The cannon (pushka) is one of fifteen figures that players must knock out of the "gorod" or city in the Russian game Gorodki.
A few days ago my husband surprised us with a Gorodki set he'd handcrafted in his workshop. Gorodki, which translates as "little cities," is a traditional Russian folk game that has been enjoyed by the likes of Lev Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, Peter I, Vladimir Lenin and Vladimir Putin. Having previously learned the game from his father, today Max taught me how to play.
The object is to throw a bat or bita to dislodge cylindrical blocks, the gorodki from a city or gorod in as few throws as possible. The game is both simple and fun but what I like best is that it can be enjoyed by all ages. Children play with a shorter bat, throwing from the polukon or halfway line and have only ten figures to move through.
Max setting up the sentries or "chasovye" for our next round.
Learning a new game is one of the suggested holiday amusements in Charlotte Mason's Parents' Review. We would love it if you shared a favorite or traditional game with us or tried Gorodki out for yourself.