Children's Games of Nomads

UNICEF partners with the secretariat of III World Nomad Games to promote children’s development and good parenting through playing nomad games.

Children play traditional games
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

Children's Games Caravan

This year Kyrgyzstan hosts III World Nomad Games. To raise awareness on the importance of children's development and good parenting, UNICEF partnered with the secretariat of III World Nomad Games by organizing a Caravan of children's nomad games in every province of the country in June as well as engaging children and parents during the main even at Kyrchyn valley on 2-6 September 2018.

Over 5,000 children, parents and caregivers in each of Kyrgyzstan took part in Caravan of Children's Games,  which was organized by UNICEF, the State Agency for Youth, Physical Culture and Sports under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ministry of Culture of the Kyrgyz Republic in cooperation with the Secretariat of the III World Nomad Games. The journey of Caravan has started in Kant and continued to Cholpon-Ata, Karakol, Kochkor, Naryn, Talas, Bakay-Ata, Suzak, Bazar-Korgon, Osh, Aravan, Batken, Isfana, Bishkek and ended at Kyrchyn valley.

During the Caravan of Children's Games participants played national games of nomads. The list of the games with rules is available here  (in Russian). These are 25 games that parents can take as a guide on how to spend time with their children to support their development. In traditional nomad games, there is everything for successful child development. The accessibility and expressiveness of ethno games provoke  child's physical, emotional and cognitive development.

“There are over 2 million children in Kyrgyzstan. It is important that young generation knows their culture and history. Game is a unique tool for the rebirth of nomad culture. Ethno games have a huge humanitarian and pedagogical potential and value, which should be shared with children”, said Ayjan Abdesova, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the III World Nomad Games. 

a mother with her adolescent daughter play together
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/Tumar Ibraimov
Девочка смотрит Караван детских игр
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
A girls watches Caravan of Children's Games in Bazar-Korgon

The ethno games have absorbed the best national traditions and are instrumental in:

*         Expansion of cultural boundaries.

*         Activation of children's mental development.

*         Development of memory, speech skill, and imagination.

*         Fostering respectful attitude towards cultural heritage of people.

The accessibility and expressiveness of traditional games help children think, express and expand their ideas about our world, and support cognitive and social development.

The traditional games have everything in them: folklore text, music dynamic actions, and excitement. At the same time, they have strictly defined rules, and each player is getting accustomed to joint and concerted actions, and to respect other participants.

Engaging parents, children, and other family members in playing traditional games together help to promote good parenting, strengthen emotional bounds, learn history and culture. 

The pedagogical potential of the national games lies in the multidimensional relevance and universality of this type of activity aimed at recreation and adoption of social experience, which enrich the ways of thinking about the world, emotional attitudes, and also personal behavior to your country, family, and traditions.

A girl with her mother
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan/Tumar Ibraimov

Children's Nomad Games at Kyrchyn 

UNICEF invited children and parents to play traditional nomad games for children at Kyrchyn village (Issyk-Kul) in the framework of III World Nomad Games taking place on 2-6 September 2018. Aimed at promoting children’s cognitive, physical and emotional development through playing, UNICEF experts selected over 25 traditional games for children and families.

“Thanking to our partnership with III World Nomad Games, so many children, adolescents and parents from all over Kyrgyzstan had a chance to learn nomad traditions and play together. UNICEF is calling parents to spend more time with children, especially during their early years. The more family members shower their babies with love, play, good nutrition and protection, the better these children’s chances are of reaching optimal health, happiness and learning ability,” says Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

In traditional nomad games, there is everything for successful child development. The accessibility and expressiveness of ethno games provoke child's physical, emotional and cognitive development. Good parenting in early childhood, especially during the first 1,000 days, sparks neural connections in children’s brains, laying the foundation for their future successes.   

Дети рисуют во время Каравана детских игр в Базар-Коргоне
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
Children draw pictures during Caravan of Children's Games in Bazar-Korgon
Мальчик играет в национальную игру в городе Кант
UNICEF Kyrgyzstan
A boy plays a national game in the city of Kant