List of Traditional Indoor Games of India

Games Played inside Home or Indoor – Indoor Games – Games played inside a home or indoor are calssified as Indoor Games. The following are some of the indoor games that are still played in villages.

  • ​Thirudan police (திருடன் போலீஸ்)
  • Raja rani (ராஜா ராணி)
  • Statue/Freeze/Attack
  • Oru kodam thanni (ஒரு குடம் தண்ணி)
  • X and O (Tic Tac Toe)
  • Poo Parikka Varugirom (பூ பறிக்க வருகிறோம்)
  • Pappu kanji (பப்பு கஞ்சி)
  • Aakku paakku vethala paakku (ஆக்கு பாக்கு வெத்தல பாக்கு)
  • Kulai kulaiyaai mundirikkai (குலை குலையாய் முந்திரிக்காய்)
  • Kokku para para (கொக்கு பற பற)
  • Nadu puduchi vilayadu (நாடு புடுச்சி விளையாடு)
  • Vidukathai (விடுகதை)
  • Mookka pudi (மூக்க புடி)
  • Book cricket (புக் கிரிக்கெட்)
  • Color color what color
  • Current pass
  • Guess cricket
  • Chain
  • Lock and Key

Thirudan police

Thirudan Police is also known as Kallan Police in many villages and cities of Tamil Nadu. There are two forms of Thirudan Police one played indoor and other outdoor. It is a wonderful game played by rural children. By playing this game children’s guessing power, face reading skill gets enhanced and they sustain the feeling of unity and oneness among the players.

Things Required:

  • Bits of paper of equal size

  • Pen

  • Four players

  • Open ground if played outdoor

How to Play in Indoor:

  • 4 Paper bits of equal size are used.

  • Raja, Rani, Police and Thirudan is written on each paper bit

  • All the papers are folded in such a way that the text is inside  the and  fold look similar

  • Children sit together forming a circle and one player takes initiative and shuffles the folded papers in hand and throws it on ground. Then each player picks one paper and see what they got

  • The text written in the paper should be a secret and other players should not know what others got.

  • Then the player who has POLICE has to raise his hand and he is asked to find the player who has THIRUDAN.

  • The following are the points for each character Raja – 10, Rani – 5, Thirudan, Police – 1

  • If the guess is right, POLICE get one point, if not the point will go to Thirudan. The game goes in 5 to 10 rounds. The winner is the player who gets maximum points.

How to Play in Outdoor:

This is also a simple game where the players form 2 groups, one group will be POLICE and the other group will be THIRUDAN (Thief). The thief group will do some mischief or take one toy and hide it and the police group will find the toy or the thirudan group will hide and the police group will search them as we play Hide and Seek. It is same as the concept of Thief and Police in real life

Raja Rani

Raja – Rani in Tamil Nadu is Ramudu – Seetha in other states of South India. It is a wonderful traditional game played by rural children. By playing this game children’s guessing power, face reading skill gets enhanced and they sustain the feeling of unity and oneness among the players.  Since the epic characters are chosen to play the game children gains knowledge over epic characters

Things Required:

  • Bits of paper of equal size

  • Pen

  • Three or more players

 How to Play:

  • First the Epic for selecting the characters is selected in our case for example we’ll select Ramayana.

  • Paper bits of equal size are used.

  • On each paper bit a Ramayana character name is written. The characters may be Rama, Seetha, Lakshmana, Hanuman, Bharata, Shatrugna, Ravana and so on depending on number of players.

  • All the papers are folded in such a way that the text is inside  and the fold look similar

  • Children sit together forming a circle and a player takes initiative and distributes the slips to the others including him at random.

  • The text written in the paper should be a secret and other players should not know what others got.

  • Then the player who has RAMA has to raise his hand and he is asked to find the player who has SEETHA. It is not required that the person has to find SEETHA, the group can select a character name and can ask to find the character.

  • If the guess is right, he gets a point, if not he will lose a point. The game goes in 5 to 10 rounds. The winner is the player who gets maximum points.


Statue is a wonderful game also played as Freeze or Attack. This game greatly improves the acting skills of miming and coming up with ideas on a dime. Freeze is one of the easier game played in schools, parties, buses, wherever a group of children get together.

  • Get a group of at least four people together and decide on two people to start the game. This game can be played with as many people as you want.

  • Someone from the group picks a situation for the two people to start out with. The two then start acting out the situation or it may be any actions among the group

  • At any time a member from the group can yell Freeze! Both of the actors or all the kids in the group then freeze in whatever position they are in till the person say ease.

  • The person that called out has to start the next situation. The situation started has to be completely different from the one before.

  • Continue this way for as long as you please. There is really no winner to this game.

Oru kudam thani

Oru kudam thanni is a traditional games played mostly in villages by children in schools and with neighborhood friends. It is one of the girls favorite game.

