10 Traditional Games for Kids You May Have Forgotten About

best traditional games for kids - traditional playground games to keep kids entertained indoors

10 Traditional Games for Kids You May Have Forgotten About

Whether you’re currently going through a family lockdown period due to COVID-19 or just looking for some family fun at home, these traditional games for kids could give you some inspiration.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best. They don’t need any prep and still keep the kids busy for hours.

Some are traditional playground games for kids that may make you feel nostalgic!




What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?

One child is the wolf and stands at one end of the room or garden with their back turned to the others.

The other children creep up behind them saying ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ The Wolf turns and answers ‘2 o’clock’ and the others have to freeze.

Then he turns back and they creep closer while asking again. When Mr Wolf deems they’re close enough then he can shout back ‘Dinner time!’ and run after them. Whoever he catches is the next Wolf.



Marco Polo

Usually played in a swimming pool, it can also be played indoors. One child is ‘It’ and they are blindfolded (or close their eyes). They shout ‘Marco’ and the others shout back ‘Polo’.

The catcher has to judge where everyone is and slowly move towards them to tag them. (They might need some help if they’re heading towards a wall!)

Whoever they catch becomes the next Marco Polo.


best traditional games for kids - traditional playground games to keep kids entertained indoors


Is there a more classic playground game for kids than this one?

A child is ‘It’ in the group. They have to chase the others around and try to tap them with their hand and shout ‘tag’.

The person they tap is now ‘It’ and now they have to chase the others.

Often kids add extra rules on like introducing a ‘safe space’ called something like ‘homey’ where they can’t be tagged, to make it more interesting.



Uno, dos, tres, toca la pared (not the horror movie) or Red light, Green Light

There are different variations of this game but one player stands at one end of the room at least 15 feet away from the other children.

While they are facing the wall the children creep up behind him and try to get as close as possible to him.

He quickly says something – it could be ‘uno dos tres toca la pared’ (1, 2 3 touch the wall), they bang the wall and turn around.

Or they could shout ‘Red Light’ and swing round.

Whoever is caught moving when they turn around has to go back to the finish line.

Whoever reaches the end and touches the player at the end of the room (without him turning round to catch them) wins.



Simon Says

This is a great one for younger kids. They take turns to be ‘Simon’ and whoever is ‘Simon’ gives the orders with the words ‘Simon says’ before it.

So they could say ‘Simon Says, touch your nose’ and everyone has to do it.

If they say just ‘Touch your nose’ without ‘Simon Says’ before it, then the other players shouldn’t follow the instruction. Anyone who does the action is out.

Keep going to see who will last the longest.


best traditional games for kids - traditional playground games to keep kids entertained indoors

Hide and Seek

We couldn’t leave out this classic from the list as kids still enjoy it so much!

One person covers their eyes and counts to a number (10, 20, 100). The others hide and the seeker has to find them.

Always check kids know not to hide anywhere dangerous.

It’s a great game for indoors or even in the garden.



Fun Hand-Clap Games

Hand-clap routines can become addictive. You can find a lot of rhymes and clap routines online. One great website for clapping games is funclapping.com.

Pick one and let them practise perfecting it together for hours.

This particular website has a list of videos and songs to choose from. Like this one:

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

Once they’ve mastered one you can move onto another.



Freeze Dance

Play music and let everyone dance as crazily as they can.

When it stops they have to freeze. Anyone moving after the music stops is out.


best traditional games for kids - traditional playground games to keep kids entertained indoors


Make a hopscotch grid using chunky chalk. Number each square from 1 to 9.

Pick up a small stone and throw it onto Square number 1.

Hop over square 1, to the end and back to square 2. Pick up the stone and hop over square 1 and back to the starting point.

Play again this time with square 2 and so on.



Musical Islands

Set out sheets of A4 paper or card in the corners of the room. These will be your ‘islands’.

Lay out 1 fewer sheet than the number of kids in the game. Play some music loudly and let them dance in the middle of the room.

When the music stops they need to run and stand on an ‘island’.

Whoever is the last to find an ‘island’ won’t get one and will be out. Remove one sheet of paper and play again.

The last one in the game wins.

Did you enjoy any of these when you were a child?

Maybe pick your favourite, show kids how to play and let the fun begin!

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