In history there have been famous games shared by people in many different parts of the world. However, Spain’s traditional games have entertained children since long before these games became popular.
Spain is a country rich in traditions
and boasts a variety of typical games. Spain even has its own deck of cards called the baraja española
that dates back to the 14th century. Some popular Spanish games played with the Spanish deck of cards are:
Originally from the Basque Country, Mus is probably the most played card game in Spain. Two 2-player teams compete to win tricks.
Siete y Media
Seven and a Half is a Spanish game with Italian origins. It is similar to Black Jack.
Tute is a popular trick-taking card game in Spain that features trump cards and is played by 4 players.
There are many other typical games in Spain that don’t use cards:
Checkers, or draughts, is a popular board game in Spain and all over the world.
Dominoes, a game that uses small white rectangular tiles. Each tile represents 2 numeric values with between zero and six dots on each side. Various games can be played with dominoes.
Parchís is a popular Spanish board game that comes from the Indian game of Pachisi. Each of the four players has four pawns that must make their way around the board until reaching their safe zone. A die is used to determine moves and players “chase” and “eat” each other’s pawns, sending them back to the starting point.
And, of course, there are Spanish games for kids
Chapas is played with metal bottle caps. The caps are decorated, and a track is drawn on the ground. Players race each other to the end of the track by taking turns flicking their caps.
Churro, mediamanga, mangantera
This Spanish game for children is played by 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 with their backs. 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.
“Hide and seek” in the dark is a popular kid’s game worldwide. The players “hide” and the “seeker” finds.
A traditional activity for kids that involves a long elastic band stretched between two players who hold the band in place with their legs. The other players, step into the middle of the band to do certain jumps and choreography movements to the rhythm of singing and clapping. If an error is made, players switch places.
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.
Peonza, or spinning top, is a popular Spanish toy that spins around, balanced on one point. There are many types of tops and fun games for kids that can be played with the peonza.