last week i was telling my students about pick up sticks. my students are all japanese adults who take english conversation class, and once a week we have a chatting hour. i don't remember how we got onto the topic of games, but after comparing hide and seek, and different kinds of tag, which are pretty similar across cultures, they wanted to know about games that i used to play as a kid, the kind with toys. oh, and jump rope is international too, although what we called chinese jump rope is called something else (i forget) in japanese. the 2 games that involve things that i thought of were jacks and pick up sticks. i loved jacks as a kid. and apparently it doesn't exist in japan. although according to youtube (very helpful for chatting hour) it's an 'ancient' and international game. we found a set of pick up sticks at the school, and enjoyed a game (also the first time for my students). although they were the plastic kind, not the nice wooden ones.
and, if you fancy making your set of pickup sticks, here's a tutorial from chez beeper bebe, via whip up.
what were you favorite games as a child? i also loved hopscotch and foursquare.