Asian Games for Kids

happy new year image by chinatiger from

From China to Thailand to the Philippines, many Asian cultures are rich with children's games. These games are likely to appeal to kids from any background, drawing on a universal sense of fun and introducing new traditions from around the world. Many of the traditional games appeal to a broad age range and don't require much equipment. You can try out Asian kids' games for a new take on party games, recess or learning activities.

Tawanan, "Laughing Game"

Players might be surprised at how hard it is to start or stop laughing on cue.
laughing girl image by Cherry-Merry from

Tawanan, or the "laughing game," is from the Philippines and may leave players in a giggly mood. According to the Tagalog website (the official language of the Philippines), this game can involve up to 50 players, though it can be adapted for smaller groups. Before the game starts, players decide which side of a coin means "start laughing" and which side means "stop laughing." Everyone takes a seat, and the leader tosses the coin. Whichever side it lands on, the players have to obey. This game can get surprisingly tricky when players try to suppress their laughter.

Catch the Dragon's Tail

The game tends to work best out of doors, with lots of room.
golden chinese dragon image by thomas owen from

This game hails from China and works best with 10 or more players. The players form a straight line and hold onto the shoulders of the player in front of them, except for the first player in line, who is the "head" of the dragon. The last player is the "tail." Keeping the line unbroken, the head attempts to tag the tail. Every player tries to stop the head, but if he succeeds, the tail moves up and becomes the head. All the other players then shift back one space, and play continues.

Gradai Kha Dee-o, "One-Legged Rabbit"

If playing outside, the area could be marked off in chalk.
rabbit image by Vladislav Gajic from

According to the Thai Children's Trust, this Thai game should involve an even number of kids. Players are split into two groups, and one group is designated "the rabbits." The other group must stay inside a designated area. One at a time, the rabbits hop on one leg into the chosen area and try to tag the other players. If the players leave the area, they're out of the game. In addition, the rabbit can't put her other foot down. If all the players are tagged, the rabbits win.


About the Author

Sally Murphy began writing professionally in 2000. She has worked as a writing instructor and written for various organizations and publications on topics ranging from history to hairstyles to television shows. Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing.

Photo Credits