Some Chinese Children’s Games


Blind man is looking for a lame man

The blind man and the lame man are in the play circle. The lame man bends over and uses his right hand to hold his right ankle. The blind man covers his eyes. The lame man in the circle must make noises by calling “hi” or shaking rattles as he moves around the circle. The blind man tries to follow the sounds to catch the lame man. If the blind man is able to touch the lame man, they need to switch roles and continue the game. Other people stand outside of the play circle to make sure the blind man does not walk out of the circle during the game.

Pull Tails

Two players. Each one has a strip of cloth (tail) placed on their backs. Each player tries to pull out the other’s tail. Catch a snake Two players. Player One swings a piece of rope to make it look like a snake; Player Two tries to step on the snake. Each time Player Pwo steps on the snake, she gets one point. Once Player Two accumulates ten points the players switch roles.

Rooster Game

This is an ancient folk game that imitates rooster fighting; be careful while playing this game Two or more players. Each player holds up one leg with both hands and stands on the other leg. They face each other and bump into each other’s knee. The first player who drops his/her leg loses the game. If a player steps outside of the circle or on the line making the circle, he/she loses the game.

rooster game

Pocket Fighting

Any number of players are divided into two teams. Team one divides into two groups – members line up facing each other. The members of team two stand in the middle. A member of team one throws the sand bag at the members of team two, who try not to be hit by it. A person who is hit by the sandbag needs to leave the game. The game continues until the last member of team two is hit. The two teams then switch places and begin again. During the game, if someone on team two catches the sandbag, he can rescue one of his teammates who has previously been eliminated. That teammate can rejoin the game and continue to play.

Three Words

At least five players. One person is the chaser and tries to tag any other player. The person who is tagged becomes the chaser. During the game, if a player being chased is about to be tagged, but he/she calls out any three words the chaser can’t tag him/her and must chase after a different player. The player who calls out the words must stand still until another player tags him/her after which he/she can continue to play the game.

Nestle a Person

Players are divided into groups of two, which are scattered on the playground. Make sure there is a distance between the groups. Players in each group stand in a line. One group volunteers to be the runner and the chaser. The game begins with the chaser trying to catch the runner. Both the runner and the chaser must run along outside of the play groups. The runner can join one of the groups at any time, either in the front or at the back. Once the runner has joined one of the groups, the person at the other end of the group must start to run as the new runner, and the chaser continues to try to catch the runner. Once the runner is caught before joining one of the groups, the runner and the chaser switch roles.

nestle a  person

The Eagle Catches the Chicken

At least four children line up to be the chickens, the first person in the line is the chicken mom. The chickens behind the mom embrace the waist of the chicken in front of them. One person stands in front of the chicken mom, acting as the eagle. When the game begins, the eagle tries to catch the chickens. The chicken mom protects the chickens from being caught by moving left and right while the chickens hold on to each other. The eagle wins when he or she tags one of the chickens or the chickens break apart from each other.

Eagle  game

Weaving a Flower Basket

At least three players, “basket weavers,” stand in a circle, facing the center of the circle with the right shoulders. Each player locks his/her right leg with the right leg of the person on the left (see picture), so that a “flower circle” is formed. All players together jump clockwise while clapping hands and singing a children’s song. Any children’s song that has the rhythm to co-ordinate the movement can be used.

flower game

Game 2: The basket weavers stand in a circle with their left shoulders facing the center of circle. Each player holds the left foot of the next player, forming a “ flower circle.” All players jump in a counter clockwise direction and sing a song.

flower game

Courtesy of Dr. Tong Liu , PhD, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Hebei University ,China; Post doctoral fellow of Yale Child Study Center, U.S.A

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