Meaning of Traditional games

Traditional games are those typical activities of a region or country , which are carried out without the help or intervention of technologically complicated toys, it is only necessary to use your own body or resources that can be easily obtained from nature, these can be stones, branches, earth, flowers or household objects such as buttons, threads, ropes, boards, among others. These activities allow children to learn more about the cultural roots of their region, contributing to the preservation of the culture of a country.

They are a source of transmission of knowledge, traditions and culture of other times, the fact of reactivating them implies deepening in the roots and being able to better understand the present. Its constant practice both in the community and at school, is considered as a manifestation of children’s independence that cooperates with the development of motor skills and abilities by promoting active and participatory play among boys and girls, in the face of a technological culture that encourages physical sedentary lifestyle and which drives the increase in childhood obesity.

Their objective can be variable and they can be executed individually or collectively, although they are commonly based on the interaction of two or more players and their rules are basically simple. They are activities carried out by children for the simple pleasure of playing, they themselves decide when, where and how to play. They do not need to use many materials and the necessary ones are not very expensive.

Among the typical activities that use objects are: the whirligig, the yo-yo, the gurrufío, the spin, the metras, sack race, jump rope , the stick, etc. While the typical activities that do not use objects are cat and mouse, blind man, hide and seek, lemon ale, tealight, etc. The web abounds with many images of traditional games that could help you understand more about them.

Origin of traditional games

To speak of the anthology of traditional games is to speak of the origin of each country, since in fact, each activity is indigenous and reflects the culture of that nation . All this starts from the traditional playground games, to the implementation of instruments or objects, among them, the marbles, the balls or balls and the ropes. The first activities with instruments were tabletop, that is, dominoes, cards and boards.

These traditional games and their rules were used by adults, however, little by little they were being liked by some children and adolescents. Now, referring to the traditional children’s games without objects, they were those of the open air and being in the streets running.

Before, technology was not necessary to have fun, just going outside was enough. Each country has its own culture and its own games, but if they have something in common, it is that they did not need telephones, computers or any electronic device to have fun .

Benefits of traditional games

There are many benefits that traditional games for children leave in them, the first is that they allow children to discover the true value of collaboration and team activities, as well as begin to strengthen different friendly ties . They also encourage children to strive daily through activities that create difficulties.

They manage to maximize the skills and abilities of the little ones, this is excellent because they could be useful in the future in different areas. The activities are special to distract children, even more so if they are in contact with nature. Finally, they improve the psychomotor part of children, so it is an impulse to improve the health of each one.

Examples of traditional games

Within the traditional games, examples explained, you can find wide recreational modalities , for example, guessing activities, in which you must guess a character, animal, country, thing, among others.

There are also children’s games like the spinning top (you have the spinning top with wick, which makes it spin when it is thrown with force) and the metras (which are thrown one after the other), those of girls like jumping rope (this is It can be done individually or in a group, it depends on the number of girls who want to play), among others.

In several Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico hide and seek is played , a game based on a child counting to 30 aloud, but always looking at the wall. While the little one counts, the others hide in different areas of the house, garden or place where they are playing. The challenge is for the child who counted to find his friends in the shortest amount of time possible. Last to be found wins.

There is also blind chicken , it is played in Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras and Peru. It is an activity in which a scarf is used to cover the eyes of a large group of children. Each one is oriented thanks to the fact that those who do not have the handkerchief, give them clues so that they continue walking and find the others.

Finally, the rubber and the camber . There, a 4-meter rope is used or simply a fairly elastic rubber band, special songs are sung for jumps or acrobatics and that’s it. It is a recreational activity used practically throughout Latin America. Here is a list of 10 traditional games from Latin America.

  1. Samura
  2. Drop
  3. One
  4. The fox and the hen
  5. The little plane
  6. Meters or marbles
  7. Hide and seek
  8. Rope
  9. Donkey
  10. Stop

Traditional Mexican games

In the Mexican country traditional children ‘s games more practiced are hopscotch, the yoyo, the marbles or marbles, cops and robbers hideout, Scissors Paper Stone, trapped, rope and phone tag .

20 traditional games

Here is a list of the 20 most popular traditional games in the world:


This game is known by other names such as “el luche” in Chile or “el avioncito” in Colombia and Venezuela. It consists of drawing on the floor with the use of chalk a series of pictures that make up the structure of an airplane or any other means of transport. Subsequently, a stone is thrown that must fall in one of the boxes and to the rhythm of a song each of the participants must jump on one foot and must make sure to always fall inside the boxes and not step on their limits at any time .

The camber

Also known in some regions as “the rope”, this can be played individually or in a group and consists of using a rope , which can be made of any material and jumping it avoiding tripping over it. The person who performs the most jumps without tangling wins.

The blind chicken

It consists of selecting one of the members of the group to be the “little chicken”, at the same time they will cover their eyes with a handkerchief and they will try to make them dizzy by making them rotate on their own axis, then they must try to catch the rest of the players while they are they run and dodge it.


