© Copyright 1990 - G.M. Clark & E. Dixon; reproduced here by kind permission


Children's Games - Tig, Tag, Tick, or "It"
Children's Games - Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
Children's Games - Statues

Miscellany of other popular games played by children
Here we go round the Mulberry Bush Follow my Leader
Ring a Ring o' Roses Hide and Seek
Statues O'Grady says / This & That
Tig or Tag

Here we go round the Mulberry Bush

Again, this was played by young children. The children make a circle with the teacher or a leader in the centre. They join hands and move round, chanting' 'Here we go round the Mulberry Bush, the Mulberry Bush, the Mulberry Bush, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush on a cold and frosty morning,'

Children's Game - Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush

Then they stop and face the centre. The leader starts to go through a series of actions or mimes, e.g. 'This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face. This is the way we wash our face on a cold and frosty morning,'

The children copy this mime and the leader goes on to another mime, e.g. `Brush our hair, clean our teeth' and 'Put on our coat, clean our shoes,'48 After various mimes the game is ended by repeating the first verse,

Ring o' Roses

Everybody has played this game with small children. They hold hands to form a circle and then walk round chanting the well known rhyme:

'Ring a ring of roses,
A pocket full of posies
Atishoo, atishoo
We all fall down,'

This is repeated to peals of laughter when they 'all fall down'. It is interesting to look back on the history of this rhyme, as it is supposed to refer to the signs and symptoms of the plaque. The posies ward off unpleasant smells, the sneezing often accompanies fevers and the fall represents the end of the illness in death.


Children playing StatuesThere appear to be several forms of the game called 'statues'. The game as played was very simple.

One person was chosen to be 'caller'. The rest of the group moved around following their own inclinations - running, skipping, galloping, etc. When the caller called the players froze in the positions they were in at that moment. Those who wobbled or moved were declared 'out'.

The game was repeated until only one player was left and he then became 'caller'. A variation was sometimes introduced in which the caller would state a position she wished the players to adopt when they froze, e.g. dog, rabbit, fish and so on.

Tig (or Tag)

Tig, Tag, Tick, or "It"

After the starting ritual, the children ran off in all directions, and the ‘chosen one' chased after them, (He would seek out a poor runner to chase). When the chaser touched a player, that player then became the chaser. Good runners nearly always avoided getting caught.

Follow my Leader

A leader was chosen and the rest of the players formed a column behind her. Wherever the leader went the rest followed - up a slope, down a slope: in a corner, out of a corner and leading to some hilarious mix-ups.

Children's Games - Follow My Leader

Hide and Seek

Again, there are many ways of playing this game.

Usually, one person was chosen to hide. The rest closed their eyes and counted to 10 or 20 or 100. When the set number was reached the seekers set off to find the hidden one. The child who discovered the hiding place of the chosen one became the next child to hide. This has always been a favourite with small children.

O'Grady says / This & That

Children have always liked to play 'teacher'. Some games lend themselves to this desire to pretend. "O'Grady says" or 'This and That' fall into this category'

The children are seated and the teacher gives a series of instructions. If the instruction is prefixed by "O'Grady says" it is carried out but if she then said simply, 'Put your hand on your head", the instruction is ignored. If a player obeys the instruction which doesn't start with "O'Grady says", he is counted out. Sometimes, it is varied by using the words 'this' and 'that': eg. "Do this" or "Wave like that" 'This' is obeyed, but 'that' is ignored.