What Games Did Children Play in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, children didn’t have access to the vast array of toys and games that we have today. However, they still managed to have a lot of fun by playing simple yet engaging games. These games not only kept them entertained but also helped in developing their physical and mental capabilities.

Ancient Egyptian Games

Ancient Egyptians were known for their love of board games. One such game was ‘Senet’, which was played on a square board with 30 squares arranged in three rows of ten each. The game involved moving pieces across the board according to the roll of a dice.

Another popular game was ‘Mehen’, which was played on a circular board with the image of a snake coiled around it. The game involved moving pieces along the coils of the snake.

Ancient Greek Games

Ancient Greeks were known for their love of physical activities and sports. Children in ancient Greece were encouraged to participate in various sports such as running, jumping, wrestling, and discus throwing.

One popular game among Greek children was ‘Knucklebones’, which involved throwing small bones or pebbles and picking them up in a specific sequence using different parts of the hand.

Roman Games

Like Greeks, Romans too had a love for sports and physical activities. Children in ancient Rome played various ball games such as ‘Follis’, which involved kicking a ball made from animal bladders.

Another popular game among Roman children was ‘Latrunculi’, which was a strategy board game similar to chess.


Though these ancient games may seem simplistic compared to modern-day video games and toys, they provided hours of entertainment for children in ancient times. They not only helped in developing physical abilities but also improved cognitive skills like strategy building and decision making. It’s interesting to note how much these historic games have influenced the games we play today.