Games in Latin Countries


Looking for some games to play during my son’s spring break, I have found great games you can use in our classroom or with your children! I was looking about games which bring movement, exercise and outdoor activities, since my son’s indoor video gaming habits are a concern to me!

From Mexico:



Ages: 9-12 Supplies: small beans

Players: 4-6; individual; informal Activity: pasttime; catching; tossing

Place: gymnasium; out-of-doors Appeal: skill

A small hole is dug in the ground if played out-of-doors, or a bowl placed on the floor if played indoors.

A line is drawn about 8 feet away from the hole. The players take a handful of little red beans called

colorinas and stand on the line. One at a time the players see how many beans they can throw into the hole.

The whole handful of beans must be released at one time. If any fall into the hole, the player picks them up

and puts them in the palm of one hand. Then with a jerk he or she throws the beans into the air and tries to

catch them on the back of the hand; once again he or she throws them and catches them in the palm. The

player who has the greatest number of beans in the palm after the last person throws is the winner. The

players must each have an equal number of beans to start the game.

Little Parrot

Ages: 9-12 Supplies: small object

Players: 10-20; single-group; circle Activity: pasttime; alertness

Place: home; schoolroom Appeal: dramatization

A leader is chosen and given a small object or little parrot to hold in his or her hands; the leader and the

other players sit in a circle. The leader starts the play by turning to the player on the left and asking quite

seriously, “Would you like to buy this pretty little parrot?” The player asks just as seriously, “Will it bite?”

The leader answers, “Why, no, it will not bite,” and then passes the small object or little parrot to the player

on his left. This player turns to the player on his or her left (or the third player) and asks, “Would you like

to buy this parrot?” The third player asks, “Will it bite?” When the second player is asked the question

about the parrot biting, he or she must not reply. He or she must turn to the leader and ask, “Will it bite?”

The leader answers, “Why, no, it will not bite,” whereupon the second player turns to the third player and

repeats, “Why, no, it will not bite,” and passes the little parrot to him or her.

The play continues with questioning always going back from player to player until it reaches the leader.

The answer, “Why, no, it will not bite,” is repeated to the player holding the little parrot. Should a player

laugh or forget to pass the little parrot, he or she must pay a penalty.


Mela Mela Tin (Mehlah- Mehlah- Teen)

Ages 3-5

Children with children or parent with child will have noses touching and rub against them, saying mela, mela, mela tin! When the tin comes, you lightly hit your head on your child’s or let children do it, they will have so much fun!



Ages 5-12

Like hop scotch, but a bean bag is used



Ages 6-14

Children run to tag the others and place them in the “safe house” until there is nobody left.



Ages 7-14

Kids will be on two sides, separated by a middle line, one team has a ball and try to hit the other one. The person hit is out of the game until there is only one left.



Luta de Galo

(LU-ta de GA-lo)

Ages: 9-12 Supplies: handkerchiefs

Players: any number; couple; informal Activity: contest; pushing; reaching

Place: gymnasium; out-of-doors Appeal: competition; skill

Players pair up, then they tuck handkerchiefs in their belts, place their right arm across their chest and

hop around on their right foot. The free left arm is used to reach for the opponent’s handkerchief. A player

whose left foot touches the ground or whose right arm unbends is disqualified. The player who succeeds

in getting the opponent’s handkerchief is the winner. Luta de Galo means a “fight of roosters.”



Who Is It?

Ages: teen Supplies: none

Players: 20 or more; group-and-one; line Activity: pasttime; guessing

Place: home; schoolroom Appeal: dramatization

One player is chosen to be leader and to head a line formed by the other players standing directly behind

the leader. The game starts as the leader asks the question, “Have you seen my friend?” The players answer,

“No, sir.” The leader then asks, “Do you know where my friend is?” The answer is, “Yes, sir.”

After this conversation the leader slowly walks forward nine steps. During this time, the players quietly

and quickly shift places in the line as they wish. One player moves directly behind the leader. The others

call, “Who is it?” The leader may ask three questions of the players before he or she answers. The questions

may be, “Is it boy or girl? Is he fair or dark? Is he short or tall?” After asking the three questions the leader

must guess who stands behind him or her. Should the leader guess correctly, he or she is leader again;

otherwise another player becomes the leader.



La Cachanga

(La Ca-CHAN-ga)

Ages: 9-12 Supplies: shoe

Players: 15-30; group-and-one; circle Activity: hunting; kneeling; passing

Place: gymnasium; out-of-doors Appeal: rhythm; skill

The term la cachanga is Spanish for a sandal made of cotton. The sole of the shoe is flat and the shoe

is held on by a strap. The players are in a close circle, kneeling on one knee, the other is at right angles. A

shoe is passed quickly under the knee of each player. One player on the outside of the circle moves around

the group in the direction in which the shoe is sent and tries to locate the shoe. The circle players say

together repeatedly,

Que corra la cachanga The sandal that runs

Que corra la cachanga. The sandal that runs.

If the outside player locates the shoe, he or she taps the shoulder of the player holding it and then exchanges

places with that player.



Define, Define, What Is It?

Ages: teen Supplies: none

Players: 10 or more; group-and-one; informal Activity: pasttime; alertness; guessing

Place: home; schoolroom Appeal: dramatization

One player starts the game by presenting the group with a situation or a problem. For example, he says:

“What has six legs, four arms, and a woman’s head on it and it moves like this…..?” Then he or she moves

forward and backward. “It also has many colors, etc.” Players may make guesses as the description goes

on. The person who guesses correctly starts the next game. (Answer: a chair with a lady in it.) This game

is somewhat like the game of charades in which several players present the problem, usually in pantomime.

Please let me know if you tried and if you liked it!

Bilingual Team!

Claudia Krusch (65 Posts)

Mom and Foreign Language teacher at EasyLearn Languages, the author is a blogger and active member of South Jersey and Latino blogging groups.

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