List of children's games

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This is a list of games that are played by children. Traditional children's games do not include commercial products such as board games but do include games which require props such as hopscotch or marbles (toys go in List of toys unless the toys are used in multiple games or the single game played is named after the toy; thus "jump rope" is a game, while "Jacob's ladder" is a toy). Despite being transmitted primarily through word of mouth due to not being considered suitable for academic study or adult attention, traditional games have "not only failed to disappear but have also evolved over time into new versions."[1]

Traditional children's games are defined "as those that are played informally with minimal equipment, that children learn by example from other children, and that can be played without reference to written rules. These games are usually played by children between the ages of 7 and 12, with some latitude on both ends of the age range."[2] "Children's traditional games (also called folk games) are those that are passed from child to child, generation to generation, informally by word of mouth," and most children's games include at least two of the following six features in different proportion: physical skill, strategy, chance, repetition of patterns, creativity, and vertigo.[3]


From the 18th century onwards, researchers have taken a greater interest in the value of traditional games in elucidating cultural values and identities. The modern Olympic Games were influenced by this thinking, and were founded by Pierre de Coubertin on the basis of "All games, all nations", though this aspect of the Olympics was never fully realised and quickly faded away after a few years, with mainly only Western sports being played. In some European countries, the revival of traditional games has served as a way for regional identities to be expressed in a political or educational way.[4]

Tag games[edit]

Hiding games[edit]

Games with equipment[edit]

Jumping games[edit]

Hopping games[edit]

Memory games[edit]

Parlour games[edit]

Hand games[edit]

Other traditional children's games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This game may be considered inappropriate by some[who?]


  1. ^ Lindon, Jennie (2001). Understanding Children's Play, p.83. Nelson Thornes. ISBN 9780748739707.
  2. ^ Sierra, Judy and Kaminski, Robert (1995). Children's Traditional Games, p.xii. Oryx. ISBN 0897749677.
  3. ^ Sierra and Kaminski (1995), p.3.
  4. ^ Hardman, Ken; Green, Ken (2011). Contemporary Issues in Physical Education: International Perspectives. Meyer & Meyer Verlag. ISBN 978-1-84126-312-0.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gryski, Camilla (1998). Let's Play: Traditional Games of Childhood, p. 5. Kids Can. ISBN 1550744976.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sierra and Kaminski (1995), pp. v-vi.
  7. ^ a b Gryski (1998), p.10-11.
  8. ^ Gryski (1998), p.15.
  9. ^ Newell, W. W. (2010). Games and Songs of American Children, p. 189. Nabu Press. ISBN 978-1-145-39322-6.
  10. ^ Foster, Edna Abigail; ed. (1916). Something to Do,—Boys!: A Book for Wide-Awake Boys, p. 222. W. A. Wilde. [ISBN unspecified].
  11. ^ Gryski (1998), p. 26.
  12. ^ "Leapfrog", Accessed June 27, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Gryski (1998), p.16.
  14. ^ Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (15 December 2018). When Competition Goes Too Far. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-5383-9033-7.
  15. ^ a b Schaefer, Charles E.; Reid, Steven E.; eds. (2004). Game Play: Therapeutic Use of Childhood Games, p.10. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780471437338.
  16. ^ Sahana Charan. "Not just the written word". Bangalore Mirror, 7/24/2011.