7 Games From Around the World

7 Games inspired from children around the world

games inspired from around the world

I love this post, and not just because it helped take backyard play at our place to entire new level; there is much more than that.  It was an opportunity to give my children perspective, beyond what they see around them.

World Vision gave me permission to use the images in this post, and they, in turn, have enriched our family life.   How wonderful it is to learn from other children around the globe!

During the past couple of weeks, I looked for opportunities in our regular afternoons, to introduce these different games to my children. It’s been wonderful, wonderful, and I’ll share the fun things we did (and continue to do) below.

1. Cambodia

Children in Cambodia play a high-jump game, trying to snag stretched rubber bands held up by friends.  Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision.

Children games from around the world

What we did

I remember playing elastics with my sisters when I was a girl, and I enjoyed introducing my own children to the game. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before.  If you want to know more about how this game is played, or how to make elastic jumping bands, head over to this post: Backyard Games — Elastics.

games from around the world -- elastics

2. Vietnam

Sponsored child Lam Duc Tri (left) plays marbles with his friends after school.  Photo by Le Thiem Xuan, World Vision.

games from around the world -- marbles

What we did

Marbles were a hit with the kids!   They loved the feel of the small heavy balls in their hands and the sound of the marbles hitting each other.  To read more about how we set up the game, read this post: Backyard Games — Marbles.

games from around the world -- marbles

3. Kenya

Boys use a pile of construction sand as a high jump diving pit.  Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision.

games from around the world -- kenya

What we did

My son especially loved this one.  It was as simple as a few chairs, a broom handle, and a travel mattress.  This is a fun extension of a backyard obstical course.

games from around the world

4. Armenia

In the afternoon, children play outdoor games like volleyball.  Photo by Narine Ohanyan/World Vision © 2011

games from around the world -- volleyball

What we did

Using eslastic tied on to the car port posts, the children then took turns of hitting the ball over the ‘net’ to eachother.

games from around the world -- volleyball

5. Bangladesh

The boy students are seen playing football (soccer) on the grounds of Kathaltala Government Primary School. Photo by Xavier Sku,World Vision ©2012.

games from around the world -- soccer

What we did

We have a small outdoor soccer net, but even just a few shoes as goal posts work for backyard soccer.

games from around the world -- soccer

6. India

Children play “ghura khel” (horse game) at school. Children hold hands and run in a circle as fast as they can. Those who fall off must chase those who are still holding hands.  Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision.

games from around the world -- circle game

What we did

One fine afternoon after school, the children and I went to a park.  I was able to sneak in a bit of exercise while the children ran up and down the hill, holding hands, and inevitably, falling. You can see how much my son loved this in the last picture there.

games from around the world

7. Zambia

The children play a game called, Frog Friendship which requires extreme concentration, stamina and balance.  Photo by Collins Kaumba, World Vision.

Games from around the world -- frog friendship -- Zambia

What we did

I adore the Frog Friendship picture, but I couldn’t find much more about the game.  That didn’t stop the girls from getting down in the pose and trying to jump together.

games from around the world

Ended up like this. Laughter.

game from around the world

I see all these children playing games — kids from different parts of the world, my own kids — and it helped me see afresh, how important it is to connect, to help, to give, to learn, to understand, to love. All the children of the world…

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    I love these games! Isn’t it amazing that kids play similar games all around the world?! I remember playing elastics and marbles at school as a child. I think it’s a shame that so many outdoor games have become lost between generations (in our culture anyway) due to the amount of time kids now spend indoors. Great post.

  2. says

    great post! i love how simple the games are, just goes to show that kids don’t need truckloads of toys to have fun…in some cases all they need are some string, or a friend to clap hands with! When we were living in Uganda I was constantly amazed at the simplicity of the games the children played..something as simple as a small bouncy ball entertained a group of children for ages!! Thanks for the reminder of how awesome a child’s imagination is!

  3. says

    How beautiful you are….showing your kids games from all over the world – such inspiration as well as imagination. Combining fun with exercise – brilliant idea. And how cool is that game – the one where they jump over the elastic bands. Sure would take a lot of practice getting over that one!

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing these lovely photos Kelly and for inspiring a fun afternoon at my place: we had a ball with our own version of your high jump game. My boys loved diving and somersaulting into a crash pad made from outdoor lounge cushions :)

  5. Megan Fretter says

    Beautiful photos and great ideas. I am doing a unit in PE about Games from around the world so I am excited to share these all with the kids (Grade 2).

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