There are several traditional Chilean games and toys that I came across during my time in Chile.
El Trompo (Top)
The traditional Chilean top is made of wood and has a metal prong sticking out of the end. String or twine is coiled around the top. Kids will play with their tops in the streets. Some games include trying to keep the top spinning in a defined circle. Others launch their tops and try to knock competitor’s tops out of the circle.
El Volantín (Kite)
Kite flying is a favorite pastime in Chile. Chileans like to make their own kites from balsa wood and tissue paper. These are then attached to large spools of rope as seen in the picture. One competition that people play with kites is to try and cut down another’s kite. This is done by flying your kite such that your string wraps around that of another and cuts their line. Real competitors often coat their string in glass to increase their chances of earning a victory known as a commission.
The name emboque comes from the Spanish verb embocar which means “to put into the mouth.” This toy consists of a wooden bell shaped with a hole in the bottom attached at the top by a string to a wooden stick. The stick fits into hole in the bottom of the bell. The objective is to get the bell to flip up from a hanging position and fall onto the end of the stick. It can be quite challenging!
Everyone plays soccer. It is played in the streets, empty fields, and even in numerous professional soccer stadiums throughout the country. Read more about the ever-present soccer games.
Learn more about the other activities Chileans love in the Gringo’s Culture Guide to Chile.