Some international twists to make games new again:
-Play a tag game from Pakistan called Oonch Neech. The child who is “it” decides to be oonch (“up”) or beech (“down”). Neech means the carpet or ground is safe and runners can only be tagged when conch (“up”) on a couch, pillow, rock, tree or other obstacle off the ground. Or play the reverse.
-Eskimo Baseball is like our baseball, but instead of running the bases, run back and forth between the pitcher and home base to get a point. If you are in the right weather, play with a snow ball instead of softball. This game seems like an alternative to cricket.
-Play Rock, Paper, Scissors the way kids in Sumatra do. The pinky finger is the ant (semut), the pointer finger is a person (orang), and the thumb out is an elephant (gajah). The elephant beats the person, the person beats the ant, and the ant crawls into the elephants ear and wins. For variation and dynamic movement, use your whole body instead of fingers.
-In Denmark, Tiger and Sheep is played on all fours. One tiger has to pull all the sheep down until their torsos touch the floor. The goal is to be the last sheep alive. I think my children play this everyday without having a name for it! The family fitness change is that I play too!
Want more? Check out the International Games database.org The games have a little flag in the corner so you can see what part of the world the game is played in, how many players, the age of the players, if it’s played indoors or outdoors, if materials are needed, and even notes for teachers. Excellent!