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Traditional Canary Islands games that are played in Tenerife
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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.
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.
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