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10 Games They Play In Other Countries That Haven’t Made It To The U.S. Yet

Your family may have canceled your vacation plans, but now you can bring those countries to YOU in the most fun way possible!

Daniel Fernandez · 2 months ago

  • travel

Even though your family may have had to cancel vacation plans this year or might not feel comfortable traveling, this is a great way you can bring those countries to YOU in the most fun way possible! These games provide an opportunity to learn about different cultures with your family all while having fun!

1. Luta De Galo from Brazil

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First on the list is “Luta De Galo” from Brazil! Have you ever had the desire to leave your daily grind behind and pursue your passion of acting like a chicken, but always stopped yourself from doing so because you were too afraid of how people would react? … Just me? … Cool.

ANYWAY, “Luta De Galo” (which means “Fight Of The Roosters” in Portuguese) is a hilarious game that doesn’t actually involve fighting! You’ll need a bandana, handkerchief, rag, or small towel to play.

Luta De Galo Instructions:

  • Have each player tuck their bandana into their belt or waistband.

  • Then, all players must cross their right arms across their chests and hold up their left leg (or vice-versa)!

  • Players then hop around on one leg and use their free arm to snatch their opponent’s handkerchief.

  • If someone puts their leg on the ground or unfolds their arm, they’re out!

  • May the most daring chicken CLUCK to victory!

2. Pass the Parcel from the United Kingdom

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Let’s take a quick jaunt over the pond to the U.K. where much music, presents, and merriment await us (and don’t forget the tea and crumpets!)

This game requires a bit of preparation but it’s well worth it. Before starting, someone places a “prize” inside a box and wraps it in multiple layers of different kinds of wrapping paper — imagine a rubber band ball made of wrapping paper instead of rubber bands! This box is our “parcel!”

Pass the Parcel Instructions:

  • Before the game starts, a DJ is selected and blindfolded.

  • During the game, the parcel is passed (think Hot Potato) from player to player until the DJ stops the music (think Musical Chairs).

  • When the music stops, the player holding the box removes a layer of wrapping paper.

  • The game goes on until the final layer of wrapping is removed and the player gets to keep the prize. Cheerio!

3. Cheetahs and Cheetals from India

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Off we go now down to India, and I recommend bringing a headband because this next game is gonna make you work up a sweat! The game “Cheetahs and Cheetals” is tons of fun, plus I bet you didn’t know that “Cheetals” were an ACTUAL animal until just now!

This game works best in large groups and requires a big space.

Cheetahs and Cheetals Instructions:

  • First, you’ll need to prepare your space by marking one line in the center to be your home base, and then two lines on opposite sides of the centerline (each about 15 to 20 feet apart). One line will represent the cheetahs’ lair and the other will represent the cheetals’ lair. Feel free to use chalk, tape, cones, or whatever (be creative!) to make these zones.

  • Next, assign a Princess or Prince to call out instructions to the players.

  • Divide the remaining people in the group into two teams: The “Cheetahs” and the “Cheetals.”

  • The members of the two teams stand back-to-back about two feet apart along the center line with each team facing their finish line.

  • The leader will then call out loudly, “Cheee-ee-ee,” and then end the word  with either “-tals” or “-tahs.”

  • If the word is “Cheetahs,” the Cheetahs run towards their finish line and the Cheetals follow and try to tag them.

  • If the word is “Cheetals,” the Cheetals run towards their finish line and the Cheetahs follow and try to tag them.

  • If someone is tagged, they join the opposite team. The last person standing becomes the next Prince or Princess so that another round can start!

4. Ten Ten from Nigeria

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Get that passport ready because we’re going to Nigeria where we can play the wildly popular clapping game that’s so nice they named it twice, “Ten Ten!”

The best way to describe “Ten Ten” is to imagine playing the game “Rock Paper Scissors” with your feet, and then adding some clapping and singing to the mix. This one’s great for developing hand-eye coordination and rhythm!

Ten Ten Instructions:

  • As two players face each other and stomp their feet, they clap their hands back and forth to the tune of, “Ten, Ten,” *pause,* “Ten!” This little rhythm is the equivalent of saying “Ready, set … go!” or, “Rock, paper, scissors … shoot!”

  • Players take turns starting off the rhyme, and on the final “Ten,” both players must raise one of their legs.

  • If both players lift opposite legs so that they meet in the middle, that is considered a draw and no points are scored. It is then the other player’s turn to start off the rhyme. If they raise the same leg, then the player who started the rhyme scores a point.

5. Catch the Dragon’s Tail from China

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The next destination is China, which means visiting a rich culture filled with great walls, forbidden cities, and don’t forge- WAIT, is that a dragon?! 

Jeez, I was pretending so hard I nearly gave myself a scare but while we’re on the topic of dragons, let’s learn to play “Catch The Dragon’s Tail.”

You’ll need four or more players for this game, but it works best with 10 players.

Catch the Dragon’s Tail Instructions:

  • All of the players line up and form a human chain by placing their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The leader of the line is the dragon's “head,” and must try their hardest to tag the dragon's “tail,” or the last person in the chain. What’s the catch?

  • The goal for all the other players is to prevent the head from tagging the tail!

  • When the “head” finally catches and tags the “tail,” the “tail” player becomes the new dragon's head and all the other players move back one position so that everyone gets a chance to be the head and tail of the dragon!

6. Pittu Garam from Pakistan

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Now off we go to the Middle East to discover Pittu Garam, an ancient game with humble beginnings. 

