Located between Central America and the United States, Mexico is a country with a rich history. Its people descend from the ancient Mayan and Aztec peoples who lived there when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Mexican culture includes its own children's games and sports, which offer a way for students elsewhere to learn about the country through games played outdoors or in the classroom.
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La Gallinita Ciega (The Blind Hen)
La Gallinita Ciega (The Blind Hen) is a game of tag that is played by children in Mexico. Three or more children are needed to play this game. Choose one child and cover her eyes so she cannot see, which makes her the blind hen. Spin her around and set her loose. The other children call out to the blind hen by saying things such as, "Come and get me." The object of the game is for the blind hen to find all the other children and tag them while she is unable to see. There are no time restrictions; the game is finished when the children no longer want to play.
Loteria game is a traditional game from Mexico that is very similar to bingo. Instead of using numbers on ping pong balls, there are different images on a deck of cards. Each student has a card with a grid of pictures that corresponds to the images in the deck of cards. There are four pictures across and four pictures down on the students' grid cards. Teachers draw an image randomly from the deck of cards and call out the name in Spanish. Students match the name of the image called out by placing a marker on their picture grid. When a student has four images in a square, horizontal, vertical or diagonal role, he wins and shouts out "loteria!"
Soccer, or futbol, is the most popular sport in Mexico. Divide your class into two teams and teach the students the rules of soccer. You can play soccer with as few as three kids per side, but the standard rules are 11 children per team. Teach kids to dribble, pass and master the art of soccer. Students can compete in a friendly game that is the national pastime of Mexico.
Escondidas (Hide and Seek)
One child is chosen to count from one to 30 while the remaining children hide. When the child counting reaches 30, he yells out, "Ready or not, here I come." The child who was counting finds the other children who are hiding. When he finds the first child, he tags her, and all of the other children can come out of their hiding places. The child who was found first starts counting and the game is repeated. At least three children are needed to play the game.
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