Chilean Games for Kids

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Flag of Chile waving in the wind.
Flag of Chile waving in the wind. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Many traditional Chilean games for children have their origins in Europe, and were brought to Chile by Spanish colonizers. This explains why some of these games, such as "Corre el anillo" and "Quien fue a Sevilla..." are also popular in other Latin American countries, although with some regional differences, according to the Oreste Plath website. "Corre, corre la guaraca" and other traditional Chilean games often involve groups of five or more children.

Corre, Corre la Guaraca

This game translates as "Run, run, la guaraca," which is a nonsense word. Kids sit in a circle and are not allowed to look to their backs, while a child runs around with a handkerchief. They sing "Corre, corre, la guaraca who looks back will be bopped on his head!" The runner puts the handkerchief on a child's back and keeps running. The seated kid is out if the runner makes it around the circle before she realizes about the dropped handkerchief. However, if she sees the handkerchief, she must tag the runner. If she succeeds, the runner is out, reports the website Parents.

Corre El Anillo

"Pass the ring" is a game of European medieval origins, according to the Oreste Plath website. During this game, children are seating or standing in a circle or line, holding hands together, as in prayer. One child holds a ring in her closed hands, and must pass them through everybody's hands. When doing it, she secretly drops the ring in somebody's hands, without the other participants noticing. In the end, she chooses one child to guess who has the ring.

Quien fue a Sevilla...

This popular game was probably brought to Chile by Spanish colonizers, as its name mentioning the Spanish city "Who went to Sevilla..." suggests. However, children often swap Sevilla for Melipilla, a Chilean town. Every child has a chair, apart from one. Chairs are organized in a circle and the children walk around them. With a pre-determined sign, everybody needs to sit and the chair-less child tries to get somebody's chair. If successful, she recites rhyming verses to the new chair-less child which mean "Who went to Melipilla, lost the chair."

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