Engage your Kids with Popular Children’s Games From Around The World

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‘Mamma! I’m bored!”, “I need new games!”

How often have you heard these and been at your wit’s end as to how to entertain your children?

Board games and indoor games can be a lot of fun, but children need to be out and about for all-round growth. We are familiar with outdoor games like ‘oonch-neech’, ‘catch’ etc., games which we had all played when we were children, but there are a number of outdoor games that are played all around the world, specific to different countries and cultures. Some you may have played too, or known by different names.

Go through our list of children’s games and see how many are familiar to you and you have played as a child, and learn about some fun games that you can introduce to your child.

1. Tag

– Also known as ‘pakdam pakdai’ in India, Tag is a simple and very popular children’s game amongst all age groups. One person becomes the ‘den’ or ‘it’ and needs to tag another person, who then becomes the den. To tag another person, he needs to catch that person. Simple and fun, children can spend hours playing this game outdoors. Different countries have their own versions and rules. Some make it mandatory for the ‘den’ to tag all the players before his/ her turn is over. In some versions, whoever the ‘den’ touches become the ‘den’ along with him, and together they have to catch the others.

2. Hopscotch-

Hopscotch probably originated in Rome but is played all over the world and is known by many different names. ‘Stapu’ in India, ‘Hajla’ in Syria, ‘Rayuela’ in Spain, ‘Marelle’ in French, the object of this game is simple. There are numbered squares drawn on the ground with chalk. You need to throw an object (a stone, bottle cap, coin, etc.) onto any one of the squares, then hop with one leg to the square, pick up the object and bring it back, without stepping on the lines or changing your foot. The best part about this children’s game is that you can either play it alone or with a number of other people.

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3. Luta De Galo

– This is actually a Brazilian game, similar to the Indian ‘langdi taang’. In this game, one player folds his right arm across his chest and is not allowed to use that arm. All the other payers need to tuck a handkerchief or scarf n their pocket or waistband, with enough of it hanging out to be able to be pulled. The player who cannot use his right arm needs to pull a handkerchief from any other player while hopping on one leg and only using his left hand.

4. Shadows

– This is an Irish game and is meant to be played on a sunny day. You can divide the players into two teams. The players of one team need to chase the shadows of the players of the other team. If the chasing team stands on your shadow, then you are either out of the game or you join the chaser team. To avoid being caught, you look for shaded places where you have no shadow, and you can be safe.

5. Catch the Dragon’s Tail:

As the name suggests, this is a Chinese game. You need at least eight players for this game, and the more, the merrier. The first person is the dragon’s head, and the last person is the tail. All the children stand in line with their hands on the shoulders of the person ahead of them, as the head tries to catch the tail by maneuvering the line, and the children in the center try to stop him from doing so by keeping their hands stiff. Once the head catches the tail, the tail becomes the new head.

6. The Handkerchief Game

– Popularly known as ‘Dog and the Bone,’ this game is played between two teams and a leader or referee. Draw two parallel lines around 40-50 feet apart from each other. The two teams will stand behind these lines. Draw a circle in the center. Each player on each of the teams gets a number. The referee stands outside the circle with a handkerchief and calls out a number. The players corresponding to that number from each team will run out to the circle. The referee drops the handkerchief in the circle and the first player to run back to his team with the handkerchief without being tagged by the opposing number wins that round. You can have as many rounds as the number of players on a team. The team that gets the handkerchief in every round gets the point and the team with the maximum points wins the game.

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6. Meo Duoi Chuot-

This is a game of Vietnamese origin, and you need at least 8 players for this fun game. This is a simple game of cat and mouse. One player becomes the “mouse” and one becomes the “cat”. All the other players stand in a circle, holding hands. They raise and lower their hands to form arches through which the mouse can run through. They sing a song, and when the song is over, the mouse runs through the arches, and the cat has to catch it. The only catch is that the cat has to follow the exact path the mouse goes through. If the cat catches the mouse, it wins the game, and the mouse becomes the cat, and a new mouse is chosen.

Sports-based outdoor games are also a great way to be active and get some exercise, fresh air, and sun. Use these children’s games as an opportunity to teach young children life skills such as teamwork, communication, inclusion, fair play, respect, discipline, and how to stick to rules.

Without even realizing it, young children can learn so much about life while having a good time. Introduce your little ones to these fun games and become the cool and fun mommy who knows so many new and exciting children’s games. Children have such a wonderful imagination that will probably end up creating fun, new games out of these.

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