Traditional games for families – part III

zabawa dla dzieci - krokiet

In the previous articles, I have already described 6 traditional games and plays for families:

  • Swedish Kubb,
  • Polish the Chapel, Wołany and Ringo,
  • Italian Boccia,
  • world-wide known Tug-of-war.

You can read about them HERE and HERE.

Below, there are 3 proposals more:

  • a traditional game called Croquet,
  • a Danish play Blink an eye (or Playing tricks),
  • a second play from Denmark – Bull in the Red Sea


Croquet is not only a pancake combined with a filling 🙂 It is also an old, traditional game, played in the past by the courtesy, sometimes confused with cricket. The name “croquet” is a French word, which meant a bent stick.

Croquet has enjoyed a certain level of prestige at the best British and American universities, among others in Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale and the University of Virginia.

How to play croquet?

In the most popular variations, the goal of the game is to hit the wooden or plastic ball with a wooden, hammer-shaped stick (called: mallet) through differently spaced 6 or 9 hoops (small gates), embedded in a court.

The last task is to hit the wooden stick (or sticks), set at the end or in the middle of the playing field.

In the British version, we have 6 hoops (gates), spaced in two triangles, as shown in the diagram below. The game starts by hitting the ball through the first gate and then trying to hit the next one, opposite to the first.

Then, the player continues, following the order and the direction of the gates, presented at the diagram.

Hitting the stick at the end finishes the game.

krokiet - schemat boiska

A diagram for British croquet. The arrows indicate the direction of playing

Croquet is a great family entertainment

I usually offer croquet during my practical activities for everyone interested. This is an engaging game, especially good in spring and summer seasons.

Currently, we can play it with our families in the garden or in parks.

In this game, the entire families experience a lot of fun, organizing, for example, friendly “competitions”: children versus parents.

Croquet is certainly also suitable and attractive for the elderly.

The game kit is rather cheap and can be bought in various stores.

Croquet is “addictive”:)

Croquet is a not a very dynamic game, but surprisingly engaging.

It can be played by children, adults, the entire families, seniors, as well as groups with special needs.

It is also easy to adapt to the needs of particular players. You can play its different variations, easily change the number of gates, their setting, the way of playing and the other rules of the game.

This makes it an attractive sport for everyone – also in the current situation all over the globe.

krokiet dla dzieci

zabawa dla dzieci - krokiet

“Blink an eye” (Playing tricks)

This is a simple, traditional, Danish game (in Denmark called Blinkeleg).

All participants make a circle and hold their hands.

One person is standing inside. Her or his task is to catch the players from the circle.

The aim of the participants in the circle is to change their places. To do this, they must first communicate with one another, by blinking an eye. Only when two people exchange such a wink, they can change places. You can also introduce different ways of communication – a smile, some gestures etc.

No matter what type of signalling you use, you must change your places in such a way to avoid being caught / touched by a person in the middle.

A caught person replaces the one in the middle and the game starts again. There are no winners or losers. You can play until it gets boring.

You can also make it more competitive, introducing for instance the rule, that a person caught is eliminated from the further game.

zabawa tradycyjna mrugnij okiem

The circle of players – one person in the middle.

They try to communicate to change places

zajęcia z gier tradycyjnych

Fast changing of places!

Bull in the Red Sea

It’s a funny, traditional, Danish play with a rope. At home or in the garden you can also play without any equipment.

Participants make a circle and grab the tied rope (or without a rope – they hold the hands of the players next to them). One person goes inside. He or she is a Bull.

Her/his task is to catch one of the players from the circle. They must avoid it – nobody should be caught. To do this, they need to cooperate.

How? Holding the rope (or themselves by the hands), they must move together away from the Bull, who cannot go beyond the circle they form. While playing, the rope must not fall to the ground.

In the version without a rope, you cannot let go of the hand of the person next to you in a circle. If this happens, the Bull can chase the participants throughout the entire play area.

If we have little space at home or in the garden, we can resign from this element.

If the Bull manages to catch or touch someone – this person takes his/her place and becomes a new Bull.

byk w morzu czerwonym

Players in the circle with the rope.
The “Bull” inside, looking for a “victim”

zabawa tradycyjna byk

“The Bull” is about to “attack”

gry tradycyjne - byk w morzu czerwonym

Escaping from the Bull

It is always time to play traditional games and have fun!

These traditional games and plays do not require any equipment (Blink an eye, Bull in the Red Sea in a version with holding hands) or we only need a small and usually not expensive game kit (Croquet, Bull in the Red Sea in a version with a rope).

Currently, in some countries, we are already able to go out with our children to play, e.g. in the park. These games are great for that!

I will also return to organize my practical activities, during which it will be possible to play the other games.

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