Childhood games

The village kids in my Kilimanjaro home, Shimbwe village, as many other African kids, are very creative with their games. Without excess of store-bought toys that are imposed on Western kids, nature is their play ground. Childhood games in the safe embrace of the community are a vital and integrated way of learning and maturing into healthy adult life. Hope you'll get inspired by this...
girl with rag ball
My sweet little friend with the famous African home-made ball

In my Kilimanjaro home, the village of Shimbwe on the slopes of the mountain, I’m constantly amazed, amused and touched by the children’s creativity. After school, and after finishing their chores around the house, they gather together to play.

More than anything else, African parents let their children be…
No mother would even think to consider herself responsible for her child’s free time. And in the same way, kids don’t complain to their parents that they are bored!

In the safety of the community they explore, invent and create through play and adventure.

This is not to say parents don’t spend time teaching their children skills, values and the tribal history.
They most definitely do.
I talk a lot about this in my online sessions. Click to find out more.
But it really does take a village to raise a child, and nature is part of the community providing plenty of opportunities for free and creative play time.

The village car

This sweet boy and his friends derive hours of pleasure from playing with this car he built himself out of materials he collected.

boy with a toy car he made himself


Children make balls out of different materials. From rags to grass…

rag ball

In case you were wondering, a ball is a ball. the children have lots of fun with their balls. And sometimes I join the fun too…

The kitchen

Little Ney loves the kitchen. She often tells me proudly about the things she already knows how to make herself! She cooks chai for the family everyday…

She collected little bits and pieces, and she and her friends invited me for a festive make believe lunch…

The popular hoop-car

 A stick, a half plastic bottle, and a cut out plastic lead is all you need to have your own car!

the boys fool around with their hoops
the hoop game

Rope games

Any rope will do, all we need is to play together… At Digna’s shop she always find time to teach the children something.

And here’s the amazing Mama mdogo, who impressed everybody with her skills. She and her baby son have the same temperament and they enjoy playing and laughing together…

אולי האמא הכי מגניבה על הקילימנג'רו! הילדות התחילו לשחק בחבל ומאמא מדוגו הצטרפה. גם אני ניסיתי אבל זה היה מביך. מתחשק לי שתראו איזה כיף באפריקה. על כל מכאובי ובעיות היבשת תשמעו כל היום, ממני תשמעו על השמחה והביחד, המשחק והמוזיקה. וכן גם על חוכמה שבטית עמוקה ששינתה את חיי. אבל לא רק. כי בלי כיף ומשחקים לאן נגיע???

פורסם על ידי ‏‎Ella Harari‎‏ ב- יום ראשון, 19 ביוני 2022


eating wild berries

The airplane

Flowers flowers flowers

girls use flower petals to create painted finger nails

The girls made their hair yellow with the help of some plant they came by on our afternoon walk.

girls play with plats to create yellow hair

Flowers are fun…

girl playing with flowers

And of course, lots of afternoon walks and general adventure seeking with me…

me and the girls


I feel we can learn so much from this. If we stop taking responsibility for kids time, it can actually open amazing worlds for them.

If we stop feeling guilty because they are BORED, they might find their own way to interest themselves.

And most of all, let’s do our best to facilitate as much time as possible for them outdoors.

Mother nature is an amazing teacher.

And maybe it’ll take even more creativity then these sweet Kilimanjaro kids have- to actually make it work in the Western world- but I believe it’s worth it!
For more videos check out the childhood games playlist on my YouTube channel, and don’t forget to hit SUBSCRIBE !



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About Me

Hi, I’m the Wandering Goddess.

My life in a nutshell – B.A. in anthropology, a life changing one year journey in East Africa at 26, followed by Shamanic initiation, tribal wisdom & femininity studies, then, giving in-depth workshops for women and girls, tribal storytelling to children… And at 50, coming back to my Mama Africa to bring you more inspiration on our original way of life.

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