Traditional Spanish games. This article focuses on traditional games in Spain including popular adult Spanish games and typical Spanish games for kids.
The term “Spanish games” in an interesting term in English given that the word Spanish could refer to an adjective meaning “from Spain” or it could be refer to the Spanish language. To avoid confusion, this article will focus on traditional games in Spain including popular adult Spanish games and typical Spanish games for kids. If you are looking for Spanish games to learn the language, visit our Spanish learning games section for a variety of Spanish vocabulary games.
Spain is a country rich with tradition and boasts a variety of typical Spanish games. We can start by mentioning the fact that Spain has its on deck of cards called the Spanish baraja that dates back to the 14th century. Some popular Spanish games played with the Spanish baraja deck of cards are:
- Mus: Originally from the Basque region, Mus is most likely the most played card game in Spain. This game involves taking tricks in groups of 2 player teams.
- Siete y Media: Seven-thirty is another Spanish game with Italian origins. It is a game similar to Black Jack.
- Tute: Tute is another popular trick-taking card game in Spain. This Spanish game, originally from Italy, has many variations. The game features trump cards and is played by 4 players.
The following are other types of traditional Spanish games:
- Damas: Checkers, or draughts, is a popular board game in Spain and all over the world.
- Dominó: Dominoes, a table game that uses small white rectangular tiles. Each tile represents 2 numeric values with 1-6 dots on each half. Various games can be played with dominoes.
- Parchís: Parchís is a popular Spanish board game that comes from the Indian game of Pachisi. It consists of 4 players with 4 pawns that must make there way around the board until reaching their safe zone. A die is used to determine moves and players “chase” and “eat” each others pawns, sending them back to the starting point.
Spanish Games for Kids
- Chapas: Chapas are bottle caps and a fair translation of this fun game for kids would be “the bottle cap game. ”The caps are decorated and used on tracks that are drawn on the ground. Children then flick their caps as far as possible and race. They then take turns based on whose cap went the farthest.
- Churro, mediamanga, mangantera: This Spanish game for children consists of two teams. One team forms a line, bending at the waist and holding onto the person in front of them, forming a long flat barrier. The other team forms a line (standing up) directly behind the barrier. One by one they must jump as far as possible onto the backs of the barrier team. They can propel themselves forward with their hands, but once they land, they are not allowed to move. If the whole team is able to maintain their balance on top of the “barrier” then the first jumper must then touch either his/her forearm (churro), mid-arm (mediamanga), or hold both hands together (mangotero). Then, the first player of the barrier team must guess in what position his/her rival’s hand is in. If he/she guesses correctly, the teams switch roles. If not, they start over again in the same roles. Additionally, if the barrier collapses at any point in the game, they must start over as the barrier team again. If the jumping team falls, or any of their players touch the ground at any time, then the teams switch roles.
- Escondite: “Hide and seek” in the dark is a popular kid’s game worldwide. The players “hide” and the “seeker” finds.
- Gomas: Is a traditional activity for kids, with Bolivian origins, that involves a long elastic band that is held by two or more players. A player, located in the middle, must do certain jumps and choreography movements with the elastic band to the rhythm of singing and clapping. If an error is made, players switch places.
- Oca: The game of the Goose is a traditional and fun children’s game. It is a board game with numbered spaces arranged in a spiral. The players’ pieces move based on dice-throws and face a wide variety of shortcuts and obstacles to reach the end. It is believed that the first version of this Spanish game was a gift to Phillip II of Spain from Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sometime between 1574 and 1587.
- Peonza: Peonza, or spinning top, is a popular Spanish toy that spins on an axis, balanced on one point. There are many types of tops and fun games for kids that can be played with the peonza.
- Rayuela: Rayuela, or “hopscotch” is another fun activity for kids that is also popular worldwide. In this traditional Spanish game, Children must hop through a course that is drawn on the ground.