How to start a game?

How to start a game?

Creative Learning requires development of activities in the form of games. In order to organise these activities, we should adopt the prevalent methods of collecting players, choosing leaders, making pairs or teams, etc. We shall first discuss the general principles involved in these activities.

 For a PDF of the same, click Creative Learning Games I

Collecting Players

Before starting a game, the first task is to collect players. Two or three children decide as to which game is to be played. Then they join hands and go on chanting in loud voice by shaking joined hands up and down.


We want to play Queenie, Queenie.

We want to play Queenie, Queenie

Who wants to play Queenie, Queenie.

Who wants to play Queenie, Queenie.


Come and join, come and join.

Join the ring, join the ring.


(Replace Queenie, Queenie by the name of the game played).


On hearing the chanting the children interested in playing “Queenie, Queenie” join hands and start chanting. This way the voice becomes louder and louder. The process continues till the required number of children have given consent to play the game.

Team Formation

 Generally teams are formed in various games. It can be done in the following ways.

  • Let children stand in a row in ascending or descending order of heights. The game organizer (Teacher or one of the players) asks each child to call out 1 and 2 one by one. The person calling 2 is then asked to take a step forward. In this way two groups are automatically formed. They can be given any name as per the choice of the group.


  • The children divide themselves into pairs, go out of the sight and keep secret names. They can keep names after fruits, vegetables, towns, villages, etc. Only one pair stays back. It is called the leading pair. Now after keeping their secret names they come to the leading pair joining their hands and chant.

We have grapes and oranges.

What do you want?

What do you want?


Then one member of the leading pair in turn gives his/her choice. If he/she chooses grapes, then the person having his/her secret name ‘grapes’ goes in his/her team and other person ‘orange’ goes in other team. Similarly if the pair has kept their name after the names of cities they will come and call out.

We have come from Ranchi & Lucknow.

Whom do you want?

Whom do you want?

The members of leading pair exercise their options alternatively and the team is formed. If in the end one person remains unpaired because he/she could not form pair with anyone, he/she goes to a distance and raises his/her hands with one hand  ‘open’ and the other ‘ clenched fisted’. The child always has his/her back towards the leading pair. Now one of the members of the leading pair secretly chooses either ‘open’ or ‘clenched fist’ and calls out loudly ‘drop’. The child raising his/her hands then drops one of the hands. If the dropped hand has clenched fist, then the member of the leading pair exercising his/her option as ‘clenched fist’ gets the child in his/her team.

Choosing a Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser 

Often in many games one child has to perform different tasks from that of the others. He/she may be called Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser etc. Depending upon the nature of the game children should choose them in an interesting way. Some of the ways choosing them are illustrated below.

Choose a colour

One player goes out of hearing. The rest pick colours for themselves. One colour is allotted to the player who goes away. When the child comes back, he is asked to choose one of the colours by chanting in chorus.

Colour, Colour, Which colour  do you want?

The child names a colour. The player picking out that colour becomes the Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser. This method can be suitably adapted by names of great men, vegetables, fruits, fishes, cities etc. Then replace the word ‘colour’ by men/vegetables/fruits/fishes/cities in the chant.

Odd man out

Children should stand in a circle facing inwards with their hands behind their back and chant.

All in the middle and odd man’s out


Ding dang dong


Zing zag zag

On the word out/dong/zag they should whip their hands from behind holding them in front of all to see with their right palms either up or down on their left hand. They then look around to see if one player is ‘odd’ that is to say one player holding his/her palm one way and the rest of the players holding differently. Then the odd player becomes the Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser.

If no one is found to be ‘odd’ the players do the exercise again. If there are more players then the likelihood of one player being odd is increased by introducing finger positions along with the up and down palm positions i.e. closed fist or two or three fingers up or down.


Players stand up in a line or in a circle and count along the line the number of counts being prescribed by the accented syllables of some little rhymes such as the following.

