Traditional games and toys

Strategy games

These kind of games do not merely imply a ludic aspect, but rather require capacity for abstract thinking, the drawing up of strategies, concentration, reflection and the even the ability to resolve mathematical problems. In Arona, three games with these characteristics exist, each employing the same playing board.

El perro y las cabras (The Dog and the Goats)

“El perro y las cabras” is one of the traditional games found in Arona, wherein the objective of the player representing the goats is to prevent the player representing the dog from moving, whilst the player representing the dog attempts to jump over and eat the goats.

El gato y las palomas (The Cat and the Pigeons) In this game, the birds are represented by eleven counters, whilst the cat is represented by a single counter.

La dama (a form of draughts)

In contrast to the two previous games, in the case of La Dama, each player starts off on an equal footing. Whelk and small snail shells or pebbles, wood and pumice stone were typically used as counters.

Traditional Canarian toys

Etnoludens is a project that was set in motion in 1996 in the municipality of Arona with the aim of recuperating the childhood pastimes of the elderly via the toys that they constructed. The materials employed also allow us to analyse the socio-economic context of the era, which was characterised by austerity, forcing the children to use their imagination in order to invent toys.


Gamona: a plant of Mediterranean origin typically found at an altitude of between 600 and 1500 metres, resistant and with a long, strong stem that branches out to terminate in flowers.

Penca (Indian Fig Opuntia): this plant is also known as chubera, tunera or nopal.
Originally from Mexico and introduced into the Canary Islands subsequent to the Discovery of America, the Penca is a type of cactus that grows in thickets that can be found along the coast, at medium altitudes and on the heights (Vilaflor).

Other materials: tins, pebbles, thin metal wire…

We are committed to ensuring that this legacy of dignity and the ability to overcome, involving several generations of the inhabitants of the Canary Islands, is remembered and not forgotten. These individuals proved capable of
Making much from little,
Surmounting adversity with generosity,
Making something magical from everyday objects

Images: Etnoludens