8 Traditional Games for Family Fun

Traditional games for family fun are a very good option to spend quality time with your children. Here are 8 suggestions to choose from!
8 Traditional Games for Family Fun
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 19 October, 2023

Spending time with our children is one of the best gifts we can give them. In this regard, a good option is to play traditional games for family fun. These activities are usually a lot of fun and require only a few materials or resources. In addition, some of them can be a challenge that brings numerous benefits to children.

We can choose traditional games to have fun outdoors, but also for the moments when we’re at home indoors, looking to entertain ourselves. Besides, children love it when their parents give them time and attention. Keep reading to learn about some of the traditional games we can play with our children.

Traditional games for family fun

Nowadays, games have changed a lot compared to other times, mainly due to the use of new technologies. However, the traditional games that we used to play in the past are still in style and are an excellent option to entertain the little ones. This will bring numerous benefits to your children, as you’ll avoid the sedentary lifestyle of being glued to a screen, which will also favor their emotional development.

There are many options to choose from. Here, we’re going to make a selection of these so that, if your children don’t already know them, you can show them how to play. So, let’s play and have fun!

Traditional games for outdoor family fun

Now, let’s take a look at some traditional games for outdoor family fun. In addition to having a fun time, you’ll be in contact with nature and the outdoors, which helps to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

1. Hide and seek

This is one of the traditional games we all played as children. In this game, one of you will be “it”, meaning you have to find the rest of the players. To start the game, everyone gathers at a given spot. The person who’s “it” wi ll have to close their eyes and count to a certain number while everyone else must hide. Once the counting is up, the search for the rest of the participants will begin. If you find any of them, you tag them with your hand and continue searching.

Any player who isn’t discovered or who manages to make it back to the starting place without being tagged goes on to hide again in the next round. The first player to be found and tagged will be “it” in the next round.

2. Hopscotch

Children playing hopscotch.
Hopscotch is one of the most classic childhood games. In addition to having fun jumping, children benefit from developing balance and testing their dexterity.

This game involves balance and dexterity. You have to take a piece of chalk and paint the hopscotch number squares on the ground. Then, take a stone and throw it at one of the 10 squares. Next, you’ll have to jump over every one without stepping on the square where the stone is. This game is ideal for developing motor skills.

3. Spud

This is another traditional and fun game that your kids are sure to love. One player is chosen to be the thrower and will assign a different number to each of the other players. Then, to begin play, he or she will throw the ball in the air and call out one of the numbers. The player whose number was called must stand still while the rest of the players must run. The player with the assigned number catches the ball and yells “spud”, at which point the rest of the players must freeze.

At this point, the player with the ball can take three steps in any direction and throw the ball at another player, who can try to avoid being hit by moving any part of their body except their feet. If they catch or dodge the ball,  then the one who threw it gets the letter S. However, if they’re hit, then they get the letter S.  Each player can get up to four letters (S.P.U.D.) before they’re out of the game. The last player standing is the winner!

In this activity, reflexes and speed play a very important role, as winning the game will depend on these skills.

4. Tug of war

This is another traditional team game that’s perfect for family fun. The players divide into two teams, which, to make the game fair, should be more or less evenly distributed when it comes to age and strength. Next, you’ll make a line on the floor. Each group will line up on opposite sides of the line while holding onto a long rope and try to pull the opposing team over the line. The team that goes over the painted line will be the losing team. This game is very popular at birthday parties or on field trips.

5. Sack races

For this game, you’ll need burlap sacks, where you’ll jump from the starting area to the finish line. The winner is the one who reaches the finish line first. This activity can be a lot of fun, but you must be very careful not to fall and hurt yourselves.

Traditional games for family fun at home

Now we’re going to see some classic and traditional games with which you can have fun at home with the family.

Origami promotes fine motor skills. In addition, children will love to form their own figures with paper and share the moment as a family.

6. Making origami

This consists of making different figures with paper. To do this, you only need paper and your hands. There are many tutorials on the Internet that you can use to make your creations. It’ll be a fun family time to see all that you can do just by folding a piece of paper. In addition, with this activity, you’ll encourage fine motor skills in children.

7. Musical chairs

This is another game that’s a hit at children’s birthday parties. In addition, its mechanics are very simple. You’ll need a spacious place where you can place a circle of chairs in the center of the room. The number of chairs you’ll need is the number of players minus one. For example, if you have 8 players, you’ll need 7 chairs. To start the game, you’ll play music while the players walk in circles around the chairs. When the music stops, you’ll have to quickly find a seat. The player who’s left without a chair is eliminated, and one chair is removed from the circle. This is repeated until there’s only one winner.

8. Pictionary

This game is very popular, and you can also buy it at any toy store. However, you can also make your own homemade version as well. Then, it’s time to display all your artistic skills. One of the players has to draw a character, animal, place, or action on a piece of paper while the rest will have one minute to guess what it is.

About traditional games for family fun

You’ve already seen that traditional games for family fun are a very good option to have a good time with children. Surely, if your children don’t know them already, once they discover how to play, they’ll love them.

Many times, we forget that the little things in life are the most important. For this reason, family game time can fill their little hearts with happiness. So, what are you waiting for to start having fun?

“Time Spent Playing With Children Is Never Wasted”

– Dawn Lantero –

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Janot, J. B., & Arribas, T. L. (2002). Juegos multiculturales: 225 juegos tradicionales para un mundo global. Editorial Paidotribo.
  • Pérez-Latorre, Ó. (2012). Del Ajedrez a Starcraft. Análisis comparativo de juegos tradicionales y videojuegos. Comunicar, 19(38), 121-129.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.