Games from Around the World

Do you know that teaching your kids about countries around the world and their cultures can be as easy as playing a game? The first thing you need to recognize is that kids get bored easily and that it is up to you to add some fun and adventure into their education. Ignite your child’s sense of adventure by creating an outdoor activity and invite some friends over to play educative games from around the world. Let one of the kids spin the globe to select a location and then proceed to play a game from that country.

Six Games from Around the World

1. Catch the Dragon’s Tail (China)

Number of Players: A large group of children
Objects: None
How to Play:
In this game, the players will form a straight line and create a human chain by placing their hands on another player’s shoulders. The player who is at the front is deemed the dragon’s head, while the one at the back is the tail. The aim of the game is for the head to tag the tail, but the chain must remain intact. The players in the middle therefore try to stop the head. When the head successfully tags the tail, the head will then become the tail; and the second player in line becomes the head of the dragon. This is a tough but fun game and one that requires a large group of children. You can make the game more exciting by having two dragons and have one dragon head try to catch the tail of the other dragon.

2. Corre, Corre la Guaraca (Chile)

Number of Players: 5 or more
A handkerchief
How to Play:

The players will sit on the ground, making a round circle, and one of them stands up and starts jogging around the ring of the circle with a handkerchief. The children seated must have their eyes closed while singing “Corre, Corre, la Guaraca.” The main player will then drop the handkerchief on one of the child’s back and run. He should run around the circle before the player who has been tagged realizes that he has a handkerchief on his back. If the taggedchild realizes, however, he must chase the main player. If he succeeds, the main player will be out of the game;but if he fails, he gets to be the main playerin the next round.

3. OunchNeech (Pakistan)

Number of Players: 4 or more
Objects: Obstacles such as tree stumps, swings, benches, or rocks
How to Play:
Begin by explaining the meanings of the words used in this game: ounch means up, while neech means down.One child will be selected to start the game, and he will control the game for a while. If the child says ounch, it means that the ground is a safe zone and that there is no need to run or tag another player. Of course, all the fun comes in when neech is chosen, as this means that the children will have to run around and find a tree stump or any of the objects of the game to avoid being tagged. The child who is tagged gets to control the game in the next round. This is a fun game that will get your kids burning energy and enjoying the great outdoors.

4. Pilolo (Ghana)

Number of Players: 6 or more
Objects: Sticks and stones or Pennies
How to Play:
Ideally, the game is played with sticks and stones, but you can choose to use pennies if there are too many sticks and stones in the game zone, as this will make the game confusing. Choose one child as the leader of the game, another as a timekeeper and select a finish line. The leader will secretly hide the sticks and stones while the other children have turned their backs. Meanwhile, the timekeeper will be placed at the finish line where he will judge who is the winner. Once the leader is done hiding the tools of the game, he will shout "Pilolo," and this means it’s time to search for the items. The timekeeper will begin his countdown as the players begin to look for the hidden objects. The first player to find the sticks and stones and cross the finish line is the winner of that round. The game will then start all over again with a new leader and time keeper. The player with most points for crossing the finish line first will be the final winner of the game. This is a game that is played by children in rural parts of Ghana.

Watch the video of young people playing Pilolo:

5. Semut, Orang, Gajah (Sumatra)

Number of Players: 2
Objects: None
How to Play:
This game is similar to rock-paper-scissors as it involves the players folding their palms in a fist. The players will pump their fists up and down as they count to three and then roll out one of their fingers to show one of these three signs: a pointed finger to depict a man called "orang," a pinky to stand for an ant called"semut,"or a thumb to representan elephant called"gajah." Of course, the elephant beats the man, while the man beats the ant. On the flip side, the ant can bite the elephant, so the ant beats the elephant.

6. Egg Jousting (Armenia)

Number of Players: 2
Objects: Colored, hard-boiled eggs
How to Play:
The two players will face each other and begin jousting the wide end of the eggs until one of them cracks. Hard-boiled eggs will generally withstand cracking with three or four hits, depending on the force. Because two eggs will not crack at the same time, only one will be destroyed. The winner gets the cracked egg as the trophy, and when the game ends, the eggs can be used for sandwiches. 

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