Bizet originally composed this charming suite for piano duet. The composer himself arranged six of the movements for orchestra. As in other romantic depictions of childhood, the games presented here depict a state of idealized innocence with music of considerable difficulty. This is music about children, rather than for children. Also, despite the purely instrumental settings, Bizet's strength as a dramatic composer comes through. Although he is best known today for a small amount of dramatic music, Carmen in particular, Bizet actually worked on over thirty operas during his unfortunately short lifetime, only six of which survive. Around the time of Children's Games, Bizet began an opera based on the life of the legendary medieval Spanish general Don Rodrigo, known as "El Cid."