How to Play

Number of players : More then 3
Location                  : Indoor and outdoor

  • First the group interested in playing Oru kudam thanni is formed and two members from the team are selected for forming the arch by variety of ways, for example by using an elimination word game, such as “Inky Pinky Ponkey” or similar game.

  • The two selected girls will form an arch by holding their hands together by standing opposite to opposite and rest in the group will run in circles through the arch singing “oru kudam thanni oothi ore poo poothadhaam”(English translation: after pouring one bucket water, one flower flowered) and for the second round “rendu kudam oothi rendu poo poothadhaam ” (English  translation: after pouring second bucket water..) and so on.

  • For every sentence they will pass through the arch formed by the two girls.

  • While they sing “poothadhaam” the girl passing the arch will be trapped by the girls forming the arch.
    The girl trapped in the arch will now go to the arch team releasing one girl (girl who first got selected for forming the arch) to go around with others.

X and O (Tic Tac Toe)

ic tac toe also know as X and O. It is a simple game that is often played to fill time.
It is one of the first games learned by many, and can be played anywhere there is
pencil and paper. Students sitting in the last bench in schools and colleges play
this game when they feel the class is boring. These games can last few seconds to
several minutes. The game is played by two players alternately putting an X or an O
in a square on a 3-by-3 grid. The game is won when one of the players gets three in
a row.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Pen/Pencil

  • Paper

Draw the table as shown in the picture to play the game on a piece of paper.

Assign a letter to each player. One player is assigned X and the other player is
assigned 0.

Decide among the players who is going to start, it can be an agreement that
Player 1 starts first for the first game and Player 2 start the game for the

second game or vice versa, or you can flip a coin to determine which player can
start the game. If you flip a coin then the winner of the first game will start the next

Once the player is decided, he starts the game by putting the assigned letter, either
X or O, into one of the nine boxes created.

Once he puts his letter then the second player take a turn. Play alternates between
the two players in this manner until the game is won. No box can contain both an
X and an O. Also, once either letter is put in a box, it cannot be removed.

Align three X’s or O’s to win the game. These letters must be able to be connected
using a straight line. The line can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. If all nine boxes
contain a letter but there are no three letters in a row, the game is considered a tie.

Poo Parikka Varugirom

Poo parikka varugirom is an interesting traditional game played in villages by singing a song which is in question and answer form. This game develops Physique, singing, knowing flowers, counting, questioning and answering skill.

How to Play

  • For the game to be interesting more the 5 to 10 players are required. The play area will be an open ground, street or a hall, the size of the play area depends upon the number of players playing.

  • Two groups of equal players are formed and a line is drawn in the centre and the players stand at a distance of 5 feet from the line

  • All the players hold their hands like a chain and sing the below song and go to the centre line touch it and come back to their place

                Team 1: Poo Parikka Varugirom, Poo Parikka Varugirom, inn nallilae
Team 2: Yaarai anuppa poogireer, Yaarai anuppa poogireer, inn nallilae
Team 1: Rani (Name of a player) Anuppa Poogirom, Rani Anuppa Poogirom, inn nallilae
Team 2: Yentha Poo Vendum, Yentha Poo Vendum, inn nallilae
Team 1: Mallipoo Vendum (Name of a flower),  Mallipoo Vendum, inn nallilae

  • Once the Team 1 replies with the flower name, each person from one team will come to the centre line and pull each other, the player who crosses the line while pulling will go to the opposite team.

  • The game continues with different player name and flower name till everyone gets tired, the team with maximum number of players at the end of the game is the winner of the game.

Pappu kanji

Pappu kanji is a famous traditional game played by parents with their kids under 3 yrs. By playing this game the children learns the importance of sharing, identify various food items cooked at home, and helps in identifying the relationship among people in the family and builds patience in them.

How to play

  • The parent or an elder taking care of the kid stretches the kid’s fingers, describes the food items one by one, and assign it to each finger virtually.

  • Once all the fingers are assigned with one food item, the person take the kids palm and pretend it as a plate and take the assigned food items from the fingers and mix them all in the palm. Then he should pretend as if he takes some food from the kids hand and feed him, then person should distribute it to others in the family by mentioning their names and the  relationship (like father, mother, sister, etc.) with the kid. All the actions are done virtually.

  • Once the food is distributed to others the parent pretends that he/she washes the vessel (i.e.) the kids palm and move his finger starting from the fingers of the kid to the shoulders singing “nandu oruthu nari oruthu” repeatedly and tickle the kid when he/she reach the shoulder, this amuse the kid and the kid starts laughing.

Aakku paakku vethala paakku

Aakku paaku vethala paaku is the traditional rural game played by kids between 3 to 5 years. This game builds patience among the kids and teaches them the counting and pointing skills.

