Kiddies show their skills playing life-sized game

  • Five-year-old Saida May Nguyen moves forward on the life-sized Chutes and Ladders game at Honokaa Public Library on March 23, while her playmate, Kehani Domingo-Carafelli, looks on with excitement. LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY
    Five-year-old Saida May Nguyen moves forward on the life-sized Chutes and Ladders game at Honokaa Public Library on March 23, while her playmate, Kehani Domingo-Carafelli, looks on with excitement. LANDRY FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY

HONOKAA — Last Thursday, Kehani Domingo-Carafelli and Saida May Nguyen were neck to neck in a game for more than an hour. The 5-year-olds never lost their concentration, even while giggling in between turns.

The two learned valuable skills making their way around a life-sized Chutes and Ladders game. Cooked up by staff at Honokaa Public Library, they learned how to dodge chutes and use ladders to get to the finish line.

“We thought the game would be a lot of fun,” said Laura Elford, head librarian at HPL for two years. “The goal is to get to the finish and you try to land on the latter so that you can go forward, but if you land on a chute that you fall backwards. It’s based on a traditional game from India that represents good deeds and bad deeds. This is our first time playing this game.”

Elford was looking for something that would be fun for young residents to build their skills with numbers and colors, while at the same time serving as a community-building event.

Open to children 3-10 years of age, additional kids joined the game later that afternoon, with a crowded board floor until closing. Those who made it to the finish line won their choice of prizes and books donated by Friends of the Library of Hawaii, with no limit to the number of times they could play.

“She will play probably play every game. So far it’s been three games,” said Ron Carafelli, Keihani’s dad, who also played the game himself.

The library plans to offer events like this once or twice a year, in addition to their regular music, story time and Lego programs.

The institution has played an important role in the community for many years.

“On June 15 we will celebrate Honokaa Public Library’s 80th anniversary with an event and display of all the historical aspects of the library, with music and food,” said Francine Roby from Friends of the Library. “We invite everybody to come by.”

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