Use games as a fun and energetic way to teach your class about a foreign culture. Playing Brazilian children's games in your class will also show your students how foreign cultures can be similar to their own, as many games are universal in that they have an equivalent in many countries. Brazilian children's games can be played in your classroom, your school's gymnasium or outside.

Cinco Marias

Cinco Marias can be played with two to four children. All you need are five flat, smooth stones. The game is similar to jacks. Throw all five stones on the floor. Pick up a stone, then toss it in the air, pick up another stone, and catch the tossed stone before it lands. Repeat this process until you have all the stones. In the next round, you must grab two stones at a time, and then three, and then all four, so the difficulty increases as the game goes on. Consider using another material, perhaps shaped modelling clay, if you are concerned about tossing stones in the classroom.


Take your class to the school gymnasium or outside for Queimada, a dodge-ball-style Brazilian children's game. As in dodge ball, divide the gymnasium or field into two halves, one for each team. Additionally there is a cemetery area where the "dead" people go. From the beginning, one member from each team starts off "dead." "Dead" players throw balls to their teammates, who in turn throw the balls at their opponents (as in dodge ball). If a player is hit by a ball, he joins the "dead" in the cemetery. The game ends when all the members of one team are in the cemetery.

Luta de Galo

Luta de galo is Portuguese for "fight of the roosters" and is a fun game you can play outdoors or in your classroom if you have space to clear the desks from the center of the room. Any number of children can play. Split the children into pairs. Unlike other games, partners are not teammates, but opponents. Have each child tuck a handkerchief or piece of cloth into their belt or waistband, cross their right arm across their chest, and hold up their left leg. Players must hop around one-legged and use their free arm to snatch their opponent's handkerchief. Disqualification occurs if a child puts their left leg on the ground or unfolds their right arm.