Children’s Games from Around the World: Statues, from Greece

Statues, a Game from Greece

Many children around the world may not be familiar with the classic statue Discus Thrower, but children in Greece have access in their museums to some amazing marble statues that date back to ancient times. After a trip to the museum, it’s only natural that they would incorporate some of these awe-inspiring characters into an imaginative game.

Players: Four or more; ages 4 and up

How to Play: Choose one player to be “It” and have her stand, eyes covered, in the center of a large, open playing field. She starts to count, at least to 10, but she can go higher. The point is that there’s no set ending number; only “It” knows when she’ll stop and open her eyes. While “It” is counting, the others scatter around, never sure when she’ll yell “Agalmata!” (That’s “statue” in Greek. Tell kids to yell it to be authentic, or to just say “statue” if that’s easier.) On this cue, players freeze, taking on poses that mimic famous statues. They can pull from any statue they’ve ever seen a photo of — a javelin thrower, The Thinker, even the Statue of Liberty. Kids are allowed to use found items, such as sticks, a ball, or a Frisbee, to add a touch of realism. “It” tags any statues that are moving — they’re out — then tries to make the steady ones laugh or move. The last player remaining composed is the winner and becomes the new “It.” This game is great for practicing balance.

Adaption 1: Play the game the same way, except have the children stand on one leg.

Adaption 2: This time, two games will be going on at once, with two different “It” people racing to win first.

Fun Facts about Greece:

  • Greece is roughly the size of Alabama.
  • The population of Greece is more than 10 million people
  • Greece is the world’s third leading producer of olives, the Greeks have cultivated olive trees since ancient times. Some olive trees planted in the thirteenth century are still producing olives.
  • Greece was the founder of the Olympics
  • Ancient Greek children slept in baskets until they were seven years old.
  • The yo-yo is the second oldest known toy in the world (only the doll is older), and was created over 3,000 years ago in the days of ancient Greece.