Which are the best traditional Indian toys?

Since the Indus Valley Civilisation, India has always had toys surrounding them. These simple toys have evolved over the years to become what they are today. Toys and games are intended to teach youngsters to keep themselves occupied, develop their minds, and understand what life has in store for them.

Traditional Indian toys and games were essential and derived their inspiration from nature, unlike the sophisticated and expensive toys found in stores nowadays. They are created with the intention of seeing how a child reacts to them and how they are applicable in real life:

Rattles

Because of the jingling noise they make, rattles have traditionally been the most popular toy among babies. The dugg duggi is a rattle variation. Wood and leather are used in traditional ones, although paper gets used for improvisation. Water softens the paper, which gets utilised to make the core and then is covered in paper and colour.

Both sides have strings with mud balls or stones. For making it appear like a lollipop, the core gets affixed to a stick. When the stick shakes from left to right, the mud balls or stones attached to the string on either side strike the core, producing the sound. They make good baby learning toys as they help hand and eye coordination

Dolls

In stark contrast to today’s dolls, plant shoots, linen, and clay were the primary materials used to create traditional Indian dolls. Cow dung, sawdust, and clay were mixed and blended into dolls, then painted vibrantly. Contrary to popular opinion, dolls and toys were more than just desi toys. They got tied to a community’s social and religious traditions.

Clay dolls were used for storytelling during Janmashtami in northern India. The Dusshera event portrays Bommai Kolu, or doll display in South India.

Bagh Chal

The goats had to employ logic and strategy to ward off and hinder the route of tigers to avoid being hunted down in this classic board game, which originated in Nepal. The game is divided into two sections. The goats are placed on the board in the first phase, while the tigers are moved out. Both the goats and the tigers get transported in the second phase. The goal of the tigers is to catch five goats to win.

Bhatukli

These miniature copies of kitchen utensils and other domestic things were crafted of copper and brass and scaled down to the maximum detail. Children used these to entertain themselves while watching their mothers cook, and other family members use everyday household objects. These small tools provide us with a glimpse into rural life.

Pachisi

The Pachisi board were created from patchworked cloth. The board’s four arms/limbs get connected in the centre, known as ‘Char Koni.’ The Pachisi has three designated squares called castles on each arm. A set of 12 beehive-shaped wooden pawns in yellow, black, red, and green, completing the gaming set.

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