Nursery Rhyme Games for Children
Nursery Rhyme Games – The Best Old Time Games for Children
You'll find The Mulberry Bush, London Bridge, and Blind Mans Bluff here on this page. But, please scroll to the bottom for more fun selections of games for children of all ages.
And, don't forget our Counting Rhymes
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The Mulberry Bush
"The Mulberry Bush," was in some places called "The Mulberry Tree," and in others "The Gooseberry Bush."
It is an action nursery rhyme game. The arrangement is in a ring, and, moving round hand-in-hand, all sing:
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.
Stopping short with a curtsey at the conclusion and disjoining hands, they stand, and imitating the process of hand-washing, they sing:
This is the way we wash our hands, Wash our hands, wash our hands, This is the way we wash our hands, On a cold and frosty morning.
All joining hands again, they go round as before, singing—"Here we go round the mulberry bush," and so on, which is repeated regularly after each action verse on to the end. The opening lines of the action verses are:
"This is the way we lace our stays."
"This is the way we comb our hair."
"This is the way we walk to school."
"This is the way we return from school."
"This is the way the ladies walk."
"This is the way the gentlemen walk."
"London Bridge" is a well-known and widely played nursery rhyme game, though here and there with slightly differing rhymes. Two children—the tallest and strongest, as a rule—standing face to face, hold up their hands, making the form of an arch. The others form a long line by holding on to each other's dresses or shirt tails, and run under. Those running sing the first verse, while the ones forming the arch sing the second, and alternate verses, of the following rhyme:
London bridge is fallen down, Fallen down, fallen down; London bridge is fallen down, My fair lady.
Question.—What will it take to build it up? (With repeats.)
Build it up, build it up; What will it take to build it up? My fair lady.
Answer.—Needles and preens will build it up. (With repeats.)
Question.—Needles and preens will rust and bend. (With repeats.)
Answer.—Silver and gold will build it up.
Question.—Silver and gold will be stolen away.
Answer.—Build it up with penny loaves.
Question.—Penny loaves will tumble down.
Answer.—Bricks and mortar will build it up.
Question.—Bricks and mortar will wash away.
Answer.—We will set a dog to bark.
Question.—Here's a prisoner we have got.
At the words "a prisoner," the two forming the arch apprehend the passing one in the line, and, holding her fast, the dialogue resumes:
Answer.—Here's a prisoner we have got.
Question.—What's the prisoner done to you?
Answer.—Stole my watch and broke my chain.
Question.—What will you take to set him free?
Answer.—A hundred pounds will set him free.
Question.—A hundred pounds I have not got.
Answer.—Then off to prison you must go.
Following this declaration, the prisoner is led a distance away from the rest by her jailers.
This might be the end of the game – or – if it is desired that play should continue, a question and answer session would pose the questions, whether she will choose "a gold watch," or "a diamond necklace." As she decides she goes to the one side or the other, depending on her answer. When, in like manner, all have chosen, a game of tug-of-war ensues.
Blind Man's Buff
"Blind Man's Buff," though not a rhyming game, is yet so well known it is worth mentioning for the mere purpose of telling its story. Like many more such—if we only knew how—it is based on fact. It is of French origin, and of very great antiquity, having been introduced into Britain in the train of the Norman conquerors. Its French name, "Colin Maillard," was that of a brave warrior, the memory of whose exploits still lives in the chronicles of the Middle Ages.
In the year 999 Liége reckoned among its valiant chiefs one Jean Colin. He acquired the name Maillard from his chosen weapon being a mallet, wherewith in battle he used literally to crush his opponents.
In one of the feuds which were of perpetual recurrence in those times, he encountered the Count de Lourain in a pitched battle, and—so runs the story—in the first onset Colin Maillard lost both his eyes.
He ordered his esquire to take him into the thickest of the fight, and, furiously brandishing his mallet, did such fearful execution that victory soon declared itself for him.
When Robert of France heard of these feats of arms, he lavished favour and honours upon Colin, and so great was the fame of the exploit that it was commemorated in the pantomimic representations that formed part of the rude dramatic performances of the age. By degrees the children learned to act it for themselves, and it took the form of a familiar sport.
The blindfold pursuer, as with bandaged eyes and extended hands he gropes for a victim to pounce upon, seems in some degree to repeat the action of Colin Maillard, the tradition of which is also traceable in the name, "blind man's buff."
More Games for Children
Old Time Games for Children
Fun Childrens Games
Try Our Totally Cool Really Fun
Tongue Twister Rhyming Games
Maze for Kids Game
The Alphabet Games
Counting Rhymes Printable
What if Game
And Lots More Fun and Different Nursery Rhyme Games
Mom and Dad, I’m sure you’ll recognize some of these nursery rhyme games from those games for children you played as a child. They have, along with the ever popular nursery rhymes, been passed down through the ages and hopefully children of the future will still be playing London Bridge is Falling Down, Round the Mulberry Bush, Blind Mans Bluff, Hopscotch, Hide and Seek, and, oh so, so many, many more.
How precious to see the joy on the faces of those who are playing the nursery rhyme games.
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Nursery Rhyme Games for Children