Play Your Best Card

Play Your Best Card is a novel team-based game that supports teens to discuss challenges and what to do in a range of different scenarios, while raising awareness of youth organisations that they can contact when they need help.

It aims to inspire their critical thinking and encourage them to have conversations about issues that they are going on for them right now, or that they might encounter in the future.

Unlike other resources or tools that might focus on one topic, Play Your Best Card can spark conversations on a range of topics relevant to young people. The discussions change every time the game is played, as young people are given the creative challenge of coming up with relatable stories based on the cards in the deck.

The game fits nicely into the health learning area, or could be used in small, facilitated groups by school guidance counsellors, or pastoral care staff, to meet any specific need – or simply to provide an opportunity for teens to talk about the tough stuff in a safe and supportive environment.  Facilitators can use the discussions to delve further into areas that arise out of the scenarios that are played out.

Play Your Best Card was co-designed with teens, secondary school teachers, and youth facilitators.

How to play

Take a look at the video where the co-designers introduce what Play Your Best Card is all about.

“The game has the potential to develop students’ understanding of health issues, how teenagers feel in a variety of situations, and strategies at personal, interpersonal and societal levels to address arising issues. The resource is also a valuable tool for student-centred learning, with student input, discussion and co-operation central to the task.”  - Rachael Dixon, Co-Chair New Zealand Heath Education Association

Take a look at the game

The game is designed to be played with between 3 and 15 players, but can be adapted to work with larger groups, or with the whole class in secondary schools.

“I love that the game gives young people practice at stepping back from a situation, coming up with their own solutions, and critiquing different options. It is really helpful to build these skills and help young people develop their self-efficacy and ability to understand the world from other people’s perspectives.” 
- Ben Birks Ang, National Youth Services Adviser, NZ Drug Foundation and Odyssey

Do no harm

Facilitators and teachers should be familiar with the information in the Facilitators’ Guide before using this game.

It is important that the players feel safe to speak their mind and contribute to discussions. A high level of trust amongst the players and facilitator is key to ensuring robust discussions and the effectiveness of solutions to the challenges.

Before playing the game, we recommend you research the organisations listed on the Actions cards so that you are able to provide more information on the services they provide, if required.

Order Play Your Best Card

One copy of the game will be sent to secondary schools and teen parent units in May 2018. It is available for alternative education and activity centres (with more than ten students) to order from pybc@hpa.org.nz 

Youth services can order one set of the game by demonstrating they work with more than ten young people and have a suitably trained and skilled facilitator to run the discussions. Email pybc@hpa.org.nz with the name of the organisation, trained facilitator's name and role within the service, courier address and phone number.

Share Play Your Best Card with your networks

We have a range of designs suitable for sharing on social media or in electronic communications. Use the hashtags #pybc and #playyourbestcard 

Click here to download