Games are a popular pastime for children all over the world. Children in Sweden, even in modern times, often play games steeped in the country's history. Many American board games have been found in Swedish family homes, but more traditional games of the country are played in schoolyards and playgrounds or at festivals around the nation.
A traditional Swedish Viking game played outdoors can involve children as young as four to six, and in as small or large a group that can be divided. Kubb has players throwing sticks at an object designated as "King." The Kubbs are wooden blocks or other items able to be knocked over that are set up along the sides of the playing field. With a helicopter throw, each player takes his turn tossing a stick over the King to try and knock over the Kubbs. Once a team has knocked over the most Kubbs, that team may then knock over the King and win the game.
Maypoles are a game played by many cultures and religions around the world. In Sweden, children often go out into a designate field on April 30 to celebrate Spring. Maypoles are tall poles or stakes decorated with garland and often painted, with long ribbons tied to the top. Eight to 20 children then dance around the pole, following the direction of the ribbons depending upon the type of dance they are participating in. Although there is no winner in the game, maypole dancing has children following specific directions and making them work together.
Played the same as the English Blindman's Bluff, blindbock makes an amusing game for many Swedish children, as well as making children utilise their sense of hearing. By blindfolding a chosen player, another player then turns the "blindbock," or "blind buck," around in a circle several times. The rest of the players then circle around the blind buck, chanting and calling out to her. The blindbock must reach blindly out for any of her opponents to try and tag the next blindbock.
Tongue Twisters make amusing and complicated games for children all over the world play in the playground and playground. One player will think of a statement, then the other players must say the statement quickly and repeatedly for a certain length of time. Typically the players must repeat the question seven to 10 times over to win. Popular Swedish statements include, "Sex laxar I en lax-ask," or in English, "Six salmons in a salmon-box." Another popular Swedish phrase is, "Flyg Fula fluga, flyg, och den Fula flugan flög," or in English, "Fly ugly fly, fly; and the ugly fly flew." The child able to say the statement repeatedly without getting his tongue tied wins.
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images