In Morocco; games for both children and adults may differ greatly from the games we play in the West, but they are a great reflection of the creativity and artistry which starts from a very early age. Unlike in the West where children frequently spend more time in front of the TV, in Morocco, children spend more time playing outdoors, and the beautiful weather is probably a good reason for this. Outside, children will use the natural environment in which to make their own toys and create imaginary games. Musical instruments such as flutes, drums, and whistles are carved out of the environment using vegetables, animal bones and intestines!
The natural environment provides a great deal of materials for children to build a variety of different toys to keep themselves entertained for hours. Materials such as water, fire, earth, sand, clay, paint stones, flowers, hair, skin, and animal bones are utilised to create their own world of imaginary play. Children will create small houses out of stones and make dolls out of whatever they can find. They’ll make their own simple version of spin the top by pushing a stick through the centre of an old lid or anything else they can lay their hands on.
There are some traditional games they play too, as part of large or small groups; these can be anything from soccer, to a game of kick and catch. This can include four or more players with one rag ball and between them they must compete to make 10 catches in a row without dropping the ball. Another ball game features the use of rocks and a small ball. There are also board games which are used mostly by young adults such as Mancala, and more modern games which include Marrakesh,
a carpet laying game! There is also Marracash, which is a marketplace game and sounds very much like an African version of Monopoly! Card games include Ronda; a fishing game for 2 to 4 players, and numerous other games going by the names of Ch’kamba, Venta Solo, and Nouffi.
Although they may not always have the same luxuries as those in the West, Moroccans are easily able to utilise the materials around them in order to provide their own entertainment, something which we in the West seem to have forgotten. It reminds us of a world we in the West seem to have left behind.