Balinese Traditional Games


Olive has leant some traditional Balinese games from the teachers and friends at school which we thought would be interesting to record and share. The descriptions and images below are by Olive.



To play this game you need a rubber ball, or any small bouncy ball, and 5 or more small pieces, such as stones or shells, I used small rocks. You can play this on your own, but the more people playing the game the more pieces you need. The pieces are shared between everyone. You should practice bouncing the ball first. Throw the ball in the air, let it bounce then catch it. To start, throw the ball up in the air, while the ball is in the air, grab one rock and then after the ball bounces once catch it. If playing with more than one person, the ball gets passed to the next person who has their turn. The next time you have a turn, you need to throw the ball, and keep the rock in your hand while picking up the next one. Then continue with the other pieces picking up all of them. Each player has one turn of picking up a piece, then passes the ball on to the next player. If you don’t catch the ball or don’t manage to pick up the rock, you still have to pass the ball. The game ends when there are no more pieces left, and the winner is the person who has the most pieces at the end of the game.

Lompat  Tali


This game needs three or more people to play. To start you need a rubber skipping rope. A rubber skipping rope is made of elastic bands bound together in a traditional technique.  2 people hold the ends of the skipping rope taught about the level of their ankles. The third person leaps over the rope, with a run-up. The rope gets moved up higher and higher, past the knees, the hips, waist, belly button, chest, nose, ear and up to their heads, while the ‘jumper’ keeps trying to leap over it at each stage. If the ‘jumper’ can’t do it, they have to practice on that jump at the end of the game.

Kuda  Lumping


This game is for one or more people. You need a toy horse. Little boys pretend they are riding around on a real horse like their Dad.



You need a long board with lots of craters carved into it. There are 2 lines of craters, along the length of the board with one only at each end.  Then you need little counters like shells, to start the game. You put your hand in each crater and guess how many counters are in them ?? Not sure how this one works. It is quite a complex game.



You draw a circle on the ground, or use a hula-hoop or something round. You put the marbles in the middle of the circle. You can use as many marbles as you want, but twice as many as the number of people works well. Also, you put some marbles on the outside of the circle. To start you flick an outside marble into the circle and try to hit a marble. If you hit one, you take your marble out, and you go to the back of the line. If you don’t hit one, you leave your marble inside the circle, and you are out of the game. If you accidentally flick your marble outside the circle, you have another turn. The last person who isn’t ‘out’ is the winner.



A Gangsing is a type of spinning top. It has a long stick which is pointy at the bottom, with a big cylinder in the middle. To spin it there is a string with a handle on it, that is wound around the top of the stick, then pulled quickly to release and spin the top. There is a hole at the top of the cylinder that makes a whistling sound when it spins.

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