a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Jun, 2010

You’re IT

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Archive of playground games

My recent post about freeze-tag reminded me of something… when you were a kid and you were playing these kind of tag games, what method did you use to figure out who was going to be “it” ?

In my day someone would quickly call out “KING COUNTER NO HIGHER NO LOWER” and thus nominate themselves as the person who’d perform the counting-off song(s) to determine who is IT for the game we’ve just decided to play.

I thought I’d jot down the ones I remember.

One Potato Two Potato
Each person makes two fists and stands in a circle, holding their “spuds” in front of them. King Counter chants the following rhyme. (At the end to the rhyme, the last “potato” touched is out, and the rhyme starts over again at the next one. The last potato out is it.)

One potato
two potato
three potato
four,
five potato
six potato
seven potato
more.


Mickey

Mickey Mouse built a house,
How many bricks did he use? 
[At this point the person picks a number and King Counter continues going around the circle, counting as s/he goes. The last person touched is out.]

 

Engine Engine
[This is the weirdest one. What’s with all the dirty? And the trash-talking of mothers?]

Engine Engine Number nine, going down Chicago line,
If the train goes of the track,
Do you want your money back? Yes or No?
  [The person has to choose – yes or no.]
Y-E-S spells YES  [or N-O spells no]
And out you must go with your mother’s big fat dirty toe.
Not because you’re dirty,
Not because you’re clean,
Just because you kissed a boy behind a magazine.

Here’s another one I remember:

My mother and your mother were hanging the clothes,
My mother punched your mother, right in the nose.
What colour was the blood? 
[The person picks a colour and it is spelled.]
B-L-U-E spells blue.

Another way of picking someone to do to something (this one came about in later years) was the nose game. More often than not it was just an excuse to clobber someone. A bunch of us would be standing around when someone would suddenly touch their nose. The last person to touch their nose would get punched. (Ha ha!)

I’ve been teaching the girls the few of the counting-off rhymes I remember. (After all, there’s something to be said for passing our playground culture down to our kids, right?) This is the one we use around here the most often. The lyrics sometimes get changed to suit the situation:

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe,
If he hollers let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miney moe.

Other versions we’ve used include:

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,
Catch a girly by the toe,
If she hollers make her pay,
Fifty dollars every day.

And:

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,
Catch a girly by her toes,
If she hollers make her go,
Brush her teeth and blow her nose.

(That one was last used to decide who is supposed to go brush her teeth and get ready to bed first.)

Eeny, meeny, miney, mable,
Who will help mom set the table,
Daughter one or daughter two?
This little chick will have to do.

You get the idea. :)

Do you have a playground rhyme to share? I’m looking to expand our repertoire!

ETA: I often wonder if these rhymes are regional. If you have a new one to add or a different version of one of the above let me know how yours differs, and mention where you grew up. :)

Tags: ,

4 Responses to "You’re IT"

1 | Laura Quirk

June 13th, 2010 at 8:26 am

Avatar

My 4 year old’s favorite is,” Who’s gonna be it, not you, Skunk in a baryard P-hew”

and here is the latest one….. Inky Pinky Ponky, Daddy bought a donkey, donkey died, daddy cried, inky pinky ponky.

2 | Jay

June 13th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Avatar

I grew up mostly in Manitoba and we sang all the same ones. I do recall Engine Engine, but we also had other words for the same tune that I can’t think of right now!

3 | Lynn

June 14th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Avatar

Whoa, these brought back some memories! The Captain is totally into this right now, but he and his friends always use “eenie meenie.” It’s so cute, because even when it’s just two of them, they get so excited because WHO CAN POSSIBLY GUESS who it will be? Even though anyone over the age of 7 knows that whoever you did not start with will be it?? Adorable :).

4 | Mandy

June 14th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Avatar

Newfoundland had many of the same but we did Engine Engine a little differently:
—————————
Engine Engine Number nine, going down Chicago line,
If the train goes of the track,
Do you want your money back? Yes or No? [The person has to choose – yes or no.]
Y-E-S spells YES [or N-O spells no]
And out of this game you must go as fast as your little legs can carry you.
Y-O-U spells YOU!

comment form:

Patronatus

Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!


Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa


terra20 Ottawa


Expert lice removal services in Ottawa with Lice Services Canada


Click me!


Archives

Stay in touch



Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  • Lynn: WAY behind in my blog reading, but I had to comment as I catch up because I've been there - had lost days. What is it about super busy women like us t
  • www.thongtincanhochungcu.info: Packing your personal stuff, like food, clothes and accessories can be a task for women, I guess. It's can be a favourite for yoga groups with a
  • ichungcusaigon.info: Cancun real estate now offers quick access to all in the modern conveniences retirees from your U. While picking a real estate agent to dedicate yo
  • SJM: My father sent epic care packages when I was at Uni - one per term. It included a 6 pack of beer and lots of food. This was when postage was much chea
  • andrea tomkins: I KNOW. It's crazy that we are now the parents of an adult. I can hardly believe it myself most days! :)
  • Allison: What!!??!! How is your daughter in university?!! That just cannot be!!! So glad to hear she is adjusting well and having fun and enjoying her classes
  • andrea tomkins: Great ideas Joy! Especially the POST-its! They're actually an expensive purchase for a student, so they'd make a nice addition to a care package.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (18) and Sarah (16). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!

 


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

On this date in the archives

All hail the mighty Twitter