Chinese children's game: Handkerchief Tossing Game-diū shǒu juàn

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Handkerchief tossing game, known as "丢手绢" (diū shǒu juàn) in Chinese, is a delightful traditional game that has been enjoyed by children for generations. In this blog post, we will explore the charm of the handkerchief tossing game, reminisce about its role in childhood memories, and discuss its enduring popularity among children worldwide.

The Game of Handkerchief Tossing

Handkerchief tossing is a simple yet engaging game typically played outdoors with a group of friends. One participant holds a handkerchief or a small cloth while the rest form a circle around them. The holder then begins to swing the handkerchief back and forth, chanting a rhythmic song or rhyme. As the chant reaches its climax, the holder suddenly drops the handkerchief behind someone's back, who must quickly grab 抓取 (zhuā qǔ) it before the holder completes the chant. If the person fails to catch the handkerchief in time, they become the new holder.

抓取 (zhuā qǔ), verb, grab


  1. The cat tried to grab the toy mouse. 
    Māo shìtú zhuāqǔ wánjù lǎoshǔ.
  2. Please grab the book from the shelf. 
    Qǐng cóng shūjià shàng zhuāqǔ shūjí.

Childhood Memories

For many of us, handkerchief tossing evokes fond memories of carefree days spent playing with friends. We recall the excitement of being the holder, the anticipation of catching捕捉 (bǔ zhuō) the handkerchief, and the laughter shared with friends as we played round after round. These nostalgic memories remind us of the joy and simplicity of childhood play and the bonds forged through shared experiences.

捕捉 (bǔ zhuō), verb, catching


  1. He is good at catching fish in the river. 
    Tā shàncháng zài hé lǐ bǔzhuō yú.
  2. The children are catching butterflies in the garden. 
    Háizimen zài huāyuán lǐ bǔzhuō húdié.

The Enduring Popularity

Despite the advent of modern technology, handkerchief tossing remains a beloved pastime for children around the world. Its simplicity, adaptability, and emphasis on teamwork make it a timeless game that transcends cultural boundaries and generations. Whether played in schoolyards, parks, or family gatherings, handkerchief tossing continues to captivate children's imaginations and foster social interaction and cooperation.

Key Sentences:

  1. We played handkerchief tossing during recess. 
    Wǒmen zài kèjiān xiūxí shí wánle diū shǒu juàn.
  2. The children laughed while playing handkerchief tossing. 
    Háizimen wán diū shǒu juàn shí xiàole.
  3. Can you teach me how to play handkerchief tossing? 
    Nǐ néng jiāo wǒ zěnme wán diū shǒu juàn ma?

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