Like most countries in the world, Brazil is home to a number of traditional children's games, both indoor and outdoor. Many Brazilian children's games are quite simple and don't require any kind of special equipment or training for participation. Similar games are found in other parts of the world, but the games listed here are specific to Brazil.
Queimada, the Portuguese word for "burned," is a popular game similar to dodgeball that's played on a wide, open field. To play, form two even teams and divide the players on each half of the field, similar to how you would in "capture the flag" or dodgeball. At each end of the field mark an area called the "cemetery" and place one player from each side inside their team's cemetery. The game begins when one of the players in the cemetery launches a ball to the other side of the field. Members of the opposing team try to catch the ball and throw it at a player on the side from which the ball was launched. If a ball strikes a player, he is "dead" and must spend the remainder of the game in the cemetery. The game finishes when all of the players on one side are "dead."
Cinco Marias is a simple kid's game played with five flat stones. The game is very similar to jacks or tiddlywinks. The player places five stones in a small area on the ground. The player then picks up one stone and tosses it into the air. Before that stone hits the ground the player must pick up one of the remaining four stones. The next round, the player must pick up two stones before the first one hits the ground. The game continues like this until the player is able to pick up all four remaining stones before the first stone hits the ground. The first player to collect all four stones successful is the winner.
Hit The Coin
Hit The Coin is another popular game among Brazilian children that requires steady aim and concentration. To play, fix a short bamboo stick or dowel (12 to 18 inches in length) into the ground so it doesn't move. Draw a small circle about 5 inches in diameter around the stick and place a small object (coin, bottle cap, toy soldier, etc.) on top of the stick. Players then take turns trying to knock the small object off of the stick by throwing coins at it. To win the player must knock the small object completely out of the circle.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.