How to play

  • All the kids sit in a circle, keep their hands on the ground (palm facing the ground), and stretch their fingers.

  • A kid from the group starts the game by singing
    aakku paaku vethala paakku
    thaam thoom koyya
    asaka lakadi buska lakadi
    balasundaram enperu koya
    While singing one of his hand will be in the ground and the other hand will be used to point and count the hands of other players. For each word in the song one hand is counted for example while saying aakku one hand is counted. The count will go in clockwise direction.

  • The player has to close his finger if the song ends in his hand. Then the player again starts singing and counting

  • If the hand with closed finger is pointed for the second time then that kid’s hand should not be counted again (i.e. that hand should be taken out from the circle)

  • The game is continued until the number of hands is reduced to single.

Kulai kulaiyaai mundirikkai

Kulai kulaiyaai mundirikkai is a famous game still played in villages and in schools. This game teaches the kids how to be cautious from the cheaters and how to do something without getting noticed by others. In this game players need to be cautious and know the tricks to cheat others without getting noticed.


  • More Number of Players more the fun

  • Play area mainly depends upon the number of Players

  • A towel strongly rolled like a rope

How to Play ?

  • All the players need to sit in a circle inwards seeing each other.

  • One player is  chosen to be the ‘out’ person. The ‘out’ person is selected by any choosy method.

  • The ‘out’ person should take the rolled towel and run around the circle formed by the players.

  • The ‘out’ person while running should put the towel at the back of anyone player sitting in the circle in such a way that the players sitting in the circle does not notice it and continue running. If the player sitting notices the towel is behind him he can take it and should chase the ‘out’ person and try to touch the ‘out’ person before he sits in the empty place of the player who is chasing. If he touches the ‘out’ person then he will be the ‘out’ person for the second round, if in case he sits then the player who is chasing with the towel will be the ‘out’ person and he should continue playing as in the first round.

  • If the player sitting in the circle doesn’t know that the towel is behind him the ‘out’ player running should come and pick the towel and hit the player in his back and give the towel to him and ask him to run, and he sits in that place.

  • Players sitting in the circle who noticed the towel is dropped behind a player should not say it to the concern player.

The player who is running with the towel will sing ‘Kulai kulaiyaai mundirikkai’ as a question and the players sitting in the circle will sing ‘Nariya Nariya suthi vaa’ as an answer to the question. All the players have to sing at the time they run.

Kokku para para

Kokku para para is a famous game still played by kids between 5 to 10 yrs in village and in schools. The game gives the wide knowledge about the flying and not flying things, etc. The game teaches the kids to be cautious and to observe keenly. The game improves the kids observing power.


  • More number of players for more fun.

  • It can be played anywhere depending upon the size of the group.

How to play

  • All the players need to sit in a circle with their hands touching the ground.

  • One player in the group will be the commander and the other players should do actions according to the commands given by the commander.

  • The commander should name an item along with the “para para” (Fly Fly), for Example if the commander says “Koku Para Para (Crane Fly Fly)” The kids should repeat “Koku Para Para” and shake their hands as crane will fly, and if he  says “Plate Para Para” No actions will be made by the players as Plate will not Fly.

  • The Players need to hear carefully what the commander says and should judge whether the commander is saying a flying object or a non-flying object and should act accordingly.

  • If any of the players from the group makes any action for object that was called by the commander that does not fly, then that player will be out for rest of the game.

  • The commander will command slowly at the beginning and will increase the speed in order to eliminate the players from the game. The last single player in the game is the winner of the game.

  • Then they start the game from the beginning for the second round.


Vidukathai are generally used for easy teaching of children who enjoy the mysteries and surprises hidden in them, they are expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that requires ingenuity and careful thinking for its solution.

விடுகதை – விடுவிக்கவேண்டிய புதிர், ஒரு இரு வரிகளில் ஒரு பொருளை மறைபொருளாக (நேரடியாக விவரிக்காமல்) விவரித்து தொடுக்கப்படுவது, கலை அழகோடும், மறைப்பு வித்தையோடும் தேடச் சொல்வது விடுகதை; யோசிக்க வைப்பது இதன் நோக்கம். நேசிக்க வைப்பது இதன் நேர்த்தி

விடுகதையை விரும்பாதவர்களே இருக்க முடியாது பெரியவர்கள் முதல் குழந்தைக்ள வரை அனைவரும் விரும்பக்கூடியது .உலகின் பண்பட்ட பண்படாத அனைத்து மொழிகளிலும் விடுகதைகள் காணப்பெறுகின்றன.விடுகதையை ஒரு இலக்கியமாகே கொண்டு போற்றப்பெறுகின்றது.விடுகதைகள் சிந்தனைக்கு விருந்தாவும்,நகைப்பிற்றகுக் களமாகவும் விளங்குகின்றன.இவ்விடுகதையில் உயர்ந்த வேதாந்த கருத்துக்கள் தொடங்கி எளிய உலக வாழ்க்கைப் பொருள் வரையிலும் இடம்பெற்றிருக்கும்.தொல்காப்பியர் விடுகதையைப் பிசி என்று கூறுகின்றார்.இப்படி அறிவுக்கு விருந்தாக அமையும் விடுகதை இன்று அருகி வருகின்றது.

