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Girls playing jacks with knucklebones

Girls playing jacks with knucklebones

Playing jacks

To get a better idea what it was like to be a kid in Central Asia, try playing some of the games that they played. Playing jacks is a good easy place to start, and you can do it anywhere. This video will show you how to play jacks. You don’t really need jacks, or knucklebones: you can play with small stones or Legos too.

Games in Central Asia
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How to play jacks

You could also play chess, or checkers, or backgammon. Those are all games people played in Central Asia, though chess comes from India, and backgammon is probably descended from an Egyptian game.

History of backgammon
Playing backgammon – a project
Playing chess – medieval Islam
India – history of games

Polo on bikes?

Then get up and go outside and run around. You can play polo with a soccer ball and your bikes instead of horses, on a parking lot or school playground. Central Asian kids also liked to race their horses, and you can race your bikes instead (or horses if you have one!).

Playing polo without horses


You can also learn to shoot arrows using a bow. You can make your own bows and arrows out of sticks and string, or if you sign up for a class you can shoot modern bows and arrows at targets.

History of bows and arrows

Central Asian board games
Find out more about Central Asian games

Bibliography and further reading about Central Asian games:

What games did Islamic kids play?
What games did Chinese kids play?
More about Central Asia home