Children's Traditional Games

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $52.36   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   


This is one of those rare reference books that teachers and students alike find entertaining and useful. Judy Sierra and Robert Kaminski, renowned storytellers and folklorists, describe popular games from 137 countries and cultures, including over 20 games from Native American groups. Each game is easily learned and can be played by small groups in the classroom or on the playground. Clear instructions are given for all games, and simple diagrams are included where applicable.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this accessible manual, Sierra and Kaminski carefully describe the rules of a variety of games from a vast number of cultures and countries, most of which can be played informally with minimal equipment."


Book Link

"This collection, the only one of its kind, contains over 200 such games from 137 countries, providing a useful and enjoyable resource for teachers, librarians, recreation directors, and children. . . . Both instructions and diagrams are clear and easy to follow. Indexes provide additional access by type of game (ball games, word games, etc.) and playing environment. Both the introduction and the section on classroom use suggest that teachers are the primary intended audience. Certainly adults looking for multicultural ideas will find a wealth of them here. Anyone planning children's activities will also find ideas that adapt to their programs, while children will find some interesting cultural information for country reports. This unique compilation will be a welcome addition to most collections."


School Library Journal

"This book by Judy Sierra & Robert Kaminski is a great collection of games from 137 cultures and countries appropriate for ages 6-16. . . . Enliven your classroom with creative games."


Skipping Stones

Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This book is a "must" resource for "rainbow" classrooms. Divided into three parts, the first defines the nature of games and their importance in the culture of childhood as will as types of games like hand-clapping, marbles, tug-of-war, jump-rope games, and many more. Part II is a description of the actual games arranged alphabetically by country; and Part III offers 12 classroom projects for grades 3 - 6 which might result in a Multi-Cultural Games Festival such as Bob directed at the Nimitz School in Cupertino. The lure of these games is irresistible.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897749671
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/3/1995
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

JUDY SIERRA, Ph.D., a former children's librarian, is a leader of workshops in storytelling, folklore, and children's literature.

ROBERT KAMINSKI is an active storyteller and puppeteer, and coauthored a book on storytelling with Judy Sierra.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xi


Chapter 1 Children and Games 1

The Games Are Ancient, the Pleasure Is New 5

Worldwide Similarities among Games 6

Traditional Games and Cultural Differences 6

Games and Child Development 7

Boys' Games, Girls' Games 8

Chapter 2 Types of Traditional Games 11

Ball Games 11

Blindfold Games 12

Board Games 13

Category Games 14

Counting Out 15

Dice, Knucklebones, and Games of Chance 16

Drama and Pantomime Games 17

Forfeits 18

Guessing Games 20

Hand-Clapping Games 22

Hide-and-Seek 22

Hopscotch 24

Jacks 26

Jump-Rope Games 27

London Bridge 28

Marbles 28

Memory Games 30

Number and Counting Games 30

Racing Games 31

Shuttlecock 31

Singing and Chanting Games 32

Storytelling and Word Games 32

String Games 33

Tag and Chasing Games 33

Target Games 37

Tops 38

Tug-of-War 38


Chapter 3 Games Treasury 43

Afghanistan 44

Angola 45

Argentina 46

Native Araucanian 47

Armenia 48

Australia 48

Austria 50

Bangladesh 50

Belgium 51

Bolivia 52

Bosnia 54

Brazil 55

Bulgaria 56

Cambodia 57

Cameroon 58

Canada 59

Native American--Cree 59

Chile 60

China 61

Colombia 64

Costa Rica 65

Croatia 65

Cuba 66

Czech Republic 67

Dahomey 67

Denmark 68

Ecuador 68

Egypt 69

El Salvador 70

Ethiopia 70

Finland 71

France 71

Germany 73

Ghana 75

Greece (Ancient) 76

Greece (Modern) 76

Guatemala 77

Guinea 78

Guyana 79

Haiti 80

Honduras 81

Hungary 82

Iceland 82

India 84

Indonesia 86

Iran 87

Iraq 88

Ireland 89

Israel 90

Italy 90

Ivory Coast 90

Jamaica 92

Japan 94

Jordan 96

Kenya 97

Korea 97

Laos 99


Lebanon 100

Liberia 101

Libya 101

Luxembourg 102

Malawi 103

Malaysia 104

Mali 105

Mexico 105

Native Tarascan 107

Morocco 110

Mozambique 110

Myanmar (Burma) 111

Nepal 113

Netherlands 113

New Zealand 114

Native Maori 115

Nicaragua (Native American--Miskito) 116

Nigeria 116

Norway 117

Pakistan 117

Panama 118

Papua New Guinea 119

Paraguay 121

Peru 121

Philippines 122

Poland 124

Portugal 125

Romania 125

Russia 126

Rwanda 127

Saudi Arabia 128

Senegal 128

Serbia 129

Slovak Republic 129

South Africa 130

Spain 132

Sri Lanka 133

Sudan 135

Sweden 137

Switzerland 138

Syria 138

Tanzania 139

Thailand 139

Tibet 140

Togo 140

Trinidad and Tobago 141

Turkey 142

Uganda 143

Ukraine 144

United Kingdom 144

England 144

Scotland 147

Wales 148

United States 148

Native American--Apache 162

Native American--Arapahe 164

Native American--Chippewa 165

Native American--Comanche 166

Native American--Crow 166

Native American--Inuit 167

Native American--Jicarilla Apache 167

Native American--Kwakiutl 168

Native American--Makah 169

Native American--Nootka 169

Native American--Omaha 170

Native American--Pamunkey 170

Native American--Pima 171

Native American--Shawnee 173

Native American--Sioux 173

Native American--Teton Sioux 174

Native American--Winnebago 176

Native American--Yupik 176

Native American--Zuni 177

Native Hawaiian 178

Puerto Rico 179

Uruguay 179

Venezuela 180

Vietnam 181

Yemen 182

Zaire 182

Zambia 183

Zimbabwe 184


Chapter 4 Collecting and Exploring Traditional Games 187

Introducing Traditional Games to Grades K-2 188

Introducing Traditional Games to Grades 3-6 190

Traditional Games Collecting Project for Grades 3-6 191

Twelve Classroom Projects for Grades 3-6 192

Using Children's Traditional Games in the Library 200

A Multicultural Games Festival 201

Bibliography 205

Resources for Teachers and Group Leaders 205

Bibliographic Resources and Indexes 206

General Sources 207

Index to Playing Environments 219

General Index 221

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)