15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents

The Traditional games of Ecuador Survive despite the introduction of technology in the form of mobile or video games, more typical of other countries. Although less and less, hopscotch, jumping rope or burnt bread remains part of Ecuadorian streets.

Traditional games are those that do not require the use of specialized instruments but of elements that can be found in nature or can be made by hand. 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents

This is why traditional games show the creativity of communities, since hobbies can be invented from common elements, such as wooden wands, rope ropes, among others.

In Ecuador, a country of Latin America, there is a series of these games. Some are unique in this nation, while others are common in South America.

List of 15 traditional games of Ecuador

1- Marbles 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents 1

The marbles are glass beads, or other crystalline material, which are used in a game that receives the same name. There are different ways to play marbles.

In one, it is played within an area called"lightning"; In this case, the first participant of the game throws his marble inside the allowed area (the ray), the next participant will try to hit the marble of the previous player, so that it leaves the delimited area.

In case the marble of the first participant leaves the ray, the second player will have won a marble. The game continues until one of the participants has run out of marbles.

In another of the modalities, a stripe is marked and the participants are placed a great distance from this one.

Each participant will take turns to throw the marble and the one who gets closer to the line, or crosses it, will be the winner and can stay with the other marbles.

2- Hopscotch 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents 2

Hopscotch is a traditional Latin American game in which a stone and a drawing on the floor are required. The drawing on the floor follows, more or less, the following format:

The game consists of the participants advancing to the last square without stepping out of the hopscotch.

At first glance, the game seems simple, however, it presents certain difficulties, among which they emphasize that only one foot can step on a square, reason why the players must jump on a single foot (except in the double boxes, in the Which can be stepped on both feet).

The other difficulty is that before starting to jump, the player must throw a stone in one of the squares; The participant will not be able to step on the square with the stone but he must collect it before continuing his journey towards the final square, since this is the only way he can win the game.

If the stone that the participant throws does not fall into the hopscotch, this will be disqualified. If the participant steps out of the hopscotch, he will have lost. If the participant loses the balance when collecting the stone, he will also be disqualified.

3- Comets 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents 3

Comets are traditional toys made with wooden rods and colored papers. During the summer in Ecuador, the children go to an outdoor area to fly kites (or climb them); The kite that manages to fly higher will be the winner.

Comets are made with two wooden rods that are joined in the shape of a cross and are tied in the middle with a piece of rope. With a leaflet, two marks are made around each of the four ends of the cross.

Subsequently, a thick thread is drawn and one end is tied tightly; Then the thread is passed through the other three ends of the rod, outlining a rhombus with the thread.

The next step is to take a colored paper that is very thin (so that it does not resist much wind resistance) or a piece of plastic like plastic bags.

This should be trimmed with the shape of the diamond that we have just created, leaving a few centimeters more; This additional space will allow the paper to be fixed to the structure of our kite.

Glue is placed on the wooden rods and the thread that surrounds these; Then the paper is glued to the frame, folding the edges of the paper inward so as to cover the threads. The kite can be decorated by making fringes of paper and gluing them on each side.

A long string is attached at the bottom vertex of the kite. In the two horizontal vertices, are tied two small cords that must be attached to the central cord.

Finally, make a ball with the central line using a rod, so that it allows the rope to be rolled up or released so that the kite rises or falls.

4- Jump the rope 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents 4

This is a game that can be done in groups or individually. When playing in groups, two people hold each end of a rope and spin it.

Participants should jump rope without tripping over it, and children sometimes sing songs while jumping.

When played individually, the participant who jumps is the same as holding the rope. You can make competitions, such as who lasts longer by jumping.

Jumping rope is not only fun, it also brings health benefits because it promotes the performance of physical activity.

5- Trumpet 15 Traditional Games of Ecuador for Children and Adolescents 5

The top is a round toy that ends in a point, usually made of metal, that allows it to turn.

This toy is rolled up with a string and then thrown against the floor to make it spin (or dance). If you have enough skills, you can even make the spinning top into our hands.


"Bagged", also known as"sack races", is a game that is practiced outdoors.

This consists of the participants getting into sacks of canvas and should jump to the goal, If they drop the sack, they will be disqualified. The participant who reaches the goal first wins.

