1. Overview

While most children’s toys today have been extremely modernized to keep up with the times, Vietnam still preserves some traditional toys, clearly demonstrating Vietnamese culture. Many traditional toys in Vietnam were invented a long time ago and passed down from generation to generation. Depending on the region, these toys and games are very diverse.

Vietnamese traditional toys are toys handmade from simple materials close to life, such as bamboo, leaves, paper, terracotta, etc. They are not only entertaining. but also shows the cultural beauty and traditions of the Vietnamese people. Folk toys not only help children feel more excited and happy during Tet but also remind adults of happy childhood memories. In this guide, here is a list of some of the most popular and iconic toys and games that represent Vietnamese culture.

2. Discover the top 6 most popular Vietnamese traditional toys

2.1. To He 

To He is a small statue made from glutinous rice flour instead of plastic. This is one of Vietnam’s iconic traditional toys, especially popular in the northern rural areas. To He’s clay is made of wheat flour and used as a substitute for offerings in worship rituals, explaining why they often take the shape of animals such as chickens, cows, pigs, fish, or flowers such as roses. 

To make a beautiful, colorful object, the craftsman must pay attention to every small detail. That’s why, in the eyes of children, a toy is an extremely valuable toy. Nowadays, the shape of To he is gradually becoming more diverse, becoming a traditional folk toy with many good cultural values preserved for many generations.

Artisans often go around markets, villages, and streets to make To He, especially during festivals. Their toolkit includes simple tools such as a small knife, bamboo stick, beeswax, comb, and sponge to showcase these traditional toys to children.

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2.2. Paper Kite

Paper kits originated more than a thousand years ago. Ancient people believed that flying kites could ward off evil and bad luck. Today, paper kites are commonly used as children’s toys and have become a symbol of childhood memories in Vietnam. Kite flying brings joy and encourages creativity when making kites of different shapes, sizes, and colors, attaching accessories such as ribbons and flutes to create sounds, and mastering the art of wind control. Today, kite flying gradually develops out of tradition and becomes a cultural exchange event with fierce competition in many places.

2.3. Paper mache mask

Nowadays, paper-mache masks are quite popular in Vietnamese culture. This is a classic toy that many Vietnamese young people remember from their childhood, especially during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The mask is made from natural materials and crafted by hand using paper mache. Paper mache masks come in many different shapes, simulating many characters in life, even in literature, animation, and movies such as Ong Dia, Thi No, Chi Pheo, Sun Wukong, and Zhu Bat. Gender, Jade Rabbit, tiger, cat, etc.

The craft of making papier-mache masks in Vietnam is still maintained in a number of localities, mostly concentrated in Hanoi (Hang Luoc, Hang Ma streets) and Hung Yen (Hao Village, Lieu Xa). In particular, in Hanoi, there is a couple, Nguyen Van Hoa and Dang Huong Lan, who are artisans who have preserved the beauty of papier-mâché masks for the past 40 years. You can find and buy them at children’s toy stores, night markets, Mid-Autumn Festival stalls, or buy them online on social networking sites, shopping websites, etc. These masks range in price from 1.42 USD to 2.03 USD each.

2.4. Den Trung Thu

The streets are decorated with colorful lanterns lit by candles during the August full moon. Nowadays, shops selling moon cakes and dazzling electric lanterns are increasingly popular when you go out. Lanterns are definitely a traditional Vietnamese toy that every child wants to have during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Popular traditional mid-autumn lights include:

2.4.1. The star lantern

The star lantern made from brightly colored paper with five wings spreading out like a star has become a part of the beautiful memories of many people. Nowadays, although many types of battery-powered Mid-Autumn Festival lights have been created, just turn them on, and the lights come on and there is music. But the five-pointed star lamp made from bamboo sticks, covered with colored paper, and with a candle in the middle is still widely sold on the full moon day of August. Parents can buy or make simple star lanterns for their children to play with.

2.4.2. Den Keo Quan

In the past, Den Keo Quan was commonly used on many holidays. Nowadays, lights only appear during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The interesting feature of this type of lamp is that when the candle inside is lit, the images designed on the paper will appear on the surface of the lamp like shadow puppets and rotate continuously in one direction. Parents can accompany their children. Children practice making lanterns to help them develop their creativity and ingenuity and learn many good things.

2.4.3. Tickle lamp

Tickle lamp are still sold a lot today, but the number of buyers is not high and is no longer as popular as before. Tickle lamp is a Mid-Autumn toy associated with many young people of the previous generation. The name “tickle lamp” comes from the shape of the lamp when it rotates like a tickle. When the player drags on the ground, the wheel will make the colorful wings of the light rotate, making children excited.

2.5. Trong Boi

Trong boi originated in Thanh Hoa and was brought by Mr. Quy Dau from Bao Dap village (Nam Truc District, Nam Dinh) to teach to the villagers in the 1950s of the last century. Therefore, this is considered a traditional village where star lanterns and drums are quite famous. Bao Dap village trong boi are traditional, folk mid-autumn toys, participating in the moonlit night parties of children in the past.

When spinning, the drum makes a sharp, pleasant “click” sound. This “countryside” toy is made from very simple materials: clay, plastic handle, iron rod, pink paper, and nylon string.

2.6. Con Quay (The spinning top)

The spinning top was famous as a folk toy for boys in the past. Spinners are made of wood or bamboo, with many different shapes and sizes. Children often play spinners by throwing the spinner on the ground and trying to let it spin for as long as possible. This game is organized as a competition, usually with two or more people, and the more, the merrier. The body of the spinner is crafted in two main shapes: a bell shape and a truncated cone shape.

In addition to making traditional toys with children, parents can let their children travel on holidays, Tet, and summer. You can experience our family tours following:

Summer Family Vacation In Vietnam

Vietnam Family Vacations
Vietnam Family Tour & Mui Ne Beach

Vietnam Culture Tour With Family

Family Vacation In Phu Quoc Beach

3. Conclusion

Above are Discover the top 6 most popular Vietnamese traditional toys that Metta Voyage shares with you. Although today’s toys have more and more new, beautiful, and modern designs, traditional toys still have their own appeal. In addition, parents can take their children on trips to cities with festivals to help them expand their horizons and discover many new things. Don’t forget to visit our blog to discover many other exciting travel experiences.

4. Contact us

Website: www.mettavoyage.com

Email: [email protected]

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