Memorable traditional games to bust boredom and grow

Memorable traditional games to bust boredom and grow

I was walking around the Sonstraal pond in Durbanville with my firstborn when I bumped into another mother, who seemed to have shared my sentiment to just get out of the house and spend some time in nature with my little one. She also had a daughter the same age and we naturally had a lot to share as first-time mothers. Nadia Viljoen is now a mom of two. She studied sport management and coaching and she is the Author of 123 Play to Grow. (Also available in Afrikaans 123 Groei met Spel.)

Tradititional party games

We asked Nadia what inspired the book and to share three traditional games with us. This is what she said.

Today’s children have excellent general knowledge, but the development of their fine and gross motor skills are not up to standard. They further suffer from low muscle tone and therefor struggle with day to day activities such as colouring, cutting, catching a ball, jumping on one leg etc. Because of their poor muscle development, they also struggle with concentration.

I had to ask myself “why?” and the simple answer is TECHNOLOGY, computer games, PlayStation, cellphones and television!

We need to allow our children to be children in the full sense of the word. And with this book, we want to encourage you to invest in and love your children by playing with them.

With 1-2-3 Play to Grow, she shares 123 games to choose from and games are suitable for people aged 2 (two) years and up. The games are focused on development, but can also be fun for parties, serving as ice-breakers or just to play. (Or to use during COVID-19 lockdown, as home entertainment).

At the beginning of each age group, you will find a guide on what your child is supposed to do, what motor skills each activity develops and what equipment is needed.

3 Traditional Party games for children (and two to use during lockdown with siblings!)

Traditional Kids Party Games | Statue

The Statue game (Hoe om Standbeeld speletjie te speel)

Developmental value: Reaction time; balance; creativity

Equipment needed: A whistle

  1. The leader of the game is chosen.
  2. The kids run around freely.
  3. When the leader of the game blows his whistle, the rest of the kids have to stop and stand dead quiet.
  4. The leader of the game then says one word for example ‘nurse’or çat’ or ‘frog’.
  5. The rest of the kids then have to strike a pose imitating the person or animal until the whistle gets blown again.
  6. If a ‘statue’moves he falls out for a few rounds. When the next kid falls out, he is allowed to play again.

Traditional Kids Party Games | Pass the Parcel

2. Pass the package/parcel (Hoe om Pos die Pakkie te speel)

Developmental value: Learning to share; fine muscle development; auditory development

Equipment needed: Gift package or parcel; music

  1. All the players sit in a circle, while the leader of the game controls the music.
  2. There is a package that is covered with different layers of paper. Inside is any type of gift. (It has to be applicable to the age of the children).
  3. The music starts playing and the players pass on the package around the circle.
  4. When the music stops, the player who’s in possession of the package has to start opening it.
  5. When the music starts playing again, the player has to pass on the package again.
  6. The game is alternated in this manner by passing on the package and then trying to open it one layer at a time.
  7. The player who opens the final layer of the package wins the gift.

Traditional Kids Party Games | Cat and Mouse

3. Cat And Mouse (Hoe om Kat En Muis te speel)

(Group game)

Developmental value: Teamwork; communication; swiftness

Equipment needed: None

  1. The group chooses two players, one must be the cat and the other the mouse. They can also be chosen by using a counting-out rhyme.
  2. The rest of the group stand in a circle and hold hands.
  3. The task of the cat is to catch the mouse.
  4. The cat and the mouse have to move as if crawling.
  5. The cat must stay on the inside of the circle.
  6. The players who stand in a circle have to make sure that the cat doesn’t get out of the circle.
  7. The mouse, however, is allowed to move on the inside and outside of the circle and the players have to make sure that the mouse gets out quickly by lifting their hands and allowing him to escape.
  8. The game carries on until the cat catches the mouse and then two other players are chosen.
  9. The players can also choose a way to “punish” the mouse when the cat catches him.

You can find all the games you used to play as a child, Tip-Cat (Kennetjie), Crabs and Crows, Ding-Dong, Adam and Eve and more, in this book!! Read more here.

Book title: 1-2-3 Play to Grow (1-2-3 Groei met Spel)

Author: Nadia Viljoen

Publisher: Lapa Uitgewers

123 groei met spel image.jpg



Tanya is our publisher. With an honours degree in Biokinetics, diploma in Business Marketing and Administration, and as a master analyser, she loves blogging about educational topics, and how to simplify life. She is an extroverted logical thinker and enjoys writing about products and services that solve problems and makes life more enjoyable. She is a scientist at heart with a love for life, travel, family, friends and universal principles. In her free time, Tanya reads books on spiritual and business growth. Things to do With Kids created a career that involves her heart for family life, problem-solving and travelling. Tanya surrounds herself with geniuses who share her values, love for wisdom and life.

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