How to Pick Who is It in a Kids' Game


If you've ever played a game of tag with a group of kids, you know that the first thing you must do is determine who will be "it." The most popular way to determine this is to stand in a circle and play chanting games, or say "dipping rhymes" as they call it in England. The following will show you what to do to determine who is "it" in your game.

Things You'll Need

  • Numerous kids to play
  • Play eenie, meenie, meinie, moe and with each word you say, point to someone who will be playing the game. The rhyme goes as follows: "Eenie, meenie, meinie, moe. Catch a tiger by the toe. If he hollers let him go, Eenie, meenie, meinie, moe. My mother told me to choose the very best one, and you are not it."

  • Play one potato to determine who is "it" by having each player put out both fists and have one person say the chant while touching each players fist with his own (he also counts his own fists - when he comes to the one he's using for the chant, he should touch his chin with his fist to count it). The chant goes, "One potato, two potato, three potato, four, five potato, six potato, seven potato, more." Who's ever fist he touches at the word "more" has to put their fist away. Keep going this way until all are illuminated except one who will then become "it."

  • Play engine, engine number nine to decide who is "it." This is played very much like eenie, meenie, meinie, moe except you use this chant: "Engine, engine, number nine gong down the Chicago line, if the train falls off the track do you want your money back?" You answer "yes" or "no" and the chanter then spells out yes or no while pointing at players with each letter. The one who he points to at the last letter is illuminated.

  • Play my mother and your mother to decide an "it." This chant goes as follows: "My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes, My mother punched your mother right in the nose. What color blood came out?" Whoever the chanter is pointing to at this time chooses a color (let's say pink). The chanter then goes on to spell out the color, "P-I-N-K spells pink and you are not it!"

  • Play inka binka bottle of ink by chanting, "Inka binka bottle of ink, the cork fell off and you stink, not because you're dirty, not because you're clean, just because you kissed a boy (or girl) behind a magazine and you are not it."

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also decide by shouting out "not it!" When you do this, all the other kids will automatically shout out the same. The last person to shout "not it!" becomes "it."
  • You can make the choice of who's "it" go a lot faster if instead of chanting, "and you are not it," say "and you are it" to pick someone right away.

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