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11 Best Traditional Games Singapore to Play [2024]

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Traditional Games Singapore

Best Traditional Games Singapore
Best Traditional Games Singapore

Recalling childhood days and looking for a chance to go back to old school games form the basis for exploring traditional games in Singapore.

Your best bets for the oldest traditional games in Singapore in 2024 would be Five Stones, Chapteh, Wooden Top (Gasing), Kites, and Pick-Up Sticks.

And so, delving into some of these old-school pastimes could open your eyes to your new favourite game, reviving the happiness of childhood while introducing a new generation to the simple pleasures of the past.

Usually played outdoors, every traditional game could become one of your favourites.

Explore these games for a unique mixture of antiquity, culture and play.

Quick Summary

  • Five Stones, Chapteh and Kites are well-known traditional games in Singapore for 2024.
  • We should select games that provide more opportunities for outdoor interaction between people from different generations.
  • Traditional games in Singapore are not only an insight into the country’s cultural heritage, but also a common platform to unite the community across generations through the shared experience of joy and competition.

Our Selection Criteria

Traditional Games in Singapore are selected after thorough research, customer feedback and years of experience in events planning.

  • Engaging with Clients: We assess the level of clients’ satisfaction, overall enjoyment, and responsiveness to Traditional Games platforms and providers.
  • Embracing Variety and Creativity: We engage providers who offer a diverse array of traditional games with cultural and authentic design elements. These efforts help preserve Singaporean heritage and create memories to look back on in the future.
  • Ensuring Scalability: We check if providers can scale up to offer traditional gaming experiences for different event sizes This can help them offer top-notch entertainment for occasions of different scales in Singapore while preserving and promoting cultural appreciation.

Key Considerations

To select traditional games in Singapore, here are some tips to help you pick the best ones

  • Cultural Authenticity: Select games that are rooted in Singapore’s heritage for an immersive cultural experience.
  • Safety Protocols: Review and follow all safety protocols, especially adherence to standards for children in games and activity areas.
  • Age Appropriateness: Make sure you choose games that are age-appropriate for the individuals in the activity. It makes their involvement more fun!
  • Instruction Clarity: The instructions for the games should clear and detailed, so that newcomers can also understand the rules.
  • Environmental Impact: Consider the ecological footprint of the games and identify providers with a commitment to sustainability in their operations.
  • Community Impact: Select providers who are involved in the community, either locally or in terms of cultural preservation.

Best Traditional Games in Singapore

1. Five Stones

Five Stones

Five Stones is a classic Singaporean game of hand-eye co-ordination that requires accuracy and focus – it’s usually played with five small, pyramid-shaped fabric bags (called a cheng in Singapore) filled with rice or sand.

Players toss one stone into the air and try to pick up the others on the ground before catching the thrown stone.

Despite its simple rules, the game features layers of Singaporean cultural and historical significance rooted in the art of community-building.

2. Chapteh

Chapteh
(Credit: Carnival World)

Chapteh is an old-fashioned Singaporean sport using a feathered shuttlecock made of rubber that players try to keep in the air using their feet. This is typically played in an open area – or even at void decks.

It’s challenging, physically demanding and can require a huge degree of skill, balance and co-ordination, and an inevitable spill is an important part of the fun.

By taking part in this traditional game with a side of physical fitness, individuals are able to learn about the cultural heritage of the game, and how it could help improve physical fitness.

3. Wooden Top (Gasing)

Wooden Top (Gasing)

Gasing, or the ‘Wooden Top’, demonstrates the Singaporean culture of spinning.

Wooden tops – intricately made and decorated – are thrown in a game of skill and dexterity in order to spin the longest.

It’s a physical challenge, no doubt, but it’s also a venerable piece of Singapore’s heritage.

4. Kites

Kites

Kites are among the most enduring traditional games that Singaporeans play outdoors, and catching the wind to fly high above us is one of the most symbolically liberating and imaginative ‘free activities’.

Participants spend many years learning the intricate craft of kite-making, flying kites with designs ranging from basic diamond-shaped to intricate, multi-hued, and patterned mounted creations.

5. Pick-up Sticks

Pick-up Sticks

Pick-up Sticks is a game of finesse and lightness of touch.

It is played with a bundle of sticks, loosely dropped as a pile, whereby a player is required to take a stick from it one at a time, without disturbing the rest of the other sticks.

6. Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is a simple, ancient board game from India, and it contains endearing moral lessons.

They move their pieces up, down and around ladders and snakes – it’s a game that is full of twists and turns.

Looking for an exciting variation of this popular game? Check out Giant Board Games in Singapore which featured a life-sized version of this game!

7. Tangram

Tangram

Tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle game that uses seven flat pieces (known as tans) of various shapes to form a square.

The aim is to perform a series of moves – using the seven pieces without overlap – that will replicate shapes and patterns specified in puzzle books or provided by the players themselves.

