Play is really very simple. Just a stick or two is enough for hours of fun. These five games are super easy and give kids a chance to connect with kids around the world. And to prove it, here are 5 games from around the world that kids can play any time with sticks they find outside. Simple and fun.
Knocking the Stick (China)
– Draw 2 lines on the ground about 2 times the height of the child.
– Lay a stick on one of the lines.
– Stand behind the other line and take turns tossing other sticks to knock the target stick past the line.
– If that’s too easy, start with the target stick half way between the two lines.
Kick the Stick (Native American)
– Find 2 crooked sticks about 12 inches long.
– Two players or teams of players line up with the stick in front of the first player.
– Both players kick the stick ahead to an agreed turn-around point and back.
– When they return to the starting point, they either win the race if they are first to return, or pass the stick to the next player on their team.
La Palma (Bolivia), traditionally played with the tail bone of a donkey or llama, but we’ll use a stick!
– Draw 6 parallel lines in the ground about 9 feet apart.
– Put the stick into the ground 9 feet ahead of the last line.
– The first player stands at the nearest line and throws a stone trying to hit the stick.
– If they miss the stick, it’s the next player’s turn. If they hit the stick from the first line, they go to the next line and try to hit the stick.
– The first players to hit the stick from all 6 lines wins.
Hit the Penny (Brazil, Chile and others)
– Draw a circle in the ground about 3’ in diameter.
– Push a stick (about the diameter of a coin and almost flat on the top end) into the center of the circle.
– Place a coin on top of the stick and give a coin to each player.
– Players stand 4’-6’ away and take turns trying to knock the coin off the stick by tossing their coin. If they miss or they knock the coin off into the circle – 0 points. If they knock the coin outside the circle – 1 point.
Lame Chicken (China)
– Two players or teams lay down 10 sticks like the rungs of a ladder.
– Two players hop over each stick on one leg without touching the stick or putting down the second foot.
– After hopping over all 10 sticks, they turn around and pick up the stick nearest them, then hop back.
– He or she drops the stick (and can change their hopping foot), then hops back over the remaining 9 sticks, again picking up the stick at the end.
– This continues until one player is eliminated by touching a stick with their foot, putting their second foot on the ground, or by being last to finish.
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Source: Games of Many Nations by E.O. Harbin
Photo: Randen Pederson, Flickr Creative Commons