Swedish games for kids are fun and engaging activities steeped in history and tradition. Sweden is the third-largest country in Western Europe, blessed with beautiful landscapes and a rich Nordic cultural heritage. Playing in Swedish games is one way to get kids involved in learning world cultural traditions and participating in group activities.

Svea Rike

A popular board game in Sweden is Svea Rike, or Rule Sweden. The game is based on 300 years of Swedish history and uses a deck of cards, power plays and masterminding to win the game. Svea Rike is a game that can be played over several days, involving thought and concentration. Svea Rike can be purchased at most toy stores or found online. Although Svea Rike might not be appropriate for younger children, it is a game that can aide in teaching Swedish history, turn-taking and working together to elementary school-aged children and older.

Svea Rike game board
Svea Rike game board

The game is designed to re-create the history of Sweden from 1523 (the reign of Gustav Vasa) to 1818 (Karl XIII). Each player represent one of five noble families attempting to build status for their family. Status is achieved by accumulating fiefs, money, history cards in sets (which include such things as Queens, scientists, cultural personalities, palaces, commanders, etc.), troops and merchants.

The game is driven by event cards … and there are a ton of ’em. On a turn, a player draws and event card and can play as many of them as he sees fit (whether during his turn or not). Thus, the game becomes a series of various events, usually aiding the player and/or hurting his opponents in some fashion.

How to play and rules of the game:  http://globetrotter-games.com/index.htm?E&game/rules/eSveRik1.htm


Layout of the kubb field of play
Layout of the kubb field of play
Kubb player knocking down a kubb
Knocking down a kubb

The game Kubb, a classic Viking game, is another popular game in Sweden. Kubb can be played with kids as young as six and with small or large groups of players. Players enjoying a game of Kubb throw sticks at a “king.” The king can be any object, or an actual Kubb game set online. Children can toss their throwing sticks in a helicopter throw, trying to make the stick go end over end and knock down the king for a win. 


“Kubbs,” or wooden blocks, are placed along the sides of the playing fields and must be knocked over before the playing team can knock over the king. Children can enjoy playing by following Kubb rules or by creating their own tossing-the-stick game.

How to play and rules of the game:  http://www.oldtimegames.com/howtoplay2.html


The Maypole Dancers, kids having fun
The Maypole Dance

May Day festivities in Sweden wouldn’t be a proper celebration without a maypole dance. May Day is a popular celebration in many European countries and is a way to engage communities in enjoyment of spring and friendship.  Although maypole dancing isn’t a game with a winner, it is a dance that has directions and encourages kids to work together. Create a maypole dance for kids by erecting a pole, or stake, in an outdoor area. Children can each tie a long length of ribbon, about 6 feet, to the top of the pole and then hold it taut while standing in a circle with the other children who are participating in the maypole dance. Children can then walk and weave the ribbon together around the maypole, working together until their entire ribbon has been wound around the maypole.