How to Play Blind Man's Bluff

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Blind Man's Bluff is a popular game.
Image Credit: Kalinovskiy/iStock/GettyImages

As one of the oldest games on record, blind man's bluff is a children's favorite. The game's origins can be traced as far back as 2,000 years, when it was played in ancient Greece. Blind man's bluff is known by other names around the world. In Spain, it is called gallina ciega ("blind hen") and in Italy, it's called mosca cieca ("blind fly"). It was an adult game played in the Middle Ages but was called "blind man's buff." The word "buff" in this case means "pummeled," so as you can imagine, those games involved getting hit and hurt. Fortunately, the kids' version played today is a lot safer.


Blind Man’s Bluff Rules

All you really need to play this game is a blindfold (a bandana works) and a group of kids or adults. Choose an area that is free of obstacles since the objective of the game is for a blindfolded person to find the other people who are standing around. To get started, someone has to be chosen as "it" and then be blindfolded.


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"It" is then led to the middle of the game area. Another person turns "it" around three or four times until some disorientation is felt. The blindfolded person then counts slowly to 50 as the others disperse. Once the countdown is over, "it" yells out "blind man's!" and the others respond with "bluff!" The players have to freeze where they stand and not move their feet during the rest of the game.


Each time the blind man finds a player, that player gets tagged and is out of the game and can go to a designated waiting area until the last person is found. It can be a lot of fun when the blind man gets close to someone, and that person can move his body around to avoid being tagged but cannot move his feet. The final player identified then becomes the next "it," and the next round can begin. The blind man's bluff game can also be played in swimming pools, but it goes by another name – Marco Polo.


Fun Group Games for Kids

There are a number of other fun group games for kids, starting with tug of war. You will need a long, heavy rope to play this one. Again, make sure that there are no obstacles over which anyone can trip.


Sharks and minnows is another fun one, but you will need at least four kids to play. One is chosen as the shark, and the others are minnows. They attempt to cross from one side of the yard to the other without being eaten (tagged) by the shark. If they are eaten, they then become sharks.

Additional Kid Games

Red light, green light is an old favorite that kids really like. One child is chosen to stand at one end of the play area, and the others wait at a starting line. With her back facing the rest, the chosen child yells out "green light!" and the others can start moving toward the other end.


The child quickly turns around at random moments and yells "red light!" Any children who are caught moving have to return to the starting line, and the first one who makes it to the end is the next traffic light director.



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