The Best Traditional Russian Children’s Games

With the attention of the world on Russia this summer, it’s probably time the rest of us brushed up on our Russian culture knowledge!

This article put together by Paddy Power games gives you an insight into a few games the Russians like to play that aren’t football!

  • Rezinochki

Known in many cultures as Chinese Jump Rope, the focus of this game is a large elastic band stretched between two players while other players jump over it.

Played by three to four players, each participant performs specified jumps whilst the band is held at different heights, ranging from ankle to neck level. When/if the player makes a mistake, he/she has to switch places with one of the players holding the elastic band in place. If there are four players, the pair is swapped when both players in a pair make a mistake.

  • Boyars

Somewhat similar to the (now banned) playground favourite British Bulldog, players in this classic Russian children’s game are split into two teamsand line up into two separate rows facing each other whilst all holding hands.

The teams pick a ‘Bride’ who then has to run forward to try and break the enemy’s chain. If the Bridesucceeds they return to their team, if not, they have to join the opposing side. The losing side then begin the next round. The goal is to build a chain until the opposing team have no players left.

  • Koldunchiki

In Koldunchiki,also known as Wizards, one person is the leader and the rest of the players have to run away from them. The leader chases after a player and tags them, the tagged player then has to stand still and wait to be saved by their teammates. The leader’s main objective throughout the game is to not move too far away from players they’ve has already tagged and not let anybody near them.

  • Cossacks and Thieves

More commonly known as Cops & Robbers, this game is played by children all across the globe. The playerssplit into two groups, one cops,and one robbers and then pick an object for the thieves to steal.To win the game, the thieves must complete their goal of stealing or touching the object and escaping from the Cossacks (Cops). They can tag the thieves to remove them from the game or send them to jail.

Which of these do you recognise? And have you played any? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share it with your friends!

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