Traditional South African games and activities for kids?

Our school in Korea plan to have a summer camp in two weeks. My theme is holidays, but we have set aside two afternoons for games. One afternoon for water sports and the other for indoor games. The teachers have asked me to play traditional South African games and I need some advice on this. I have lots of games in mind, like a wheelbarrow race and pin the tail on the donkey, but these are not traditional South African games. Do you have any ideas and are there even some games played by only South African kids? The kids are young and between the ages of 8 and 10.


To Desert: I decided that it's futile to argue with nitwits and I don't wanna talk about crimexposouthafrica anymore, because I think it's a big hoax. Thank you for your colorful answer and I hope to never hear from you again.

Update 2:

To Kim: Thanks for the advice. I do have these games on my list. I just talked to my friend in SA by messenger and he asked if I remember "kennietjie". Do you guys remember it? This is the sort of games I need your advice on.

Update 3:


14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Do you remember "wolf, wolf, hoe laat is dit?!" ?

    Its like playing jagertjie with a group of children, one in the group plays the wolf, then the others sing and ask : wolf wolf, what is the time? then the wolf can say 8o'clock....then the children can repeat the question over and over until the wolf say: "Etens tyd!" and chases every one and the child to be caught for "lunch" is the next one to play the wolf. very exciting cause you never now when the wolf decides to go hunting!

    Have fun, trying to think of other games. Cant remember Bok-Bok or Swartvark anymore...will let you know.

    oh, and you can use "lantern bekruip" at the camp, do you know it? Or even "bokdrol spoeg" for fun with sweets. "Sak resies", Eier hardkloop (were you try and run with an egg on a spoon in a race), Twee-been resies (were two kids inner legs a tied together and they have to race other teams) and Onder-handjie-klap. What about Vroteier?

    I also though about "kat en muis" en "knopie".Knopie is where a circle of kids take hands and without letting go, tie the circle in a knot by criscrossing the oposites of the sircle...once in a "knoop"..they have to plan and wurm a way to untangle the knot until they are back in a circle facing eachother.

    Hoe klink ek sien met my kleine kleine ogies? but I-spy is a international game too right? How about musical shairs?

    You can perhaps also tell legendary south-African stories with a picture board, stories like that of Wolraad Woltemade, Harry Woluter, Rageltjie De Beer, Jock of the Bushveld etc. Just for fun.

    It could also be nice to use something like "Olke bolke....." to place the kids into teams if the game you play has teams. How about a sport like jukskei..that very South-African.

    sorry I dont know any traditional Black south-african games that children play, I'm giving ideas from a white afrikaans background. Hope you find what you are looking for...

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh my, its all about Stalk the Lantern, lets not kid around, what South African child doesnt remeber this game from their school days? Only problem is that it need to be played at night...I am a teacher and I can tell you this game works so well at campouts or over night trips. Basically if you dont know how it works, someone goes and hides in the bush by a tree with a lantern or a torch, but like far away, and then the class has to find the lantern and creep up on the tree without the person by the tree seeing them...its awesome fun, and has that little touch of scariness when its pitch black with the little light form the latern.

    Another good one is Blind mans Bluff, I dont know about it being proudly South African, but its also tons of fun. Pretty much the kids will be blindfolded and then have to follow a thin piece of string through the bush or whatever vegatation you have going on aorund you.

    Hmmm I will think about it some more, these are both pretty outdoorsy so maybe I can think of something that will be easier for you.

    I guess it all just depends where in SA you are talking about, I mean i have done some work in township schools and the big thing there was this soccer type game, where you stand in a circle and have 2 people in the middle. The outside people have to kick the ball to their friends next to them or across the circle and the inside people have to get it from them. Kinda like a Piggy in the Middle type of vibe.

    Hope these help a bit.

    Oh I remebered another one, dont know about it being South African again, but Stinger...this was always played when I was a kid. Not so much anymore because it would be called too dnagerous or something. Basically the kids stand in a line against a wall or randomly against a wall and then you have another kid throwing a tennis ball at them, trying to sting them with it (okay it does sound slighly dangerous now that I am typing it lol) and the object is to dodge the ball. If it hits you you are out, or you become the thrower or somthing like that.

    More games often played would be open gates and Sharkie sharkie or wolfie wolfie - for much younger kids. If you want to know what they are about just ask;)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hey Porgie!

    How about playing 'kick the teacher'. All the kids should run up to the teacher and kick him as hard as possible....? ha ha, just kidding....

    I also don't know much traditional South African games but why not keep it common and let them play soccer or something similar like that. South Africa plays soccer and many South Africans play soccer in schools, streets with friends, etc. I play a lot of soccer and i think that would be fun. Or...

