Children :: Games

Children in Cambodia have fun just as children everywhere do; they laugh, jump, run and swim. Most Cambodian children, especially those in villages, play with whatever they can find around them. Here are some games they play. Do you recognise any of them?

  • Bay Khom - A game played by two children
    Ten holes are dug in the shape of an oval board in the ground. The game is played with 42 small beads, stones or fruit seeds. Before starting the game, five beads are put into each of the two holes located at the tip of the board. Four beads are placed in each of the remaining eight holes.

    The first player takes all the beads from any hole and drops them one by one in the other holes. He must repeat this process until he has dropped the last bead into a hole lying beside an empty one. Then he must take all the beads in the hole that follows the empty one. At this point, the second player begins to play. The game ends when all the holes are empty. The player with the greatest number of beads wins the game.
  • Bos Angkunh - A game played by two groups of boys and girls
    One team places their "angkunhs" on the ground in a semicircle. The other team, standing a few meters away, throws their own angkunhs to hit the angkunhs on the ground. If your angkunh is knocked over, you lose and the winner get to knock two angkunhs held together against your knee. If the knocking fails to produce a clacking sound, you get to knock his/her knee back. Be prepared for sore knees!
  • Chab Kon Kleng - A game played by imitating a hen as she protects her chicks from a crow.
    Players usually appoint a person with a strong build to play the hen leading and protecting many chicks. Another person is picked to be the crow. While both sides sing a song of bargaining, the crow tries to catch as many chicks as possible as they hide behind the hen.
  • Chol Chhoung - A game played by two groups of boys and girls.
    Two groups of 10 or 20 people stand in two rows opposite each other. One group throws the "chhoung" to the other group. When it is caught, it will be rapidly thrown back to the first group. If someone is hit by the "chhoung," the whole group must dance to get the "chhoung" back while the other group sings.
  • Klah Klok - A gambling game using three dice
    The six sides of the dice, instead of showing numbers, have pictures of objects. Players place wagers on a board, betting on which pictures will appear. The dice are usually rolled/shaken in a bowl. If the object's face up on a die is the same as the object you place money on then your winnings double. If there are two of yours, your winnings triple, and so on.
  • Leak Kanseng - A game played by a group of children sitting in circle.
    Someone holding a "kanseng" walks around the circle while singing a song. He then secretly places the "kanseng" behind one of the children. If that chosen child realizes what is happening, he or she must pick up the "kanseng" and beat the person sitting next to him or her.
  • Tres
    A game played by throwing and catching a ball with one hand while trying to catch an increasing number of sticks with the other hand. Usually, pens or chopsticks are used as the sticks to be caught.