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Counting-out game facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

A counting-out game or counting-out rhyme is a simple method of 'randomly' selecting a person from a group, often used by children for the purpose of playing another game. It usually requires no materials, and is achieved with spoken words or hand gestures.

Many such methods involve one person pointing at each participant in a circle of players while reciting a rhyme. A new person is pointed at as each word is said. The player who is selected at the conclusion of the rhyme is "it" or "out".


Several simple games can be played to select one person from a group, either as a straightforward winner, or as someone who is eliminated. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Odd or Even and Blue Shoe require no materials and are played using hand gestures, although with the former it is possible for a player to win or lose through skill rather than luck. Coin flipping and drawing straws are fair methods of randomly determining a player. Fizz Buzz is a spoken word game where if a player slips up and speaks a word out of sequence, they are eliminated.

Common rhymes

(These rhymes may have many local or regional variants.)

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