"I want a dog" - Czech children list-off what they want for Christmas and more

The Christmas markets in Prague may be packed but that's not the only business that's booming. This is also the peak season for toy shops. Do Czech children want toys? We went along to a Prague elementary school and asked a Grade 3 class.

"Hello, I want a dog!"

"I want a guitar!"

"I want a snowboard!"


"Mobile phone!"

"I don't know! {laughs} I want a computer game!"

It almost seems that many adults now want games more than their children do! The reason? Over the last few years Czech distributors have begun importing or publishing Czech versions of designer card or board games growing in popularity every year. If you think the pinnacle of board games is the Czech 'Clovece, nezlob se', known as Ludo or Parcheesi in English, think again. Many Prague stores now stock titles introducing exotic settings or medieval themes, or, carry bar favourites that test coordination and speed. And, by most accounts games are doing well; Jiri Skocdopole is a seller at a Prague specialty store:

Presents under the Christmas tree is a typical Christian tradition
"Attitudes have changed - you can tell. More and more people have realised that games aren't just for children - and we have all sorts of customers here. Of course, at Christmas mostly parents come shopping for their kids, but our customers include people of all ages, from students to pensioners. Now, many also realise that for some games you also have to pay more, also that some games aren't for children at all."

Meanwhile, 'hlavolamy' - brainteasers - including the famous 'jezek v kleci', the hedgehog in the cage, have always been popular. Finally, you may even want to try a new Czech psychological game aimed at helping players - mostly young adults - communicate. Called 'Heksikova Promena' it relies on a system of laying tiles to map changing relationships. While we didn't have a chance to test it, we did speak with Miroslava Balcarkova, the game's designer, at a recent Christmas fair.

"It's a communication 'blast' with certain well-defined rules. We want players to be drawn into animated communication. Someone may be shy and less talkative, while another is more open and extroverted. But, either way the game is a boost to get them to talk. It's a communication game."

So, whether you want a game, or, like the children you heard earlier, prefer a cat or a guitar, the decision is up to you. But, don't wait too long to decide - Christmas is now less than two weeks away.