Jelly Baby Geography

Reproduced with permission. Source: Atkins, R. & Dimberline, A. (2004) 'Population jelly babies', Teaching Geography, 29, 1, pp. 27-28.



[20 October 2015]

It doesn't have to be Jelly Babies - Smarties work well too - a tube of Smarties is a country's population - just take out the colours you don't need and put them in a pot for the 'winner'?



Get into a group of six people.

You each represent a different country. Give your country a name. Number the countries from 1 to 6.

Divide the sweets up randomly between the groups so that each person has the same number of sweets, or have a packet of sweets per person. Leave at least twelve in the central dish.


The sweets represent your population. Make a note of your population structure.

Blue - Male Adults

Orange - Female Adults

Red - Male Children

Yellow - Female Children

Green - People aged over 65

Pink - Ethnic Minorities

Shuffle the chance cards and put them in the middle of the table.

Each country takes it, in turn, to take a card from the top of the pile. You must carry out whatever instructions are on the cards.

If you lose any of your population DO NOT EAT THEM! Put them back into the central dish.

You will be told when the game ends - how will you decide which country is the 'winner'?



After you have finished the game and have completed your worksheets, consider the following questions as a class?

  • Which scenarios changed the birth rate?
  • Which scenarios changed the death rate?
  • Which scenarios changed the migration rate?
  • Which scenarios were push factors for migration?
  • Which scenarios were pull factors for migration?

Who do you think won? What makes them the winning country? Is it the country with the highest population or the most balanced population structure?

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