer play trail - panel 8 text

Unifying play

Updated 21st June 2023

Humans and trees like to connect.

Football, golf, the Olympic Games; playing is the perfect way to transcend cultural difference and connect us all. There are numerous childhood playground games played all over the world, just under different names. So today, have a go at a game traditionally played in Ghana, one that often uses natural objects around you. You might find it reminiscent of something you used to play…

Underground connections

Often humans are most happy and healthy when we are connected to others. It turns out that trees aren’t all that dissimilar. Trees connect to each other through their roots, dubbed the Wood Wide Web, and fungal networks in the ground. Even between different types of tree, they nurture one another by sending messages and exchanging nutrients, helping one another to survive and thrive.

How to play Pilolo

  • Choose one person to be the leader, the rest of you are searchers.
  • Searchers turn your backs, and the leader hides small natural objects (they must all be the same, e.g. a pine cone / stone / sticks)
  • When the leader says go, the searchers hunt for an object. The first to find one and carry it over the finish line wins.

By yourself?

Challenge yourself to finding as many natural objects that are the same thing in this area…