Australian kids games range from outdoor ball play to fun party games to traditional aboriginal favourites, adapted for a modern society. For example, tennis balls, large balls and water-play "noodles" are used in games that once used spears and clubs. Some games may appear similar to popular games in other cultures, and Australian children also play numerous games that are popular with children in North America..
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Keep-Away Ball Games
Australian children play numerous ball games outdoors. In "Piggy in the Middle," two children stand on either side and toss a ball back and forth. A third child is the "piggy" in the middle who tries to catch the ball. Should the "piggy" retrieve the ball, the person who threw it is now in the middle. In "Volley Balloon," players use their hands to keep a balloon up in the air.
A traditional aboriginal game called "Pulyugee" involves people in possession of a ball, usually made out of animal hide, avoiding getting tagged by the opposition. In "Keentan," players on opposing teams try to throw the ball to their teammates, while keeping it away from the rival team. It is also known as "Kangaroo Play" because the opposition looks like a bunch of kangaroos hopping as they jump up to steal the ball.
"Lolly" is Australian slang for candy. To play "Lolly Relay," children divide into two or more equal lines. On the count of three, the first child in line has to put on a pair of mittens and then unwrap a lolly. Once the candy is in her mouth, she passes the mittens to the next child. The first line to have all of their lollies unwrapped wins.
Another fun party game is "Pass the Parcel." A package is wrapped repeatedly, with a small token within each layer. Each child takes a turn unwrapping one layer, and keeps the surprise contained within.
Boomerangs are a traditional Australian icon. When these V-shaped wooden items are thrown correctly, they will return to the thrower. They can be used in a traditional aboriginal game known as Bubberah. Multiple players can throw their boomerangs. The winner is the one whose boomerang returns closest to him. In "Yahweerh," one person has to use a shield to deflect boomerangs that others throw.
Outdoor Group Games
These Australian kids games are best played outside with a large group of kids. In "Red Rover," children are divided into equal teams. They stand facing each other, tightly holding hands. They invite one child at a time to run over and try to break through. They chant each time: "Red Rover, Red Rover, send [child] right over." If the child makes it through, he takes someone back to his side. If he gets stuck, he stays with that team.
There is also the classic "Tug of War," in which the children are divided into two teams of equal strength. They pull on either end of a rope, until one group is pulled within a pre-drawn circle or over a line.
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