FUN AND GAMES
pretend, favorite, equipment, versions, battery operated, popular, comfort,
tower, childhood, adult, utensils, throw, catch, hand-me-down,
stuffed, miniature, grown-ups, elaborate, safely, blocks, cardboard,
collections, scooter, special, Lincoln logs, sibling, rubber, 3-dimensional
There are many, many toys. If you did not play with a particular toy, perhaps a sibling, friend or your own
child played with one. Think about all you may know about toys as you answer the questions.
1. When you were a child what was your favorite (honmei) toy or game? Tell me about it.
2. A hand-me-down (demono) is something given to you that an older person has worn, used or played
with. Did you ever play with a hand-me-down toy from an older sibling (gokyoudai) or friend? What
3. We cannot have everything we want. What toy did you want but could not have?
4. Stuffed animals (hakusei) are popular toys for younger children. What stuffed animals did you have?
Did you name them? Do you know any adults who still have stuffed animals?
5. The teddy bear (tedi-bea) was named after the US President Theodore Roosevelt. Did you ever have
a teddy bear? What color was it? What did you name it?
6. Some children like to take a toy to bed for comfort (nagusami). Did you ever sleep with a toy? Tell
me about it.
7. Lincoln Logs are an American building toy that looks like logs of a log cabin (kebin). Some other
building toys are blocks and Legos. Did you ever enjoy a building toy? What kind? Were the blocks
you played with made of wood? What did you like to build? Did you knock over the towers
8. Some toys are pretend (gansaku) versions (kata) of adult tools. What types of miniature
(miniachua) adult tools did you play with? (tea sets, cooking utensils (daidokorodougu), office
equipment, fishing poles or tools)
9. Trucks and cars are very popular (popyura) toys. Did you ever have a truck or car? Did you play
inside or outside with it?
10. Some grown-ups (ichininmae) play with elaborate (seikou) toy trains. Where have you seen toy
11. Do you still have a toy from your childhood? Tell me about it. Why have you kept it?
12. Part of playing with toys is pretending (terau) to be someone else. In America it is called “make
believe.” Who did you pretend to be? (for example: a pirate, princess, policeman (omawarisan),
doctor, samurai, rock star, etc.) Did you wear a hat or other clothes when you pretended?
13. Did you ever have a toy that helped you learn something? How did it help you? (for example: a loom
(hataoriki), puzzle (nazonazo), electronic toy, chemistry set, microscope, etc.)
14. Sometimes there are toys in waiting rooms (ue-tinguru-mu) at the dentist’s or doctor’s office. Did
you have a special (rinji) toy that you enjoyed in a special place? (Grandparents’ house, the beach,
15. Do you know how to fold origami? What is your favorite origami figure? Who taught you about
16. Playing cards (toranpu) have been enjoyed by both children and adults for many centuries. What
kind of card games did you play as a child? Do you play card games now?
17. Some children make collections (shuushuu) of rocks, anime cards, glass animals, dolls or many other
things. What did you collect?
18. Did you ever learn to play with marbles (hajikidama)? Where did you play marbles?
19. Was there a toy that a friend had that you liked a lot? Tell me why you liked it.
20. What kind of puzzles did you play with? What were they made of? (wood, plastic, cardboard
(atsugami)) Were they flat or three-dimensional like Rubik’s Cube®? Do you still like puzzles?
21. Rocking horses (mokuba) to be very popular in the United States. Have you ridden a rocking horse?
How old were you? What did it look like?
22. Do you remember learning to throw, catch or kick, or hit a ball? How old were you? Where were
23. What ball games did you play? Did you ever play baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball or volleyball?
24. There are lots of throwing toys: hoops, beanbags, balls, Frisbees, and boomerangs to name a few.
What were your favorite throwing toys?
25. There are lots of riding toys. Scooters (gentsuki), tricycles, pedal cars, skateboards, and bicycles are
some. What riding toys did you like?
26. Did you have a tricycle or bicycle? What color was it? How old were you when you learned to ride
27. It is important to ride a bike safely. Did you wear a helmet (herumetto) when you rode as a child?
28. Bathing children in America can also be a time for play. A favorite American bath toy is called a
rubber duck but is really made out of plastic. Did you play with toys in the bathtub (basutabu)? What
kind of toys?
29. Did you put away your toys after playing with them? What happened if you did not pick up your
30. Some children like to build models (hinagata) of cars, airplanes or boats. Did you ever build models?
31. Dolls are popular with girls but boys have dolls too. These are called action figures. What kind of
dolls did you have? (Baby dolls, Barbie dolls, Gobots, Godzilla, Tranformers)
32. Many toys require a battery to operate. Did you have a toy that was battery operated? What did it do?
33. There are lots of toys that fly. Did you ever make paper airplanes or construct airplanes out of wood?
34. Did you fly a kite (kaito) when you were a child? Where did you like to fly kites? Do you still fly
35. Do you think boys and girls should play with different toys? Why or why not?
36. In your opinion what is the most popular toy in Japan?
Please ask your teacher at least three questions about toys.
IDIOMS AND EXPRESSIONS
1. He has lost his marbles.
2. She is a real puzzle.
3. You need to get on the ball.
4. He thought she was a real doll.
5. He was as high as a kite.
History of toys
Lesson written by H.S.
Edited by ATS