Traditional games for families – part II

tradycyjny sport - boccia

The unusual time still lasts all over the world.

Now, in many countries we can go outside more but it is still sometimes better to stay at home.

It doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t play traditional games!

In the part I of “Traditional games for families” I have described 3 games:

  • Swedish kubb,
  • Polish kapela (the Chapel),
  • second Polish play – Wołany.

You can read about them HERE.

Below, another 3 games:

  • Polish Ringo,
  • Italian Boccia,
  • world-wide known – Tug-of -war.

All of them are great and interesting forms of spending family time together. You can even play them at home, but they are better for playing in the gardens or now in the parks.


Ringo is a fairly well-known sport in Poland and there are similar games in other countries. In Poland, it dates back to the 1950s. Initially, it was a part of a training of Polish fencer – Włodzimierz Strzyżewski.

Ringo consists in throwing a rubber ring over a tape, rope, string or net so that it falls onto the opponent’s field. This ring can be bought cheaply in many stores. You can also use other items to play at home or in the garden, e.g. tennis balls or even boxes, rolled-up newspapers etc.

You should hang a string, net, rope or net at a height depending on the age and the height of the players. You can play one-to-one or in teams of two or three participants each side (or even bigger).

In one-to-one version, one player starts the game with a serve from behind the end line – he or she has to throw the ring over a net or tape with one hand to the other half of the pitch. The opponent tries to catch it (also with one hand) and flip it again with the same hand over the string/net/tape.

Players only move around the pitch without a ring in their hands. When they catch it, they must stop and flip the ring. When the ring hits the ground on the opponent’s field of play, the game is interrupted and the team which managed to force its counterpart not to catch the ring, gets a point. If the ringo flies under the net or falls to the ground off the pitch, the team which commited this mistake, loses a point.

If you have enough space in your home or garden, you can also try the team version, by playing with one ring in teams of 2 or 3 participants a side or even a more professional type of ringo – playing with two rings, flying simultaneously!

Ringo is an example of a dynamic game for everyone.

It’s very simple and easy to organize. Currently, you can even play it at home or in the garden.

It has been proven that Ringo has a positive effect on health of children and adults. Besides, it simply gives a lot of joy to the whole family!

tradycyjny sport polski - ringo

Chidlren playing ringo. Now you can enjoy this game even at home

tradycyjna gra polska - ringo

Ringo can be thrown over a net, but a simple string would also work


Boccia (called in English: bocce) is a traditional, throwing game that the mankind has known for at least a thousand years. It is similar to the other throwing games, such as French les boules.

Boccia sets can be bought cheaply in many sport and other stores. It is possible to play it at home or in the garden, using also the other equipment, like tennis balls.

You can play one-to-one or in teams. If you have one set of 6 balls and you play one-to-one, each person has 3 balls. If there are more balls and players, you simply divide the number of balls between the players so that everyone has an equal number of them.

The first player starts the game, by throwing a smaller ball onto the playing field. This ball is called pallino or boccino in Italian and jack in English. Then, she or he tries to place one of her/his balls as close as possible to jack, by throwing or rolling it.

After that, the second player throws his/her ball (and then the third one etc.). The next order of throws is the following: either we just play in turns or always throws this player whose ball is the furthest from the smaller ball (jack) – depending on what we have agreed upon.

After throwing all the balls, we count the points. Each ball placed closer to the jack than the nearest opponent’s ball gives 1 point.

Next, we can either end the game or start the next round and play e.g. 4 rounds. Whoever places more of his or her balls closer to jack in the entire game, wins the match.

Boccia is a really integrative sport – a fantastic form of physical activity for everyone.

It’s an universal game with fairly simple rules and the ability to adapt it to the needs of various people, including especially people with disabilities.

Currently, it will also work great at home or in the garden.

tradycyjna gra - boccia

In the garden, it would be enough space for a family boccia “match”

tradycyjny sport - boccia

Boccia set


Tug-of-war is a type of physical activity known since the ancient times around the world. It was even in the programme of the modern Olympic Games in 1900-1920.

Currently, it’s a great entertainment for children and adults.

You only need a jute rope, which can be bought in many stores. Of course, you can also use other items at home or in the garden – strings, strong scarfs and so on – but you need to be sure that it is made from a safe material that will not hurt your hands!

You can compete one-to-one or in family teams. You just form two teams and stand opposite one another, grabbing the rope (string, scarf) from two sides. At the start signal you begin to pull it – each team in its own direction.

You can also mark the point to which you must drag your opponent to win.

It must happen in a safe space at home or better in the garden, without any obstacles.

During many of my practical activities for children and adults (currently suspended, but they will be reactivated when possible) and at the various sporting and cultural events, a simple tug-of-war is a great fun for the entire families!

The simplicity of the rules, a pinch of competition, a joy derived from fighting and victory (as well as from falling over and sometimes even rolling on the ground or grass) – it is all we need to get fun and satisfaction from participating in this traditional, physical activity 🙂

sport tradycyjny - przeciąganie liny

Tug-of-war – great for children, but also for the entire families!

inspirowany sportem - przeciąganie liny

Even the youngest children love tug-of-war:)

Playing traditional games and having fun is especially important now

In the current, difficult and unusual situation, such forms of integrative plays and games will allow us to stop constantly thinking about the present events and will give us a lot of joy and freedom.

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