Playing this game honed players’ spatial awareness as well as their problem-solving skills, making it one of the timeless and educational traditional games in Singapore.

8. Ludo

Ludo

Ludo is a classic board game adapted to offer a simplified gameplay that is beloved by families in Singapore and beyond.

It is played by rolling dice and moving four pawns per player around the board, trying to get them all to a secure destination at the other end.

The game is celebrated for being a combination of strategy and luck, for encouraging a friendly competition, and for the way in which it gets people of all ages involved in a common activity.

9. Foam Toy Aeroplane

Foam Toy Aeroplane

Foam Toy Aeroplane is a delightfully relaxed game that combines the pleasures of making stuff with your hands with the free-range play of outdoor life.

The people get to put together their own paper aeroplane. Lightweight, foam planes are handed out and they compete to see whose will fly the farthest or perform the best air moves.

It also promotes basic aerodynamics, creativity and physical exercise, all while having a great deal of fun.

10. Rubik’s Cube

Rubik's Cube

One of the most widely known 3D combination puzzles in the world is the Rubik’s Cube, invented in 1974 by the Hungarian sculptor Ernő Rubik.

It requires players to fit all six sides of the cube so that each is the same colour and encourages learning through problem-solving, patience and spatial awareness.

11. Yoyo

Yoyo

The Yoyo, a simple toy in which the winding up and letting out of a string causes two discs connected by an axle to swing and rotate.

Players let go of the Yoyo and show off a range of tricks and moves as it unwinds and rewinds, demonstrating dexterity, split-second timing and inventiveness.

This game is timeless because it can keep you entertained for hours and hours, not to mention improve your hand-eye coordination too. It is a favourite pastime of both kids and adults in Singapore and all over the world.

Traditional Games Singapore

Hunting down the best spots to play traditional games in Singapore is simply about indulging nostalgia for ‘old school’. It’s about rediscovering the fun in kampong games such as Five Stones.

Whether it’s the physical dexterity demanded in Chapteh or the nature of Rubik’s Cube, these card and board games, like school games, bring together a healthy dose of cultural heritage, nostalgia, and good old-fashioned fun. They are reminders of a time when entertainment depended less on the number of pixels displayed on a screen to create excitement, and more on the moments of laughter and sharing with friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions about Traditional Game in Singapore, you can refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the best Traditional Games in Singapore below:

What are the besttraditional games in Singapore?

The besttraditional games in Singapore are Five Stones, Chapteh, Wooden Top (Gasing), Kites, and Pick-up Sticks.

What are traditional games in Singapore?

Singapore’s traditional games form a colourful spectrum of activities that have been played, passed down and played again across the decades.

Here are some of them.

Old School Card Games: Conquest, Boat (also known as Bull and Boat), Lucky Sun, Fisherman’s Word, Robbery (also known as Fan Tan, Pai Ti, Same Same and Sweetheart), Chinese Bull (also known as Scarecrow or Chinese Marriage), and Snip Snap Snorem.

Traditional Kampong Games: Marbles (or Tips or Singsing), Ludo, Chinese Chess, Chapteh and Five Stones.

Other games: Country Flag Erasers

Why play traditional games when we have video game consoles?

Although a video game console can provide the same thrill, these games offer a sense of nostalgia and social bonding that digital games cannot. They also allow players to interact with Singapore’s history.

What are some examples of old school card games in Singapore?

Singaporeans also prefer classic card games such as “Happy Family” and “Zero Point”, which are games that consist of strategy and memory skills.

What is a traditional kampong game?

Kampong games were games that we played when we were kids in the old villages, or kampongs, in Singapore. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

These endearing memories from the kampong days live on in the hearts of many older Singaporeans.

What are some popular traditional board games in Singapore?

Games such as ‘Airplane Chess’ and ‘All the Marbles’ usually have a version played in Singapore and these can take considerable skill, strategy and a good deal of luck to win.

How do you play pick up sticks?

Pick up sticks is a traditional game played on a flat surface that involves trying to grab sticks from a pile, one at a time, without disturbing the ones on top.

What is paper ball and how is it played?

Paper ball is a traditional game in which seving players generate a paper ball into a marked target (such as a circle drawn on the floor). It is a easy but enjoyble game that could be played anyplace with very little equipment.

What is the objective of “Happy Family”?

Happy Family is a relatively straightforward card game. During the course of the game, players collect family members made up of multiple parts in order to assemble complete family sets. The winner at the end of the game is the one with the most complete sets of family members.

Why are traditional games important for preserving childhood memories?

Singaporeans also have strong nostalgic memories about traditional games. Whenever they play these games with their families and friends, they deepen the bonds and have the chance to tell and remember old stories.

Rachel Tan avatar

Article by

I'm currently the editor at FunEmpire Media. I've over 8 years of experience in the media industry discovering the best local businesses, places and things to do. From lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, education and more, I strive to curate the very best in Singapore.

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