    What about the 'sack race', where each child gets a sack that they get into and race to the line to see who wins.

    Then there is also a game called the 'spoon race' where each child gets a spoon and an egg. The children should race to a line with the egg balancing on the spoon. If a child drops the egg on the floor they have to start again until they get to the finish line without dropping the egg. The egg can be boilt or kept as normal.

    There is also another game called the 'obstacle course' where you and the other teachers make all sorts of obstacles for the children to go on. Like climbing up ropes, running through mud, jumping over things, climbing through things etc.

    I'm not sure if these are all traditional S-African games but I've played those games mostly and I've only lived in SA. Hope this helps you out!

    Have fun, Kim!

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Traditional South African games and activities for kids?

    Our school in Korea plan to have a summer camp in two weeks. My theme is holidays, but we have set aside two afternoons for games. One afternoon for water sports and the other for indoor games. The teachers have asked me to play traditional South African games and I need some advice on this. I have...

    Source(s): traditional south african games activities kids:
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  • 1 decade ago

    baldy and Desert is the same person!

    How about skaloolie (sp?) I loved playing that in the street as a kid. Also, when I was in Japan, I taught my kids a gumboot dance. Not that I knew how to do it, I just improvised, while listening to TKZee! lol!

    Klip klippie. (played mainly by girls-well at least when I was younger). Draw a circle on ground. Put some stones in the circle. Small ones, but big enough that you can pick them up easily. The you have a "goon" (a bigger stone, that is yours only). Throw the goon up in the air and then while the goon is in the air, you pick stones up from in the circle before the goon reaches the ground. Catch the goon. The number of stones you picked up is yours to keep. You can go on until you miss catching the goon, or didn't pick up the stone. Then it is on to the next player. The one who collects to most stones is the winner.

    I don't know the name of this one. Take a tennis ball and bounce it, and then throw it between your legs and catch it from the back. Or whatever other cool things you can do with it.

    I also don't know the name of this one. Take a rope and 2 people at either side swing the rope. They swing it with a rythm (they could sing a song while doing this). They have to try to confuse the skipper, until s/he can't skip to the rythm.

    Thos are the ones I can think of right now. Will think of more, then post again later. Hope this helps.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I lived in South Africa on and off for seven years. The most popular games are those that are typically popular with their British "cousins", that is, Soccer, Cricket, Rugby and Field Hockey. The South Africans excel and love these sports.

    Beyond these, golf and tennis and swimming is very popular in SA.

    Source(s): personal experience
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  • Desert
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Apology accepted!! :-)

    I honestly love the first the most as no one else does this in the whole world.. or heard about it.

    1.******South Africans play in the bush when they are bored (a game know only to South Africans) You take the antelope poop, which look alot like rabbit or deer poop, and you put one in your mouth and the person who can spit it the farthest wins.

    You can always pretend to do it with small chocolate balls or something similar

    2.***** be artistic: how many things can you make out of Coka-Cola empty tins (or other colors, like cream soda, etc)

    3.***** run a race and have to run via mud pool

    4.***** Zulu dance..

    5.***** learn Zulu


    HHMMMM baldy old git!!! I like your answer.... Best answer for you: 100 points for you!!!

    Best regards


    This message is to ***glynis18***. I agree with you re me being "baldy old git". Whatever you say my dear... its as if only one person can have the same honest few...


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    I used to play this game in primary school. I dunno what the name of it is, but let's just call it "Murabaraba coffee...". You get a big group of kids and put them in a circle (just like ring-a-ringa-rosies). And then they start to sing..."Murabaraba coffeeee...murabaraba teeeaaa...(and say about five items you have in your pantry)....and after you've sung those few items you start saying..."murabaraba one; murabaraba two, murabaraba three...and so on till it reaches you again, and all those times you've said "" you put one leg over the other person's arm and the next person puts their leg on the other person's arm when you say "...two". The aim of the game is to see how long your circle lasts with each other's legs on each other's arms. Right, when everyone has one leg on the other person's arm, you start moving aroung in a circle...then you start your song again (if your circle didn't collapse)....then when you say all the numbers again, you must this time take off your leg without breaking the circle by knocking the person's arm down while moving your leg off. Then start again from the beginning but this time using your other leg.

    Source(s): Hope it's not too confusing! It's really fun!
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  • 3 years ago

    Traditional African Games

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The favourite game is bury your head in the sand and ignore crime expo south africa. The one who can ignore it the longest and live to tell the tale is the winner.

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