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Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

3 Fun Global Kids’ Games to Music

3 Fun Kids’ Games to Music From Around the World via © shutterstock

Have you ever played a passing game as a child? Even if you don’t remember, chances are you did! Passing games are present in almost all cultures. These games are usually accompanied by a melody and involve passing a ball, a stone, a stick, a button or any found object. Participating in a passing game allows children of all ages to have fun and learn a game from a different culture while practicing skills such as tracking, coordination, singing, steady beat and concentration.


Here are just a few of the songs I have collected so far:


1)  Obwisana. This circle game is from Ghana and it involves passing one or more rocks around the circle while singing:


Obwisana sa nana

Obwisana sa

Obwisana sa nana

Obwisana sa


Check out this YouTube video for a nice demonstration!


2)  Acitron. This circle game is from Mexico and it also involves passing a stone around the circle. Here are the nonsense words to the song:


Acitron de un fandango sango sango

Sabare sabare que va cantando con su triki triki tran

If you want to learn the song, check out this video!


3)  Button You Must Wander. This is a traditional American game. The trick with this game is to be very sneaky while passing the button from hand to hand to fool the child in the middle whose turn is to guess who is holding the button at the end of the song.  The lyrics are as follows:


Button you must wander, wander, wander,

Button you must wander far away.

Bright eyes will find you. Sharp eyes will find you.

Button you must wander everywhere.


Here is the link to a YouTube video of the song:



There are many more passing games around the world, but I hope this will get you started and maybe you can make up your very own passing game!

© 2013, Viola Pellegrini. All rights reserved.

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Viola Pellegrini, born and raised in Florence (Italy), holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Mills College. She has received extensive training in music education from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has attended teacher trainings in both Suzuki Method and Orff. She has also taught preschool for seven years and has been a private music instructor for the past ten years. Viola currently teaches multicultural music and movement to young children and families. She hopes to inspire children to develop a lifelong enjoyment and appreciation for music and cultures from around the world. Viola plays violin, piano, guitar and recorder, and is constantly adding new instruments to her repertoire. In addition to English, she is fluent in Italian and German, and is working on her Spanish. In her free time she enjoys attending music and dance events, cooking, practicing yoga and traveling the world with her husband.

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