It is a game in which one of the people is selected to turn their backs to the rest and count from 1 to 20 (it can be backwards), while the rest of the players hide , then the selected member must look for them and For this, he can ask for clues, which consists of the hidden individuals clapping their hands in order to locate them.

The marbles

Also known as metras, it consists of making a hole and a line on the floor with a distance of approximately five meters from each other, then from the line the players throw the marbles with the intention of inserting them into the hole, then with the use of the thumb must push their marble to hit their opponents and insert them into the hole. There are several modes of this game, which depends on the creativity of the players.

The rope

The players are divided into two teams, each team is separated by a line or a ditch, they must take the ends of a rope and together pull with force so that they can drag all the members of the opposing team and cross the line in the center. Sometimes a mud puddle is located in the center, so the team that loses is soaked.

Musical chairs

It consists of surrounding a group of chairs, which will always be the total number of participants, minus one. The players dance and move around the group of chairs to the rhythm of the music and when everyone stops they must sit down, the person who remains standing is eliminated. The last person with a chair wins.

Spinning top

Also known in some regions as repión (Spain) peón or piuca. The thread or wick must be wrapped around the top and then released, allowing it to rotate on the floor, a variant is that during the movement of the top, try to take it with the hand so that it continues to rotate on it.


Known as “the old lady” in Venezuela, it consists of making a grid of 9 spaces on paper, made up of two vertical lines and two horizontal lines, then each player draws an “X” or an “O” in each square in turn, trying to establish a vertical, horizontal or diagonal continuity of three symbols. The player who builds this outfit first wins.

Police and thief

The players are divided into two large groups, one personifies the thieves and the other the policemen, the objective is that the latter must touch to catch the thieves and imprison them, however, if they are touched by any member of their subsequent team to be imprisoned, they are again released.


It consists of two discs that can be made of wood or plastic and that have a slope that joins them and which has a thread attached. The objective is to drop it by holding the end of the rope and then carry out ascending and descending movements.

The cat and the Mouse

A group makes a circle inside which is the member that will be the mouse, outside this is the cat. The mouse must leave the circle to run randomly and return. The cat’s goal is to catch the mouse before it returns to the inside of the circle. If he manages to catch it, the roles are exchanged.

Rock, paper or scissors

The participants face each other with their hands behind their backs, count to three and represent with their hands some of the elements that are a rock, a paper or a scissors, each of them presents the power to beat another: the stone beats the scissors, the scissors to the paper and the paper to the stone. Points are accumulated to this. Whoever accumulates three points wins.

Regarding the representation of each object, the closed fist indicates the stone, the extended palm represents the paper and the scissors is represented by the fingers in a similar way to the sign that means “peace”.

The broken phone

Also known as “el telefonito”. It consists of making a circle and one of the members says in the ear to the next one a phrase quickly and only once, he must pass it on to the next partner in the same way, when he reaches the last one he gets up and says in a voice high the message that reaches you, usually it is not the same as the initial one. The object of the game is to laugh at how the message changes. In other modalities, two groups are created and the group that hits the most messages wins.


It is played between two to four people. The game begins by mixing all the chips face down on the table and then distributing them in a total of 10 for each player. Your objective is to use the 10 tiles throughout each turn before the opponents and score the most points in each round.


It corresponds to a board game, also known as ludo. Through the use of a dice, each player has the turn to throw it and must advance on the board the number of squares indicated by the dice, until reaching the goal.


It consists of an artifact made up of a helmet and a stick that fit together and are joined by a rope. The objective is to propel the helmet with the movement of the forearm and the hand so that it is inserted as many times as possible on the pole.


Also called a kite in Spain or a kite in Mexico, it consists of making a structure fly which is commonly shaped like a hexagon, however this varies according to the manufacturer, made mainly of plastic or paper and supported by means of a rope, using the wind. as an impulse .


It consists of a competition style racing , but participants must advance to the goal with the feet inserted into a bag and jumping .

Put the tail on the donkey

Each participant takes a turn in which he is bandaged. This should try to put the tail (a drawing made on cardboard in the shape of the donkey’s tail and with a pin) to the donkey, which is drawn without a glue on a poster and placed a few steps in front of the participant. Whoever places the tail closest to the correct position wins.

Frequently Asked Questions about Traditional Games

What are the traditional games?

They are those characteristic and representative of the cultures of specific regions, most of them have decades of being played by the youngest.

What are the benefits of traditional games?

In addition to being important from the didactic point of view, they present an educational and cultural approach, since they correspond to customs typical of the culture of each community.

What do traditional games teach?

They teach in a creative and fun way the roots and cultures of each specific region, allowing to transmit the value of customs between generations.

Where are the traditional games born?

Each game presents different areas and times as its origin, these are born from the breasts of each society, based on its peculiarities and culture.

What are the most popular traditional games in Mexico?

Among the most popular in Mexico can be mentioned the marbles, stop, the plane, the hidden, among others.