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Default Traditional children's games to use in and out of the classroom

Traditional Children’s Games

This is a list of traditional games western children play. These are great to use if you are teaching at a children's camp or to modify and use to practive whatever language you are practicing in class. Most of these are for young children.

Duck, Duck, Goose
The children sit in a circle. One child is "it." He walks around the circle. He pats each child on the head. He says, "Duck, duck, duck..." as he touches each child. When he says, "Goose!" the child he touches gets up and chases him around the circle.

The child who gets to the empty place first sits down. The other child is "it". Sometimes, the child he tagged catches the child who was "it". Then he has to sit in the "stink pot!" (the center of the circle). He can't get out until another child who is "it" gets caught and gets put into the stink pot. Little children love this game!

A game' children like to play on rainy days at school is called "Seven-up." On rainy days, we can't go outside to play at recess time. Instead, the children sit at their desks. The teacher chooses seven children to be "it." Then the teacher says, "Thumbs up." The children who are sitting down rest their faces on their folded arms so they cannot see. They make a fist, with one thumb sticking up.
The children who are "it" tip-toe quietly and touch someone on the thumb. Then they go back in front of the class. The teacher calls, "Seven up." Everyone looks up. The children who were touched try to guess who touched their thumb. If the child guesses right, she or he gets to be "it" and the other child sits down.

Freeze Tag
Someone is 'IT'. 'IT' tries to tag people. Everyone else is running around. When 'IT' tags someone the person freezes in whatever position you got tagged in. And when you get tagged 3 times then you are the person who becomes 'IT'. When you are frozen, someone can 'unfreeze' you by touching you.

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?
A fun game that is common in the United States. Everyone sits in a circle. Before the game starts everyone is given a number, but not in order around the circle, that is kept in front of each person. Names are usually used. The teacher or leader starts a rhythmic pattern such as clap, tap thighs, clap, tap thighs, ... at a slow pace in the beginning. The leader says, "Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? again and again in the same rhythm as the clapping and tapping. The leader will start by saying "# 1 or ________(name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar." That person says, "Who me?" Everyone says, "Yes you!" The person says, "Couldn't be!" Everyone says, "Then who?" The person says, "#2 or _________ (name) stole the cookie from the cookie jar." And on it goes. The object of the game is to keep the rhythm going and the talking, without breaks.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey
This game is for young children. It is played at birthday parties. There is a poster of a donkey. The donkey has no tail. There are numbered tails. The children line up. Each child gets a turn.

For his turn, he puts on a blindfold. All the children make sure he cannot see! He is turned around one time. Then he tries to find the poster and pin his tail in the right place. Everyone laughs! It is funny to see a donkey with tails on its nose, back, and ears. Some tails are not even on the poster! The tail closest to the right spot wins!

Relay Games
It is fun for older children. You need two equal teams. Each child needs a toothpick. (You can also use a spoon with an egg or ping pong ball) The toothpick is held in the mouth. Each team needs one "lifesaver" candy with a hole in the middle. Each child must pass the lifesaver candy from her toothpick to the toothpick in the mouth of the next child on her team. No hands allowed! The toothpicks wiggle. The lifesaver slips. The children make REALLY funny faces! It is funniest when children line up girl-boy-girl-boy.

Hide and Go Seek
Any number of children can play. One child hides their eyes and counts up to 10. all other children hide. When they finish, the person says: "Ready or not, here I come".
The person who counted tries to find the others.
If you are back to the pole (where the person counted) without getting caught, you are not 'it'.
The last one found is 'it' and must count for the next game.

The game " Telephone " is a simple game. You start off by getting lots of friends and parents, a total of about 15 people. Then you all hold hands and get into a big circle. While still holding hands, stretch out until your arms hurt. Then you sit down and let go of each other's hands. The oldest person should think of a message. When the oldest person thinks of a message they pass it to the person sitting next to them, then the person sitting next to them passes the message to the next person and so on. If one person should not understand the message they may say operator and the person sitting in front of them repeats the message to that person again. If anyone needs to say operator, they can only say it once. When the last person gets the message they stand up and they say the message out loud. If the message is right, then the person who thought of the message says "yes" and the last person wins the game. If the message is wrong, then the person who thought up the message wins the game. The point of this game is not winning. The point of the game is to see if the last person can say the message correctly. The fun thing about this game is that usually the last person never say's the message correctly. It is fun to hear the message all scrambled up.

There can be any number of players, and a stone is the only object you need to play it. If you are the first player, you draw a figure on the floor with a piece of chalk. Then you throw the stone inside square one. After that, you have to hop into each square, starting with square 1 and ending in square eight. If there are two squares together, you jump landing with one foot in each square; but if there is only one square, you must hop on one foot. When you reach squares 7 and 8, you have to turn back jumping again until square 1. Then you continue playing the next level. This time you begin by throwing the stone into square number 2. In the next level, you throw it into square number 3. You continue until level 8. The first player who does all the levels is the winner. The most important thing is that the player has to skip the square where the stone is.

Special Rules of the Game
The game has some rules. If an of the following things happen, the player has to stop and another player takes a turn.
  • The player can't put his/her foot or feet on the lines of the square.
  • The player can't jump with two feet in squares 1, 2, 3, and 6.
  • The player can't fall down.
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