Easy African Games for kids

February is Black History month and this is a great time for kids to learn more about African culture. African culture has impacted American music, food, language and culture in many ways. Play Mbube Mbube, Kudoda or Sae Sae Brae Wah, traditional African games that are still played today.

Mbube Mbube
This word is pronounced “Mboo-bay” and it means lion in Zulu. This game is played with a group of at least 5 or 6, more is better. Two players are blindfolded and stand in an open area so they are not close to each other. One person is the lion and the other person is the antelope. The object of the game is for the lion to catch the antelope. The lion knows they are getting close to the antelope because as they get closer the other players shout Mbube louder and faster. The farther the antelope gets away from the lion the quieter they shout. The lion gets to try to capture the antelope for a specific amount of time, usually 1 minute and then two other players take a turn. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn as both the lion and the antelope.

Kudoda is traditionally played with a bowl of marbles, but a bowl filled with any set of small objects can be used. The players sit in a circle with the bowl in the middle. The first player throws a small object up into the air in such a way that they will be able to easily catch it. While the object is in the air the other players run to the middle of the circle and grab a handful of marbles from the bowl. They must be back in place before the object is caught. If they are not back in their place they must return their marbles to the bowl. The next person in the circle throws the object up and catches it. This process is repeated until all of the items are removed from the bowl. When the last item is removed everyone counts how many they have. The person who has the most marbles wins.

This is a fun game that traditionaly requires a stick for each player but any object will work. The kids all sit in a circle and place their stick in front of them. Everyone needs to learn to say the phrase “Sae Saw Brae Wah Adesha” which sounds like ‘sa, sa, bray wah ah deesha’. Once all the players have learned to say this phrase the game begins. Everyone repeats the phrase out loud and passes their stick to the left at the same time. A stick is passed properly by picking it up and placing it on the ground in front of the person to the left. The speed of the phrase and the passing of the stick increases as the game progresses until someone does not pass the stick correctly. That player is out of the game. Resume playing and continue the process until only one person is left in the game.

These are just three examples of games for kids that originated in Africa. They are fun to play and a great way to teach kids about another culture.

Want more creative ideas for things to do with your kids? Read my ebook, Travel Games for Kids

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