Learn more about the traditional Mexican games such as coleadas, chinche la agua, escondidas, la roña…
Looking for traditional Mexican games? Mexico has a rich culture and with it, many traditional games that are played among children and adults throughout the country. These traditional Mexican games are meant to not only be a lot of fun, but also are education and a great way to spend time with family and friends.
Traditional Mexican games are not just fun and great way to spend your time with your family and friends but they can also be educational.
Perhaps the most popular traditional Mexican game for younger children is known as “Stealing the Sombrero”. To play this Mexican game, first each child must have a sombrero. You can make the sombreros easily out of paper if needed. Attach a sombrero to each child's back. When the Mexican music starts, each child must try to steal another child's sombrero without losing their own. Start and stop the music to signal the beginning and ending of each round. Children who lose their sombreros must sit out on the next rounds, until the last two children are left who are declared the winners.
Another popular Mexican traditional game is the “Mexican Hat Dance”, which is also the national dance of Mexico. Children, who may find the actual dance steps complicated, play the game to enjoy Mexican music and dance instead. To play, children form a circle while holding hands. Play some Mexican hat dance music and have the children move clockwise while raising their hands together. Meanwhile, call a child's name that must go into the center of the circle and do a dance. Repeat the process until each child has practiced their dance moves in this traditional Mexican game!
Another interesting and fun traditional Mexican game is the “Mexican Lottery Card Game”. It was first manufactured in 1887 by Don Clemente Jacques and is still sold throughout Mexico and parts of the USA. The game is similar to “bingo” but there are some important differences. For instance, an 80 card deck of brightly colored Mexican cards is used instead of numbered balls. The board game normally comes with a set of ten game cards featuring the corresponding images. Instead of an ink dauber, beans, chips, coins or pebbles are used to mark the pictures. Another twist is that the caller does not simply announce the card drawn, but rather makes up a rhyme or riddle about it. This is one of the reasons it is a great game for learning Spanish!
Mexican games also include variations of games that are played by children all over the world:
- Atrapadas - Catch
- Avión - Hopscotch
- Brincar la cuerda - jump rope
- Encantados - a game similar to freeze tag
- Escondidas (escondidillas) - Hide and seek
- Piedra, tijera, papel - Rock, paper, scissors
- Policias y ladrones - cops and robbers
- Canicas (cuirias) - Marbles
- La víbora de la mar - London Bridges
- El Yoyo - the yoyo
- Telefono descompuesto - telephone game
- La Gallinita Ciega - Duck duck goose
- La Roña - tag
Mexican children also play many variations of the hide and seek game. For example:
- Bote pateado -A hide and seek game with a twist that requires a can to play. The “seeker” must go back and forth to the can between searches giving the players time to hide again.
- Burro castigado - Similar to hide and seek. The seeker has 10 minutes to find five players or he/she becomes the “punished donkey”.
Singing games are also very popular in Mexico:
- Hay un hoyo en el fondo de la mar - A singing game in which children must repeat previous lines. The song gets longer and longer and it serves to increase their memory.
- Mientras el lobo no está - A game in which children sing and the wolf, who is outside of the circle, answers explaining what he /she is doing. When the wolf answers “yes” all the children run and the wolf must catch one of them.
There are many other traditional Mexican games, the following are some examples:
- Coleadas - A game in which children hold hands on one is in charge of running and zigzagging around things until other fall off.
- Cebollitas, brujitas o bombetas - Little silk bags filled with gun powder and rocks are thrown and explode.
- Chinche al agua -“Buck buck” is a team game in which players from one team jump on the backs of players from the other and try not to fall off.
- Piñata - the piñata game in which children are blindfolded and try to break the piñata.