Err’ie, orr’ie round’ the ta’ble,

Eat as much’ as you’ are a’ble;

If you’re a’ble eat’ the ta’ble,

Err’ie orr’ie, out!

One child gabbles the words at speed pointing briefly at each player one by one. If the number of players is less than fifteen, continue counting round the circle or along the line a second time counting himself first. The person on whom the last count falls becomes the Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser

Instead of the above rhyme the following dips may also be used.


One, two, sky blue,

All out but you.


Red white and blue,

All out but you.


Inky,  pinky, ponky

My daddy brought a donkey

The donkey died,               

Daddy cried;    

Inky,  pinky, ponky


Red, white and blue

The cat’s got the flu

The baby has the whooping cough

And out goes you


Iggy oggy

Black Froggy

Iggy oggy out


Ickle ockle

Chocolate bottle

Iccle occle out


Iddy oddy

Dogs body

Iddy oddy out


Ibble obble

Black bubble

Ibble obble out


Eettle ottle

Black bottle

Eettle ottle out


Ingle angle

Golden bangle

Ingle angle out


Counting fist

Children stand in a circle with face inwards and hold out their clenched fist, thumbs up. One child called dipper, tabs each fist in turn counting as he does so

One’ potato, two’ potatoes

Three potatoes four

Five potatoes, Six potatoes

Seven potatoes more.

The dipper includes his fist also by banging his right fist on his left fist and his left fist on his right fist. The fist on which he pronounces ‘more’ he bangs hand more forcefully than he does on the others. The player then puts his fist behind his back. The dipper goes on counting round and round eliminating further fists. The player whose both fists are knocked down is declared ‘out’. The count continues till only one player is left holding up a fist. That player is declared the Leader/Queenie /Searcher/Chaser.


When children grow older, they can clearly anticipate the number of words in the dips given above and they can manipulate dips. Hence with older children participation dips should be used. These take the form of a question

My mother made a nice seedy cake

Guess how many seeds were there in the cake?

 The player reached with the word ‘cake’ gives any number he likes and the dipper continues for that number of counts and then starts the counts on the spelling of the number. For example if the player has given the number ‘eight’ the dipper will count

One two three four

Five six seven eight


Spells eight

So out are you.

The player pointed with ‘you’ becomes Leader/Queenie/Searcher/Chaser.

Similarly other participation dips are

Dic – dic – tation

cor – por – ation

how many buses

are in the station?


Engine engine on the line

Releasing smoke all the time

How many cc does it release?


 My mother bought me a nice new dress

What colour do you guess?

(~ Green)


Was the colour of the dress

So out are you.


Micky mouse bought a house

What colour did he paint it?

Shut your eye and think

(~ R-E-D)

And you must go for saying so

 With a clip across your ear hole


Winter garden full of flowers

Which flower do you choose?

(~ Rose)


Spells rose

so out are you.


 Eachie, peachie, pear, plum

When does your birthday come?

(Eighteenth January)



So out are you


Making Pairs or Groups

Many games and activities are conducted in pairs. Pairs can also be formed in interesting ways as given below.

  • Some pictures are collected from calendars, greeting cards, invitation cards, photographs, newspaper pictures, etc. They are torn into two parts. All cards are then mixed together and kept in a basket or on a table. Each player is then asked to pick up a card from the basket. Then they are asked to find their partners. Each player goes to the other player and asks,

“Show me your card.” He/She then compares the card of the player with his/her own card. If two cards are found to be parts of the same picture, they join hands and say loudly “We are partners.”


  • Instead of tearing the same picture into two parts two similar sets of pictures may also be collected and mixed.


  • If pictures or cards are not available, similar paper pieces or railway tickets are taken and same letter is written on two pieces of paper or tickets. This way different letters are written on different pairs of pieces or tickets and mixed together. Similarly names of animals, fruits, vegetables, opposites (king-queen, boy-girl, etc.) can also be written on the slips.


  • If groups of three or four players are to be formed, similar activity can be designed with three or four slips or cards having identical picture or words.

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