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Traditional Ukrainian Games for Kids 3 years and Up

Circle Games


Children lead a circle around one player in the center singing the song in the dance:

Десь тут була подоляночка,
Десь тут була молодесенька.
Тут вона сіла, тут вона впала, до землі припала,
Сім літ не вмивалась, бо води не мала.
Ой устань, устань, подоляночко,

Ой устань, устань, молодесенька!
Умий своє личко, та личко біленьке,
Біжи до Дунаю, бери молоденьку,
Бери ту, що скраю!

When the song ends, the one in the middle chooses someone from the circle instead of him, and the game continues.

A Bag Rolled Down a High Hill

Children lead a circle and pass any chosen object to each player singing this song:

Котилася торба
З високого горба,
В тій торбі
Кому доведеться,

Той буде веселиться.

When the song ends, the one with an object in hand performs a little dance, and the game continues.

Active Games

“Bright, Bright Fire”

Players are divided into pairs. The host stands in front and holds in his hands a handkerchief (or any object), which will be called “fire”.

Pairs of players form an arch with their hands. Starting from the end, couples go forward one by one, holding hands and joining the arch again.

The game continues with music or singing. When the music ends, the presenter says:

Ґави не лови,
Мій вогонь бери

After that, all the players run away and whoever reaches the “fire” first becomes the host and the game continues.

Little Snake “Zmiyka”

Children stand in a circle. A “snake” moves in the middle of the circle while singing a song and stops in front of any child.

Змійка я маленька.
Повзяю швиденько.
Ти, дитино, не зівай
Хвостиком моїм ставай

This child crawls between the legs of the “snake” and becomes a “tail”. Then they move in a circle together. The game continues until all children gather in a tail.

Dance, Stop


Ukrainian Folk Children’s Games


Children choose two from among themselves – a Mother Goose and a Wolf. Mother Goose chases all other participants into the field, and then, sitting at a certain distance, behind a line called the “garden”, calls her Goslings:

– Гуси, додому!
– Не можемо!
– Чому?
– Вовк за горою!
– Що він робить?
– Гуси краде.
– Які?
– Сірі! Білі! Волохаті!
– Тікайте прямо до моєї хати!

The Geese run to the garden, and the Wolf runs across the line and tries to catch someone.
Those caught on the way to the “garden” stay behind the line on Wolf’s side.

The game continues until the Wolf catches all the Geese.

Are There Mice In The Alley?”

Players form a row, one by one, they take each other by the waist. The first person in the row is a Cat. Cat leads the row in different directions: straight, in a circle, and twisting.

At this time, the following conversation takes place between the Cat and those who stand in a row behind him and are called Mice:

А є Миші в Стозі? — Є!
А не бояться Кота? — Ні!
Ой як Кіт поворушить,
То всіх Мишей подушить!

With that, the Cat tries to catch the last player in line. If caught, he becomes a Cat.

The game starts over.

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