• Bocce

  • Lupo delle ore

    • This game requires a minimum of 3 players, although groups of 7 players are ideal. One player is the "lupo" ("wolf"), and stands with his back to the others, who form a line at a designated distance from him. They players call out "Lupo che ore sono?" ("Wolf, what time is it?"), and the wolf answers with a number. The players can then take that many steps toward him, and ask again. If, instead of a number, the wolf responds with "Ho fame!" ("I'm hungry!"), he can turn around and try to tag as many of the children as he can before they make it safely back to the starting line.

    Regina, Regina Bella

    • This game requires a minimum of 4 players minimum,although groups of 10 are ideal. One player is chosen to be the "regina" ("queen"), who stands facing the others across the playground. The other children chant:

      "Regina Regina bella, quanti passi devo
      fare per arrivare al tuo castello
      con la fede, con l'anello,
      con la punta del coltello?"

      ("Beautiful, beautiful Queen, how many steps
      do I have to take to get to your castle
      with the faith, with the ring,
      with the tip of the knife?")

      The queen then calls out both a number and the name of an animal. The children must take that many steps toward her, walking in imitation of the animal named. The first child to reach the queen wins.

    Fazzoletto peo peo

    • This game requires a minimum of 5 players, although groups of 14 are ideal. The players all sit in a circle except for one who walks around the outside of the circle carrying a handkerchief. The others chant:

      "Fazzoletto Peo Peo
      se ti trovo ti dareo
      se ti trovo in un canton
      ti darei uno scupazon"

      ("Peo Peo Handkerchief
      If you find you give
      if you're in a corner
      I will give you a scupazon")

      The outside child drops the handkerchief behind the back of one of the sitting children. This child then gets up, and he and the handkerchief-bearer race around the circle in opposite directions in attempt to be the first to sit down in the empty spot.

    Strega comanda color

    • This game requires a minimum of 3 players, although groups of 11 are ideal. One player is chosen as the "strega" ("witch"), who calls out a color. The others must touch an object of that color, whether it be an article of clothing or something in the surrounding environment, before the witch can catch them. The first child tagged becomes the next witch. If the current witch is unsuccessful, she must call out another color.

  • John My Pony

    • John My Pony is an outdoor or indoor game in which six players of equal strength
      form opposite teams. One of the teams assembles a "pony" with their bodies on their hands and knees. Once accomplished, the players making the creature close their eyes. The opposite side sends a few players to sit on the others who must guess how many players are sitting on the pony.

    La Bella Lavanderina

    • La Bella Lavanderina, or The Beautiful Washerwoman, is an outdoor or indoor ring-around-the-rosey-type game. One child is chosen to be the little washerwoman who stands in the center of the ring that the children form around the child. The child in the center of the ring acts as a woman washing clothes while the children sing this rhyme, "The pretty little washerwoman who washes the handkerchiefs for the poor people of the town. Make a jump! Make another one! Twirl around and do it again! Look up! Look down! Give a kiss to whom you want!" The washerwoman performs the actions in the rhyme. (The word "tap" can be substituted for "kiss" in a school setting.) With a tap, the washerwoman chooses the next child to stand in the circle.

    Cencio Mollo

    • Cencio Mollo is either an indoor or outdoor game that is played with a wet handkerchief. The object of the game is to not laugh. It is a variation of the game "Throwing the Smiles." All the players sit in a circle and one child is chosen to be 'It'. This child holds the damp handkerchief and walks around the circle until coming to one child, then declares "The Cencio Mollo has come to you." The chosen child replies, "Let it come. I shall not cry, laugh or kiss it." The It-child then puts the handkerchief on the other player's face. If this child does not smile, then the handkerchief is place on other players until someone smiles. The child that smiles is penalized by having to perform various actions such as acting like a monkey or reciting the alphabet or singing a song.

    Strega Ghiaccio

    • The number of players for Strega Ghiaccio, or Ice-Witch, is at least three with the ideal number being seven. A witch is selected from among the players. The other children must run on the playground and try to avoid the witch who will "freeze" them with a touch. If the witch touches that player three times, then the touched player becomes the witch. Other players can "unfreeze" a frozen player by touching the child before that child has been touched by the witch three times. The witch cannot stay near the child who is immobile in the game.

    Lupa Della Ore

    • Lupa Della Ore is an outdoor game known in other countries as "What time is it, Mr. Wolf?" One player is chosen to be Mr. Wolf. This person stands about 5 yards away from the other children and does not initially face them. The children facing Mr. Wolf shout out, "What time is it, Mr. Wolf?" Mr. Wolf turns around and says a time, for example, "3 o'clock." The children facing Mr. Wolf take three steps. This verbal give and take continues until the children are close to Mr. Wolf. They ask again what time it is and eventually Mr. Wolf replies "Time to eat you!" and begins to chase the children. When Mr. Wolf catches a child, that person becomes the new Mr. Wolf.


    • Bimbo is an outdoor game. One player is chosen to be the bimbo or leader. That person is given two small green leaves. The other children stand in two lines facing each other about 15-feet apart. All the players hold their hands cupped behind their backs. The bimbo walks slowly behind the lines and silently drops a leaf in one player's hands, then walks on. The player holds the leaf without indicating possession. The bimbo crosses to the other line and drops a leaf in another player's hands. The bimbo continues walking and then suddenly calls out "Stop! Thief! Lucky Leaf!" The two players who hold the leaves run as fast as possible to the opposite side. Each of the two players drop a leaf into another child's palms before the bimbo can catch them. The person who gets the leaf tries to pass it to a person near them before the bimbo can catch them. A person who is caught with the leaf is the new bimbo.