Let's play: Around the World
Kids playing games: it's a universal sight no matter where you live. Here are five games played around the world. Perhaps there's a couple you'd like to adopt.
From Greece: Statues
One player is chosen to be "it," and other players are "statues." "It" counts to at least 10 but can go higher. Only "it" knows when he or she will stop counting and yell "Agalmata!"- that's statue in Greek. Players must then stop and assume the position of a well-known statue. You can strike a pose as The Thinker or the Statue of Liberty. "It" then attempts to make the "statues" move or laugh, and the last player remaining perfectly still wins and becomes the new "It."
From Pakistan: Oonch Neech
Here's a version of a game of tag with an interesting twist. The person who is "it" declares oonch (up) or neech (down) when the game begins. If "it" selects neech, then the ground isn't safe for other players. Runners can be tagged unless they're oonch (up on something elevated like a rock or stump).
From Ghana: Pilolo
Pick a leader and a timekeeper - and designate a finish line or "end point." The leader shows several items to the players and hides them while the others aren't looking. When the leader yells "Pilolo!" (or "time to search for"), the timekeeper starts his watch. The rest of the players race to find an item and bring it back to the designated finish line. The first one to arrive at the end point wins. This is repeated several times. The final winner is the player with the most found items.
From Zambia: Banyoka
This game is best played in an expansive, grassy area. An obstacle course is assembled using any items available (sticks, rocks, shoes). A minimum of six players are divided into two groups. The teams then sit behind each other with their legs spread, forming a "snake" by grabbing the shoulders of the teammate in front of them. The two "snakes" then weave through the obstacle course. The first team across the finish line wins.
From Chile: Corre, Corre la Guaraca
Players sit in a circle and are not allowed to watch as a child runs around them with a handkerchief. The kids sing, "Corre, corre, la guaraca who looks back will be bopped on his head!" The runner drops the handkerchief on a player's back and keeps running. If the runner makes it around the circle before the seated player realizes the handkerchief's on her back, the seated player's out. But if she sees the handkerchief, she must catch the runner. If she tags him, the runner is out. If she can't catch him, the game begins again, but she becomes the new runner.
More games! Learn how to play: ParticipACTION's Bring Back Play app