Italian Kid's Games

Even from a young age "calcio," the Italian word for soccer, proves impossible to replace among children, though many traditional kids' games still entertain the young. Many of these games will seem familiar to even non-Italians, as some games like hide and seek come across as universally fun for children.

  1. One, Two, Three, Along the Streets of Rome

    • The game "One, Two, Three, Along the Streets of Rome" requires at least three players although the ideal number remains five. Called "Un due tre, per le vie di Roma" in Italian, one child chants this rhyme while staring at a wall. Standing side by side in a line, the other children slowly approach, but must be completely frozen by the time the counter turns around. If the walkers succeed in staying still before the counter can see them, the counter must repeat the step until the walkers reach him or her. Any walker who is caught moving must return all the way back to the original starting point.


    • The game children call "Nascondido" is the Italian version of "Hide and Seek." A minimum of three players are needed, and for this version the more the better. Many put the ideal number at 14 children to play. The seeker counts to the number of players times 10, plus one. So if there are 10 players, then the seeker must count to 101 before searching. Various rules then govern who is it and if there is a safe lair or not.

    Lupo Delle Ore

    • The game "Lupo Delle Ore" roughly translates to "What Time Is it, Mr. Wolf?" This game takes three to seven players. The wolf stares at the wall while the other children stand a certain distance away, shoulder to shoulder. One shouts "Wolf, what time is it?" Whatever number between one and 12 the wolf says is the number of steps the children must take. The wolf can watch the walkers while they're taking steps. Any time when the wolf answers "I'm hungry!" instead of a number, the walkers must get back to the original line before being touched. The first person touched must act as the new wolf.

    Ice Witch

    • Called "Strega ghiaccio" in Italian, the game of Ice Witch requires a minimum of three players with an ideal number of seven. This game mimics freeze tag in many ways. When the ice witch touches someone, that person freezes. The ice queen must chase other people, but when another person touches the frozen player, that player "thaws" and is freed. The third time a player is frozen, that player then becomes the ice witch.

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