7- Ali cacatúa

To play"Alí cacatúa", the children sing a song of the same name, which reads:

Cockatoo, say you Name of [insert a category here, p. Flowers]

Each participant will say a name belonging to the selected category. The player who fails to say a word, or repeats one that has already been said, will be disqualified. The game continues until only one participant remains.

8- The burned bread

In this game, a leader hides an object somewhere in the place where they are playing; The other participants begin to look for the object while the leader gives clues about their location: it will say"cold"if they are far from the object; "Lukewarm", if they are approaching; And"hot"if they are very close.

The participant who manages to find the object will become the leader in the next round and so the game continues.

9- The greasy stick

In this traditional game, a stick of 10 or 15 meters is placed in the center of a square.

The stick is covered in tallow, fat or butter. Subsequently, the participants should try to climb to the top of the club, where a flag is to be taken.

However, fat on the stick makes climbing difficult. To ascend, participants can only use their legs and arms, without using any additional object.

This game arose in Naples, Italy, during the XVI century and from there it expanded to other European countries, including Spain.

With the arrival of the Spaniards to the territory of America during Century XVI, the game of the bad stick was introduced in the colonies.

In Ecuador, it is also known as cucaña (name that was given to him in Spain), castle and the lime tree.

10- The rope

This is a game in which participants are divided into two groups. Each of the groups is placed at the end of a rope and, at the count of three, begin to pull towards their side, so that the opposing team loses its balance and falls.

Win the team that is managed to keep standing. This game promotes teamwork.

11- The onion

In this game, the first participant sits on the floor and holds tightly to a pole. The next participant sits behind the first and holds tightly to the back of the first; The other participants must do the same. You can also play standing.

One of the players will be free and this should try to separate the others, peeling the layers of humans as if it were an onion.

12- The San Andrés burrito

In this game, one of the participants stands with his back to a wall. The next player places the head between the legs of the first player and five other players do the same, to be able to form the body of the donkey.

The other participants should climb to the"burrito"avoiding not to fall. The game ends when all the participants are mounted on the donkey. However, if any of the children falls, the"riders"will become the"donkey".

13- The hula hula

The hula hula, also called"ula ula", is a plastic ring that is placed at the waist in order to make it turn around the body of the player. The participant who lasts longer without dropping the hula hula will be the winner.

The person with more skill can pass the hula hoop from the waist to the neck, from the neck to the arms, and so on. In some competitions, this ability to determine the winner is evaluated.

This game is not exclusive of Ecuador, since some sources affirm that it has existed since 3000 BC; Similarly, in Ancient Greece, hula hula was used as a method for exercising and improving the health conditions of individuals.

The name"hula hula"comes from Hawaii. The name originated in the eighteenth century, when some explorers visited the island of Hawaii and saw the similarity between the movements of the hula dance and the movement that was made when the"hoop"was turned.

In the 1950s, hula hula were reinvented and started to be made in plastic, not in wood, so that the design was lighter.

14- The hidden ones

In a large group, a participant in charge of counting is chosen. This will cover the eyes and count from 1 to 20; Meanwhile, the other participants will seek a hiding place.

When the count reaches 20, he must say"ready or not, there I go"and, in this way, begins to look for hidden players.

The first to be found will be in charge of counting in the next round. The game ends when all participants have been found.

In some modalities, it is enough to find the hidden person (without needing to touch it) so that it is who counts in the next round.

However, in other modalities of the game, a"safe place"is established, so that, if a participant is found, he can run to that place and"save himself"from being the one who counts; If you play with these rules, it is necessary that the player that counts touch the participant that he finds.

15- Lemon water

In this game, a large group of children take their hands and begin to spin as a leader sings:

Lemon water

Let's play.

The one who stays alone

It will only stay.

Hey, in groups of [insert a number here]

At the end of the song, the leader says a number and the children have to run to form groups of that number. Children who are not included in any group are disqualified.


  1. Ecuador Culture: Trompo. Retrieved on June 6, 2017, from pro-ecuador.com.
  2. Traditional Games Enjoyed in South America. Recovered on June 6, 2017, from soundsandcolours.com.
  3. Children's Songs and Games from Ecuador. Retrieved on June 6, 2017, from folkways.si.edu.
  4. Culture of Ecuador. Retrieved on June 6, 2017, from en.wikipedia.org.
  5. Traditional Children's Games from Around the World. Retrieved on June 6, 2017, from topics-mag.com.

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