Kids games are incredibly important for childhood development, as well as forming lifelong memories. Introducing your children to Japanese toys and games is a great way to form these memories, thanks to the fun nature of the games, and the cultural and historical significance they hold. So if you’re looking to start creating your own memories with some Japanese kids games and toys, keep reading on!
Kendama is a traditional Japanese toy that consists of a ken (sword), a pair of cups, and a tama (ball) all connected by a string. Kendama is called many things across the world, including ball-in-cup. Kendama is a bit different, though; Kendama players must bounce using their knees and pull the ball upward in order to be either caught in one of the cups or land on the sword. If you’re up for the challenge, get your very own Kendama toy here.
Otedama, a traditional juggling game, is a Japanese pastime usually reserved for girls only. The game is played as such:
- Scatter five bean bags on the floor.
- Pick up one bean bag and toss into the air
- With the same hand, pick up another bean bag and catch the falling one
- Repeat until all bean bags have been picked up.
- Start again, but this time, pick up two bags with each toss, then three bags, then four.
- Toss five bean bags into the air and catch as many as you can on the back of the same hand
- Flip the caught bags into the air again and catch as many as you can in the palm of the same hand
It might sound confusing, but it’s very similar to jacks!
Tsunotsuno is a unique toy that contains multiple purposes in one. With each playset comes three different types of toys -- sugoroku, spinning tops, and dice -- that can be used on their own or as a unit, thanks to their stackable design! However you choose to use it, the possibilities are endless. Inspire innovation by getting your playset today!
Daruma Otoshi is a toy that consists of five daruma doll pieces that usually make up the colors of the rainbow and a wooden mallet. To play, stack the pieces with the daruma doll head on top and the colorful wooden pieces underneath. Then, take the mallet and knock the bottom pieces out from under the top. The objective is to effectively remove the colored pieces without compromising the structural integrity of the daruma doll. It’s like Jenga, but harder!
Sumo Spinning Top Game
Five men enter, one man leaves! This fun twist on the nostalgic tabletop game is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and the simple instructions makes it inclusive for all ages (and makes it impossible to cheat, too)! Just spin your sumo on the board, and let the pieces fall where they may!
Japanese spinning tops, or koma, are made of a metal base and a string to wind around its stem and base. To use it, all you have to do is wind the string around the stem and base and release into a spinning motion. It sounds easy, but don’t expect to nail it in one try. Learning how to properly wind the string is sure to take some time, and plays a crucial part in mastering the koma.
If you have fidgety children, origami is a great Japanese pastime to introduce to your household. All it requires is some paper, an origami booklet, and a creative imagination to help bring your creations to life! With our Tokyo Origami Booklet, you’ll learn how to make samurai, sushi, the Tokyo Tower and more. Or, you can learn how to fold kimonos and shrines with our Kyoto Origami Booklet! The choice is yours!
Kids toys and games are precious in that they are a simple way to bond and make lasting memories. These Japanese kids games have been around since the beginning of mankind, so join the tradition and introduce your children to culture with these classics!