Traditional Canary Islands games that are played in Tenerife

Traditional games photos

Traditional games banner
Traditional games banner
The three legged race
The three legged race
Goretty and the children before the games started
Goretty and the children before the games started
One of the games takes place
One of the games takes place

Traditional games at a Garachico school in Tenerife

Traditional games that I knew as ones that have been played in Britain have found their way to the Antonio del Valle Menendez Spanish school in Tenerife here in the Canary Islands. It has been many years since I was involved in playground games, all the way back in time to my childhood in the early 60s. I can still remember some of those games that used to get played in school playgrounds and out of school too.

PE Teacher

Omar the PE teacher, and Goretty, who teaches English and whom I work with as her classroom assistant, got together on organising a day on which some of the children got the chance to learn some new games and have a lot of fun. It was going to be a very welcome change to routine for all of us, for the teachers and children.

Before the event, which was going to be held in the school gym in case of bad weather, we made a big banner which announced TRADITIONAL GAMES in English and JUEGOS TRADICIONALES in Spanish.

Egg and Spoon Race

Omar typed up the instructions for how the games were to be played and I helped Goretty translate it all into English. The games that were going to be played were the Egg and Spoon race, which got shortened to simply Spoon Race and used a ball instead of an egg, the Three Legged Race, the Sack Race and Changing Places.

On the day of the event I was asked to be the photographer and that's how I have the photos I am showing here. It kept me occupied moving around the gym and thinking of good shots. Also in some of the games the children were moving so it was difficult to catch them in action.

Warm-up Session

Before the games started properly the children and the teachers had a warm-up session to exercise all their muscles and I had a go at this too. As I say, it was the first time I had done anything in a gym since my schooldays long ago!

I was quite glad I wasn't expected to take part in any of the games because I was always hopeless at this sort of thing as a kid and wouldn't have improved with age!

It made a welcome change of working environment too because usually I would be stuck in the classrooms where we taught the children the English language.

All the children had a great time playing the games and the event was a great success all round and it could be the start of more traditional games at a future event.

© 2009 Steve Andrews

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Comments 10 comments

Iphigenia 7 years ago

What a great idea - a language and cultural lesson - but fun too. I think this should be repeated in schools in the UK and include skipping games with the associated rhymes. Same with "two-a-ball" which had some great chants to the ryhthm of the balls being juggled, bounced and thrown against the wall.

I hope tht you recovered from your "warm up" session without too many aches !


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hey Bard -- I'm sure that was loads of fun! Call me old fashioned BUT I'll take these games any day over a Wii! Cheers from the Peninsula! :-)


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for your comments and approval, Iphigenia and Elena!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I guess I am a bit dense but I really didn't understand these games "Three Legged Race/Changing Places"? Is 3 legged race something where two adjoining kids have there legs tied and changing places is something like musical chairs?


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, if you look in photo 2 you can see two of the children have their ankles tied together and Omar the teacher is bound by the ankle to another child for the three legged race. The other game is different to musical chairs but has places in a circle marked out on the floor and the players change places. I'll see if I can get hold of the rules sheet.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

My bad. I guess that's what happens when one reads hubs just before going to bed. We just returned from dinner and my husband was watching his prerecorded BBC news while I was already feeling sleepy. I just didn't notice that photo. Anyway thanks for explaining.


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Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It's not just reading hubs when sleepy that causes things to not be seen. Writing hubs just before going to bed and hitting publish is a bad idea I know from experience because if you are tired you miss things easily. I have done this and then had to correct my mistakes the next day!


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I am glad you could relate to me. Today morning when I saw that comment I realized how stupid I must have seemed when I missed something so obvious ;)


Andrew Hawkley 7 years ago

Getting drunk on hubpages/the internet doesn't help much either. I never know whether to go back and clarify the comments or leave the drunken carnage as it is.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Leave it, Andrew, I say! Thanks for posting!

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