【From Thailand】4 Popular Children’s Games

2021.04.10

Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia which is called “The Land of Smiles”. It is famous for its exotic culture, beautiful Buddhist temples, fun night markets and spicy food like Tom Yum Kung. How do children in Thailand live? In this article, we will cover Thailand’s educational environment and introduce 4 popular games played by Thai children.

【タイ編】外国の子どもに人気の遊び4つ

What is the educational system in Thailand like?

Similar to Japan, compulsory education in Thailand is from 6 years old to 15 years old – elementary school through junior high school. As a result, the country has a 98.1% literacy rate among the younger generation, which is one of the highest levels in Asia. Many families choose to send their children to kindergarten or nursery school before elementary school.

In the Thai countryside, children may be unable to attend school because they have to help with farming. However, Thai children try to study at home to maintain their learning while helping out at home.

Higher Education in Thailand

After compulsory education, children can choose to enter upper secondary school or vocational training school. Thailand also has universities and unlike Japan job hunting is done after graduation. However, for financial reasons, fewer Thai students attend university than in Japan.

What Children’s Games are Popular in Thailand?

Daily lifestyles, types of play and play locations differ greatly between urban and rural areas of Thailand. Here are four popular games among Thai children.

In Cities, Playspaces and Athletic Parks are Popular

There are many large shopping malls and museums in the central area of Bangkok, Thailand. There are also many indoor and outdoor play spaces and athletic parks where children can enjoy moving their bodies and playing with friends. These spaces are appreciated by parents and kids alike.

Suakinkon (Pretending Play – Man-eating Tiger)

“Suakinkon” is one of the traditional games in Thailand. Children form two lines with enough space in the middle for others to pass through the middle. Two children are chosen to be the tigers and pass through the two lines. The other children act as villagers and cross the line as the tigers come through.

As he/she goes through, the tiger tries to catch the villagers on the way.
Villagers who cannot escape become the tiger and have to catch the other villagers. The child who continues to escape the tigers wins at the end.

Quar Luke Pawn

Quar Luke Pawn is a relay game using 2 balloons and 2 brooms. After splitting into two teams, children take turns sweeping the balloons with a broom and moving them forward and then switch with the next person. The losing team then piggybacks the winning team from the start to the goal. The game is fun and is a popular activity on sports days.

Remove the Snake Tail Game

“Remove the Snake Tail Game” is a popular game in Thailand. Children separate into 3 groups: father snakes, mother snakes and child snakes. After all the children finish singing, the father snakes try to catch the child snakes who are being protected by the mother snakes. In this game, the mother snakes are responsible for protecting the children snakes. The game is similar to “Hana Ichi Monme” in Japan.

Thai children are full of energy and enjoy moving their bodies wherever they are. In addition to studying at home and helping around the house they enjoy playing with their friends.

Thai children are raised to have a strong spirit of helping each other. Most children in Thailand learn social skills from a young age at kindergartens and nursery schools. We have a lot to learn from them.

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