Does Anyone Know a Pinching Hand Game for Kids?

Gina wrote looking for help with a hand game…

My grandfather whose father was fully Italian, use to have a hand play he did with me. I don’t know the full words to it but would like to know. His mother who was fully Italian died and his father remarried a fully german lady, so I’m not sure if the words are Italian or German. I do recall that the hand part was quite unique so maybe that can help.

To begin the adult pinches the loose skin on the back of the child’s hand. Then the child pinches the loose skin of the adult’s hand. Then the adult again pinches the skin of the child’s hand and then the child does the same. So there are 4 alternating (child/adult/child/adult) movements – each person pinching/holding onto the back of the others hand.

Then the adult’s hand on top would pull up on the whole pile of hands making them move up and then down, while singing something like this…. Teepa teepa tee, teepa teepa ta…. Then some more words that I never could pick up, followed by breaking away from the skin holding and it all fell down. (Kind of like what you see players do before a game when they put their hands all in, then break.)

Ever come across something like this?

If anyone is familiar with this game or a game like it, please comment below.

Thanks in advance!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at 9:17 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Games Around the World, Germany, Hand Pinching Game, Italy, Mama Lisa, Questions, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

9 Responses to “Does Anyone Know a Pinching Hand Game for Kids?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    We have a hand pinching game on Mama Lisa’s World called Kubikubi ngoo’ata. But it’s from the Solomon Islands.

  2. DeAnne Foy Says:

    My Hungarian great grandmother and grandmother would play this game with us grandchildren. For the life of me I can’t remember the song and all have passed. Thought I would try Googling it.

  3. John Lee Says:

    In Papua New Guinea where we have over 800 languages, I have been told that this nursery game is played in several areas.

    In Baluan Island of the Manus Province, the rhyme that goes with the movement is called “Chako-Chako” in which the action is compared to the action of fishing.

    In the Tawala language of the Alotau area of the Milne Bay Province, the rhyme that goes with the movement is called “Kimota Youyou”. The last line as the pinched hands fall away refers to the falling of the witch or sorcerer.

    I have been interested in this baby game because it seems to be one that is played in some form in almost every culture on earth.

  4. Laura Ventresca Says:

    I played the same thing with my Nonna as well! We’d pinch the backs of each other’s hands in an alternating stack, sing the song, then break away at the end. I remember the first few lines, however they sound like gibberish to me now and I’m not sure if there is any real meaning to them. Something like “pizzica pizzica” is what I remember the first words of the song being.

  5. Tonya Says:

    My Nonni from Italy played with me. Yes pinching each others hands. I do not know words but what I recall is pizza pizza de Dey la manna man … with the end sounding like scat scat scat and you shuffle your hands

  6. Samantha Says:

    I have been searching for this! I remember playing this game too but for the life of me can’t find any info until now!

  7. Dennis m Motl Says:

    My grandmother was slovian, lived near Triest but across the border, came to US in 1924. She played a similar game with us. My brothers and sisters also do not remember the words. However, it was something like

    chini chini notshesna

    shini shini notshesna

    One of my sisters sort of remembers

    I love you
    You love me

    When the rhyme was fully recited, about 4 lines, you broke your grip, made funny mouth noises and waved your hands around.

  8. Jaclyn Says:

    I used to play with my great uncle when I was like 4-6 years old? He’s Cape Coloured South African and he’d call it “pinchy pinchy”. I was googling trying to find if it was a real thing!

  9. Peta Says:

    I have been trying to find this for years. My nana is Slovenian with Italian roots and also lived in Germany for years

    We used to sing chips chippa roskitzska maka maka comizka
    ahhh chip chip chip chip chip chip

    My Slovenian cousin doesn’t know it so maybe it’s Italian or German
    Anyone have any luck yet?

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