Book cricket

Book Cricket is an indoor game. It is popular among students in schools. Kids play this game when they have leisure time in school and whenever they feel the lecture is boring. Kids play this at home when the weather is not conducive for outdoor games. The easiness to play this game makes it more popular among kids.

Things Required:

  • A paper for each player
  • Book preferable a big book with lot of pages
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Two players 

How to Play:

  • The two players will have to decide the number of batsman.
  • Toss a coin and decide who is going to bat first
  • The player decided to bat will hold the book with him.
  • He has to randomly open the book and look for the page number
  • The player should always look for the side of book which has even numbers on it.
  • In the opened page, look for the even number and take note of the last unit in that number. For Example: If the opened page is 154, then the last unit is 4 so the score is 4. So the possible scores are 2, 4, 6, 8 and 0.
  • 2, 4 and 6 score will be added to the batsman score as such and 8 will be a dot ball or counted as a single, it is decided at the beginning of the game when the decide on the number of bats man . 0 score means the batsman is out.

  • Close the book and open it again.

  • Note the score for that again.

  • The innings will go on until all the batsmen is out.

  • The total score of the first player is noted and then the second player takes over the Book and continues to play.

  • At the end who ever has the bigger score is the Winner  

Color color what color

“Color color what color do you choose” is a funny game played by kids in cities and villages in Schools during leisure time and in home during vacations. This game teaches the kids how to take decisions by coordinating with others andto observe what others speak. This game make the kids to be familiar with the different color shades.


  • 3 or More number of players

  • Play area mainly should have various colors.

How to play

  • One from the group of players is selected as the commander. The commander is selected by any one of the choosy method.

  • Other than the commander the rest of the people discuss between them selves and selects a color.

  • And the group stands away from the commander to some extent. Such that the group is in one end and the commander is in the other end.

  • The group ask the commander to choose the color with a statement as “color color what color do you choose” the commander replies the group with a color.

  • This is continued until the color the commander chooses matches the color decided by the group.

  • When the commander chosen color matches with the group decided color, the group as to run and touch the color with out getting caught in the hand of the commander.

  • If a person is caught by the commander the person will be the new commander and the commander will in turn join the group

Guess cricket

Guess cricket is a game played indoor, especially in schools and colleges during leisure time. It is much simpler to play and requires no specialized equipments or kits. This game enhances children guessing power, face-reading skills and teaches how to take calculated risk.

Things required

  • Two Players [Each player represents a team of cricketers]

  • Two white paper, one for each player to write the score

  • Pen or Pencil

How to Play

  • First write ‘ABCDEFG’ on top of the paper in block letter this will be the scorecard for that player

  • The Scorecard is separated into two sections namely Batting and Bowling

  • Both player should decide on the number of batsmen and number of overs in the match

  • Write down the Batsmen names in the batting section with sufficient space between the two batsman names.

  • In the bowling section, write a blank for each ball to be bowled with each row representing one over. E.g. – if it is a 10 over match then there should be ten rows and each row should have six blank dashes written on it.

  • After writing the above details, both the players / teams are ready to play. Now it is time for toss.

  • Toss a coin and decide who is going to bat first and who is going to bowl first.

  • The player decided to Bat first should take his Scorecard and be ready to note down his score.

  •  The player decided to Bowl first should take his Scorecard and be ready to bowl. He has to write any one letter from ABCDEFG in the first over’s first bowl [represented by a blank in his scorecard]. Say he writes ‘E’ in the first bowl blank.

  • Now the player batting has to guess a letter from ABCDEFG, if the player says ‘A’ then the difference between the letter bowled and the letter batted is his score. In this example it is 4, as A is the first letter and E is the fifth letter, 5 – 1 = 4.

  • In this way the bowling player has to bowl a letter, the batting player has to bat a letter from ABDCDEFG, and the score should be arrived.

  • When the letter bowled and the letter batted is the same then the Batsman is OUT.

  • The game will carry on till either all the batsmen are Out or till all the overs are bowled.

  • Once the innings is over then the total score of the player batting is calculated. That will be the total of that team or player

  • Now the other person will take batting and the first player has to bowl.

  • At the end who ever has scored more runs will Win this Guess Cricket Match J