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History

The game of the bell has very ancient origins, it was played at the time of Ancient Rome. In fact, in the capital, on the floor of the Roman Forum, a drawing of this game was found. One thing that is not known exactly is where the game was born, but it is certain that it was played in various areas of the world. There are also many variations of the game of the bell, there are more than 40. For example, in Burma, children play a variation which consists in jumping with the hands placed on the hips. From some testimonies, it is said, that the merit of the spread of this game is due to the Roman Empire, in fact, it was the Roman soldiers who made this game known to the children of the countries that were under Roman rule. The bell game, generally, it is carried out in outdoor places and therefore it would be better to practice it during the spring and summer months. It is possible to play this game in the garden, in the courtyard, in a public paco, on the beach and in any open space. During the autumn and winter period, however, it is more complicated to play outdoors because the climatic conditions are not pleasant and the rain could erase the design of the game pattern made on the pavement.

The game

The game of the bell is an ancient game for children widespread everywhere and, in every region, there are variations both in terms of the name and the rules. To play, just draw a pattern on the floor consisting of squares and numbers or, in some variations, drawings or names. A piece of chalk or a stone is enough to draw the scheme, while, if practiced on the beach, a wooden mallet is enough to draw a series of lines that form the scheme. Participants must be at least 5 years of age, otherwise they are too young to understand the rules of the game. Each participant must be equipped with a small stone or a small pebble which, during the game, will have to throw on the boxes drawn on the pavement. In the boxes drawn, the numbers from 1 to 10 will be written in chronological order, From the bottom to the top. The game consists in throwing the pebble, once for each, on the numbers following the order. The participant on duty, if he manages to throw the pebble on the right number, must jump on one foot and reach the number on which the pebble is placed. He will then have to pick up the pebble without falling and go back.

Purpose and variants

Each game always has a very specific purpose and, in this case, it is to reach the last square of the board, collect the pebble and go back to the place where you started. It is possible that you are eliminated from the game or you miss a turn, this happens if one of the participants tries to cheat, fails to maintain balance, throws the pebble out of the box or into the wrong box or even when jump out of the box. The pattern is drawn in a certain way and the rules state that in the central squares you can jump with both legs. The variants of this game are many (also based on the area in which you live or play) and, each variant, has different rules. A variation could be that, in the boxes, the numbers are not drawn but little drawings such as the sun, the sea, the stars are made or names such as sky and earth are written. Some variants, however, require that the participants when they jump must say the numbers or the names of the drawings. Others instead foresee that the participants jump from one square to another with their eyes closed and, if they make a mistake, they are eliminated.

Bell game: What to know

Previously we explained the game, the rules and the purpose in such a way that everyone can know it, understand it and maybe even practice it. In the penultimate paragraph of this article we talked about the purpose of the game of the bell but we have not said everything. Like many other games that are played on the street or in the garden, this one also aims to stimulate the spirit of socialization of children. It is a game that generates fun and enthusiasm in those who participate and, it is difficult for children to argue with each other. The cause of a fight could be a scam, but if you explain the rules well to all the children, nothing happens. Perhaps, initially, it would be better to have an adult present in order to supervise the children and make sure that everyone is comfortable. There is no rule that defines the minimum or maximum number of children who can participate in this game, you can play in one, in two, in five or in ten. It is obviously preferable that more than one children participate in order to encourage socialization. Another purpose of this game, in addition to socialization and fun, is to enhance the ability to balance on one leg, which is a basic motor exercise, therefore fundamental.

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