Inuit For Kids

the best Inuit For Kids

The best inuit games for kids

Inuit for kids ,what if you woke up one morning to a bitter cold that nipped at your nose? What if you heard glaciers rumble and crack and the wind howl and whistle?

Brrrr! Would you crawl back under your caribou blanket? No way! If you were like many Inuit kids, you'd jump out of bed and say, "Let's play!"

Since ancient times, games and sports have helped the Inuit stay in tip-top shape. Challenging games tested the concentration, strength, and endurance of these native people of Alaska, Arctic Canada, and Greenland. Having strong, healthy bodies helped the Inuit to hunt, gather food, build shelters, and survive the extreme Arctic cold.

Inuit games needed little equipment and had few rules. If a playing piece was needed, it was usually handmade from caribou bone, sealskin, or other material from a hunt.

Today, many Inuit kids still play traditional games. Here are a few favorites.

The Musk-Ox Fight

This game is a little like wrestling. Two players get on their hands and knees in the middle of a circle. They face each other, put their heads down, and tuck their heads under each other's collarbones so that their shoulders and upper backs are touching. Then they push as hard as they can, trying to move the other person out of the circle.

Darcy Havioyak, a 12-year-old boy from Nunavut, Canada, describes the game like this: "You are crawling. You fight and you crawl. You push with your knees and your feet." At Darcy's school, kids play traditional Inuit games once a month.

The Kneel-Jump

Darcy also likes the kneel-jump. In this game, a player starts from a kneeling position with his toes pointed and the tops of his feet flat on the floor. Then he jumps up onto his feet. "From your knees, you jump forward," says Darcy. "You land on your feet. The end of your heel--that's your mark." Whoever jumps farthest wins.

Jose Casados III, a 9-year-old boy from Alaska, won a gold medal in the kneel-jump at the Junior Native Youth Olympics (NYO) Games Alaska. He says, "You start on your knees and have your feet flat. You want bare feet because you can hop farther."

Perhaps the most incredible feats of jumping are found in the high-kick games. These games require strength, agility, power, and coordination.

A target, such as a ball made from sealskin, is suspended overhead. A player must jump and kick the target. The target is raised each time to see who can jump the highest.

There are three types of high-kick games. The difference among the three is in how the player starts and lands.

The One-Foot High Kick

In this game, a player jumps off two feet, kicks the target with one foot, and lands on the same foot that kicked the target.

The Two-Foot High Kick

In this game, a player jumps off two feet, touches the target with both feet, and lands on both feet.

In addition to his kneel-jump medal, Jose also won a gold medal in the two-foot high kick at the Junior NYO Games. He says, "You can't have your feet crooked when you kick. They have to be straight up."

Nicole Johnston coaches at the Junior NYO Games. She says, "The two-foot high kick is the hardest because it's difficult to get both feet up together at the same time. It requires lots of coordination." Ms. Johnston holds the women's world record--6 feet 6 inches--in the two-foot high kick.

The Alaskan High Kick

In this game, a player holds one foot in the opposing hand in front of his body and balances on his other hand and foot on the floor. Then he uses the foot that was on the floor to kick the target. Darcy does the Alaskan high kick at school with other fifth- and sixth-graders.

By playing games and having friendly competitions, these Inuit kids have fun while staying in great shape and keeping their traditions alive.