Tug of War from Ancient Egypt

There are paintings of ancient Egyptians having a tug-of-war without a rope!

The way they did it was to have two teams in a single line. Each team is lined up one behind the other, holding on to the waist of the person in front of them, facing the other team. There could be a line between the teams.

The first person in each line, the leader, extends their arms. Each team leader clasps the arms of the opposite team’s leader and the tug-of-war begins.

The first team to pull the other across a line wins! OR first team to break contact with themselves (i.e. someone lets go of their fellow teammate) loses!

Lagan Buri from Senegal, Africa

You’ll need 5 or more people, a large space and a “Lagan”, which is a handkerchief or scarf, to play the game. Choose an area to be home base, and choose one player to be “It”.

All the other players stand on the home base and cover their eyes (no peeking!) while the player who is “It” hides a handkerchief. When the handkerchief is safely hidden, “It” moves to home base and calls out “Buri!”.

The other players look for the Lagan (handkerchief). The player who finds it tries to tag all of the other players before they reach home base. Once a player has been tagged, they are out and must sit down at home base.

The game continues until all the players are tagged. Then, the person who found the handkerchief taps one of the tagged players on the head. That player then becomes “It”, and the game starts again .

Bounce Eye from Australia

Bounce Eye is believed to have been created by early Australian settlers in the late 1700s. The game requires 3-4 players, and 3 marbles for each player.

Use a piece of chalk to draw a one-foot circle on a sidewalk. Each player puts two marbles in the center of the chalk circle. The first player stands up straight and drops a marble (from eye level) trying to knock the other players’ marbles out of the circle.

If any marbles are knocked out, they become the property of whoever knocked them out. Each player has a turn, until all of the marbles are knocked out of the circle. The player with the most marbles at the end wins!

El Ven Conmigo from Cuba

“El ven conmigo” means “come with me” in Spanish. To play the game, you’ll need a large space and 5 or more players.

One person is chosen to be “It”. The rest of the players sit in small circles of 4 or so, facing towards each other. The player who is “It” runs around each group.

When “It” taps someone on the shoulder, both the tapped person and “it” must run around all the groups, racing to sit where the tapped player was.

Whoever gets in the open seat is no longer “it”, and the game continues with the other player as the new “It.”

Sota Pani from India

You’ll need a large space and handkerchief or scarf and at least 5 or more players.

One person is chosen to be “It”. The remaining players make a large circle by sitting down, facing inward, with each player looking ONLY straight ahead.

“It” walks around the outside of the circle, and eventually drops the handkerchief behind one person who must then grab the handkerchief and run around the outside of the circle.

The player with the handkerchief tries to get back in their seat before “It” does. Whoever does not get the seat becomes “It”. If person does not notice that “It” has dropped the scarf behind them, when “It” comes around to their spot, “It” picks up the handkerchief and continues to walk around the circle.