To play Pittu Garam you’ll need some space (preferably outdoors) and the following equipment: a bouncy ball, seven stones that can be piled on top of each other, and a minimum of two to four players on each team. You can play with as many people as you want so long as each team has an equal number of players.

Note: If you don’t have stones available, try using other flat objects that can stack onto each other like beanbags, books, or whatever else you have lying around the house.

Pittu Garam Instructions:

  • Start by placing the seven stones on top of one another in the center of your play area. We highly recommend drawing a circle around the piles in chalk, or etching a circle in the sand with your finger.

  • The first team begins by trying to knock over the stones with the ball from a distance. Each team member gets three chances to knock over the pile of stones with the ball. If they are unable to knock over the pile of stones in three tries then it is the other team’s turn.

  • If the first team knocks the stones over, the other team needs to get the ball and throw it at players from the opposing team below their knees. Don’t worry, these are gentle throws, and if a person is close enough, you can even tag them with the ball.

  • The first team needs to avoid being hit by the ball while they attempt to rebuild the pile of stones and trace a circle around it three times. If they can rebuild the stack of stones before the other team knocks all of their players out, they score a point and get to go again.

7. Il Lupo Mangiafrutta from Italy

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Shake off that jet-lag, because we’re headed all the way to Italy to play “Fruit- Eater Wolf” next (or as it is called in Italy, “Il Lupo Mangiafrutta”). “Fruit-Eater Wolf” is a hilarious game that requires knowledge of fruits, concentration, and furiously running away from a hungry vegetarian wolf.

Since it involves running, this game is ideal for an outdoor space and works best in groups of three or more players.

Il Lupo Mangiafrutta Instructions:

  • Before playing the game, one person is chosen to be the wolf. The remaining players will then need to think of a fruit, which they will be for the remainder of the round.

  • Then, three different spots will need to be chosen: One spot is for the wolf to live, one spot is for the fruit to live, and the final spot between them is called “Home.”

  • The players who are fruits line up in front of the wolf and say one after another which fruit they are. For example, player one says, “I’m an apple;” player two says, “I’m a pear;” player three says, “I’m a Theobroma Grandiflorum;” and so on. The wolf needs to memorize who is what fruit!

  • Then the game goes like this: Wolf: “Knock, Knock” Kids: “Who is it? Wolf: “I am the fruit-eating wolf!” Kids: “What fruit do you eat?!” Wolf: *Names a fruit*

  • Then, the wolf needs to catch the player whose fruit they named. That player must run home without being caught by the wolf. If the player is caught, then they become the wolf. If not, the game continues!

8. Corre, Corre, La Guaraca from Chile

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Never heard of a “guaraca?” Me neither! That is until I discovered the Chilean game “Corre, Corre, La Guaraca.”

Spanish for, “Run, Run, Little Slingshot,” “Corre, Corre, La Guaraca” is a game of stealth and — you guessed it — running. It’s a tricky spin on the popular game “Duck, Duck, Goose.” So how do we play?! 

You'll need a handkerchief and five or more players to get the action going.

Corre, Corre, La Guaraca Instructions:

  • At the beginning of the game, one person will be chosen to start as “La Guaraca” while the other players are seated in a circle.

  • As La Guaraca runs around the outer rim of the circle with their handkerchief, the seated players must cover their eyes and sing the tune "Corre, corre, La Guaraca, who looks back will be bopped on their head!"

  • Trying to be as sneaky as possible, La Guaraca will drop their handkerchief on a player's back and run around the outer rim of the circle. If La Guaraca makes it around the circle before the player realizes there is a handkerchief on their back, the seated player is out. If the seated player catches on and feels the handkerchief on their back, they must chase and tag La Guaraca. If they succeed, La Guaraca is out! If they don’t, they are now La Guaraca and a new round begins.

9. Gogo’im from Israel

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Next, our grand adventure takes us to Israel, where we’ll learn how to play “Gogo’im!” This game involves arts and crafts as well as some imaginative recycling of common household items. You’ll see!

Gogo’im Instructions:

  • Start by saving up some apricot seeds and letting them dry out. If you don’t have apricot seeds, that’s OK — the seed of any fruit can work as a substitute!

  • Then get a box and cut holes of varying shapes and sizes in it. Each of these holes is given a different point value based on the difficulty of getting a seed inside.

  • To play the game, players take turns tossing apricot seeds into the holes of each box, and the winner of the game is whoever has the most points in total.

  • This game lends itself well to competitions and rainy days inside! 

10. Pilolo from Ghana

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Last but not least, we’ll take a trip to Ghana for one of our favorite games: “Pilolo!” The best way to describe “Pilolo” is that it’s like a magical cross between a scavenger hunt and hide-and-seek!

Pilolo Instructions:

  • In order to play this game, you’ll need to pick a group of objects as your “treasures.” If you’re playing this game at home, the “treasures” could be a bunch of refrigerator magnets. If you’re playing this game on the beach, the “treasures” could be a bunch of seashells. If you’re playing in the park, the “treasures” could be rocks.

  • Next you’ll need to set a time limit for the length of gameplay. We recommend anywhere from three to 10 minutes.

  • A leader will then be chosen as both the timekeeper of the game and the person who hides the treasures. Before the game begins, the leader will hide all of the items, and, when they are safely hidden, shout, "Pilolo!" which means "Time to search!"

  • The players will then begin to search for the items, trying to find all of them before time runs out. The player who finds the most items wins! To play another round, you can choose a new leader, a new item, or both.

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