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Children’s Rhymes and Playground Chants



Children have extremely creative minds and find it easy to enter their own imaginative worlds. They are also great mimics and rhymers. Folklorists have long been fascinated how children absorb and disseminate simple rhymes, especially those associated with action games.


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From Lorraine Worsley. Our most popular games at school were, Jacks, Elastics and marbles. We used simple white hat elastic and joined together at the ends. 2 girls stretched it out by standing opposite ends of each other, starting with it round the ankles, while another girl had to jump between the elastics crossing it over the ankles and legs without falling.The elastic was moved up higher and higher each time till it was round the necks!

We used to make cubby houses in the playground grass areas too! We also used to fill the empty crisp and twistie packets with dirt and play shop.

John Piggott Ah, cocky laura. At some stage in the game there was always a mass rumble during which we shouted “Cocky Laura 1-2-3”. 

Also making “frisbees” with the little tin pie trays from the tuckshop. On Mondays, c.1969, when there was no fresh bread (no commercial baking on Sundays!), I used to buy my lunch with 20c tied up in the corner of my hankie. (Meat pie 17c; tiny bag of Eta peanuts 3c. Both banned now, I guess.)

If my memory is right, from the caravan serving as a tuckshop at Lillydale High, in the late 50’s I could buy a pastie & sauce for ninepence and a banana or chocolate fuzz (! like a paddle pop) for thruppence which took care of the shilling in the corner of my hanky.

m n o goldfish

o s a r

c d b d eyes


2 hours ago via mobile · Like

Warren Fahey goldfish yes but not weather ditty. thanks.


Harriott O’Malley 


Aunty Mary had a canary

She also had a duck

She put them behind the kitchen door

And taught them how to


Fry eggs for breakfast

A cuppa tea for two

The more you eat the more you drink

The more you want to


Peter was a fisherman

Lying on the dock

Along came a big fish

And bit off his



It’s got nothing to do with you

So leave him alone

And play with your own

That’s all you have to do !


Lachlan and Amber.

What’s the time?

Half past nine

Hang your boobies on the line

If they tera – I don’t care

Go and buy another pair.

Tickle me, tickle me, you know where

Under my kilt and in my hair

If you tickle me in the wrong place

I’ll lift up my kilt and piss in your face.

Games played Marco Polo


Chinese football

ibble obble chocolate bubbleibble obble splat


Janis White Law French and English 2 people hold a rope in each hand , that connects to the other person about 3 meters away , turn the ropes at the same time with each rope hitting the ground about 2 seconds apart , a person does a quick run to miss the ropes but end in the centre of the turning ropes ! The continue to jump up as each rope passes under their feet !, remember the ropes are turning inwards to the person ! If you make the furn faster that is called peppers !,,,, if I recall double Dutch is the same position for all but the ropes are rotated in opp direction ! It’s tricky to master that one ! ,,, tram lines you put one rope in a straight line on the ground and hold it with their feet use the other rope to turn normallly ,, you had to jump up side to to side over the ground rope !,, hope that’s right get yourself some long rope and a partner you won’t need the gym !


Janis White Law

Janis White Law Hey ho the Derry oh the farmer takes a wife ,, so the boy if you can get one ,, dances ,, or as they say today whatever ! And grabs a girl by hand only ! And they go round the circle then it is hey ho the Derry oh. The farmer takes a wife. The wife takes a cow ,, she grabs some one from the circle and you can go on and on. And add what ever animals you like until and. The worst. It is I forget the end ! I think we made the noises of said animals ! You can imagine the noise

Patricia Farrar One potato, two potato, three potato, four…..a game played by tapping your fist on each others.


Lynette Komidar A tisket a tasket, a green and yellow basket, I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it. I dropped it I dropped it. Someone must have picked it up and put it in his pocket … Children sit in a circle, the ‘note’ carrier skips around the peripheral and drops the note (hanky) behind a child. Every one shouts and all look around until suspect is discovered .. ya lost me there.


Patricia Farrar What about cat’s cradle made with a piece of wool? Being able to make the Harbour Bridge was a special skill – particularly if you could undo it without getting knotted!

Like · Reply · 2 · April 27 at 1:32pm

Lynette Komidar

Lynette Komidar Get knotted! So that’s where that expression came from!! My mother taught me this Pat. The Eiffel Tower .. wow, a blank. The trick was to pull the string from the top centre (I may have made that up (she rushes to find a piece of wool)


20 little froggies down beside the rushy pool ! From their gran who possibly learnt it from hers in the 1906 era !!  

Janis White Law Hold on!my daughter is telling me !faux pas 10 not 20 ! 10 little froggies went to school down beside a rushy. Pool ,! 10 little coats bright and green 10 little vests so white and clean ,we must go to school said they ,first we study then we play , that is how we keep the rules , when we 10 froggies go to school , !

Janis White Law We did play rounders and red light in the courtyard of the council flats. 

anis White Law Was the red light where you called out red light as you were running around a small area in front of the brick wall , if the ball was going it hit you that was being thrown by ? Your best friend ? Also we did play Statue s where you had to stop at a moment s notice so as not to be caught moving

Like · Reply · April 27 at 5:07pm