Different ancient Chinese toys and games have made it to America, and have become deeply entrenched in our culture. Kids of all ages and even adults enjoy these games, some of them turning into a sport, while others had uses in realms outside of fun and games.
Here they are, the 5 most popular Chinese toys and games in the U.S.:
1. The Jump rope. Yes, that’s right! Originally made in China. Jump rope has been around for centuries and its origins can be attributed to hemp rope makers. The rope makers tie one end of the bunch of hemp to a wheel and walk with the hemp backwards away from the wheel to twist the fibers into rope for a clearance of 900 feet or so. People who did other work had to jump across the length of rope that cut their path. This occupational practice turned into a game that up to now children all over the world still enjoy.
2. The Kite. Kites are said to have originated 2800 years ago, made of silk, silk twine and bamboo. What was then an apparatus to convey military signals and measure distances have now become a popular pastime. Not only that, kites are still being used in the fields of science for harnessing wind energy, meteorology for predicting weather conditions, and for other practical purposes.
3. The Chinese Yoyo. This Chinese toy has only started to get big in the U.S., but it has caught wildfire and should be in the mainstream during this generation. The Chinese yoyo is a toy made up of two discs or cups of equal size joined by a long axle, rotated on a string that connects 2 sticks. Different tricks and juggling acts can be performed using these yoyos, which are still being used by professional jugglers and enthusiasts.
4. Mah Jong. Mah Jong is known as a gambling game even up to this time but it could be played just for fun. It is believed to be an ancient Chinese card game, and has evolved into several variations from country to country.
5. Dominos. Despite the Latin derived name, the modern dominoes are believed to be a Chinese invention, dating back to 1120 AD. They used to be played on wooden sticks resembling popsicle sticks, but later was manufactured with tiles used for Mah Jong. Today dominoes are being played at professional level.
These Chinese toys and games are still widespread all throughout the world, inspiring the invention of other new toys based on their concepts. Some games and toys may have surfaced, but these mainstays have been around for how many centuries. It definitely looks like they’re here to stay for many centuries more.