Traditional Chinese toys and games are an important part of Chinese culture and history, offering insights into the lives and customs of the people who created them. Here are nine examples of traditional Chinese toys and games:
- Jianzi (毽子) – Jianzi is a traditional game that involves kicking a shuttlecock, which is typically made of feathers or plastic, without allowing it to touch the ground. Players can use various parts of their bodies to keep the shuttlecock in the air, including their feet, knees, and even their heads.
- Tangram (七巧板) – Tangram is a popular puzzle game that involves using seven geometric shapes to create a variety of different patterns and designs. It’s believed to have originated in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
- Chinese yo-yo (扯铃) – The Chinese yo-yo, also known as a diabolo, is a traditional toy that consists of two cups and a spool of string. Players can perform a variety of tricks with the yo-yo, including tossing it back and forth, spinning it on a string, and catching it on a stick.
- Mahjong (麻将) – Mahjong is a popular Chinese game that involves using tiles to form various combinations, such as pairs and sequences. It’s often played with four players and can be highly competitive.
- Shuttlecock (毽子) – In addition to being used in Jianzi, shuttlecocks can also be used for a variety of other games and activities, including badminton and hacky sack.
- Chinese checkers (中国跳棋) – Chinese checkers, also known as Halma, is a board game that involves moving marbles across a hexagonal board. The objective is to move all of your marbles to the opposite side of the board before your opponents do.
- Paper lanterns (纸灯笼) – Paper lanterns are a traditional Chinese decoration that can also be used as a toy. They’re typically made of paper or silk and come in a variety of shapes and colors.
- Dragon kites (风筝) – Kites have a long history in China, dating back more than 2,000 years. Dragon kites, which are typically made of silk and bamboo, are a popular type of kite in China and are often flown during festivals and celebrations.
- Chinese chess (象棋) – Chinese chess, also known as Xiangqi, is a strategic board game that’s similar to Western chess. It involves using pieces such as elephants, horses, and soldiers to capture your opponent’s king.
Overall, traditional Chinese toys and games provide a unique insight into Chinese culture and history. They continue to be enjoyed by people around the world today, both as a way to connect with the past and as a fun way to pass the time.