Our childhood is defined by the various games that we played.
With the popularity of nostalgic shows like Squid Games, children have been looking forward to learning about the games of other countries. Looking back at the games of other places can truly be a start for opening up to culture.
And, when it comes to learning about diverse cultures, no one can ignore Russia. Along with being a country spanning over two continents, Russia has always attracted people to its cultures. Even though the adults may take it to be the place with the deadly game of Russian roulette, there are many traditional Russian games enjoyed by the children. So, keep reading to know about the Russian games.
Russian Folk Games
When it comes to the games played by children, most of them have a folk origin, so let us have a look at some of them.
The simplest Russian game that children play is the rucheyok or stream, where the children divide themselves into two lines facing each other, and then they raise their hands to form a tunnel. The child who is left without a pair has to go through the tunnel while keeping their eyes closed and choose a pair, who then goes to the end of a tunnel. The person left without a pair will then have to play the game all over again.
Another common game is kolechko or ring, played by Russian children. It requires you to have a ring, a coin, or a small button. The game has a leader who has the object, while the other players sit in a row with their palms together in front of the leader. Now, the leader has to go down the line pretending to drop in the object in everyone's hand, but only one has it, and they have to run from the other players to successfully become the next leader.
Russian Outdoor Games
When it comes to games, Russian kids do enjoy playing outside, so let's have a look at some outdoor games.
One of the traditional Russian games that's played throughout the country is Lapta or Лапта. Essentially a bat and ball game, Lapta may look a lot like a mix of cricket, baseball, and Rounders, but it's in fact one of the oldest Russian games that have been in existence. The game is played on a rectangular field, and there's a pitcher that serves a ball, while the hitter has to hit the ball with a bat as well as run across the field and get back to their position to get a score.
The players of the opposite team have to throw the ball at the hitter to hit them during their run before the hitter reaches the base. Any hitter who is able to reach the base without getting hit scores a point. On any day, you can find Russian children playing Lapta, even on the streets. This Russian game is said to have been developed in the 10th century and was initially used to train the troops.
Another one of the classic Russian games is Cossacks and Robbers. As you may understand, there are two teams in this game, the Cossacks, and the Robbers. The Cossacks have a camp or base, and one player has to stay behind to protect it. While the players in the Robbers team have to hide while the other members of the Cossacks try to find them. Along with children, this is one of the traditional Russian games enjoyed even by the adults as it is fun. The fun game has been defined to be similar to Cops and Robbers.
Old Russian Video Games
You may not think about it, but there were plenty of old Russian video games developed in the USSR that got quite a bit of popularity. One of the most popular is Tetris.
There are very few people on this planet who haven't heard about Tetris. It's a pretty simple game when you have to stack differently shaped blocks on top of each other to form a complete line. And, the game ends when the Tetris blocks touch the top. Aleksey Pajitnov was the one to great this puzzle game back in 1984, and you bet that the children took to it pretty easily. Tetris on a plastic electronic game called the Brick Game, which they referred to as Tetris.
Another popular game was Perestroika, which was a satirical take on the Russian administration and included a gameplay revolving around the new democrats along with the old Soviet bureaucrats. The game had green dots signifying frog pads, and the democrats had to jump between the dots while the old bureaucrats get in the way.
Traditional Russian Games
Here are some of the traditional games played by the Russians.
Apart from the folk games we talked about, the other popular traditional games include the koshki i myshki or the cat and the mice, which have ten or more players and the objective is to interrupt the cat from catching the mouse.
Fipe is a common traditional game played by Russian children that's similar to Tag. There's also a game called traffic light, where a line is drawn as a starting point for the children. The leader would face the opposite direction and call out a color, and children wearing an outfit of that color can move forward. Others may also try to run or cross the line but will be disqualified if the leader catches them. Yet another game includes a large elastic band and the children have to jump over it.
So, the six popular traditional or folk games that Russian children play are rucheyok, kolechko, koshki i myshki, fipe, traffic light, Cossacks and Robbers, and elastic band.
Russian Indoor Games
When it comes to indoor and party games, nothing can beat a card game in Russia.
Durak is a traditional card game played with 36 cards, and the lowest denomination is six, while the highest is ace. Two to six people can play the game, and there are attacks and defenses. The game begins with everyone having six cards, and a trump card is selected from the deck. Any card from the suit can be a defense or a player has to use a higher numbered card of the attacking card's suit. The aim is to get rid of all the cards, and the one with the most cards remaining loses. Another card game is P'yanitsa for kids.
Russians of all ages enjoy this game, especially at parties. Another popular indoor game is chess, and Russia has a special move called Petrov's Defense.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Russian games for kids then why not take a look at facts about the first Olympic games, or facts about video games.
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.