Pool Games and Chants

Troy, over at SongStreet wrote to me last week about pool games. Here’s what he had to say…

We were talking about swimming games and Devon and Tanja mentioned Marco Polo which I had never heard of.

The most popular game we used to play (in Canada) when I was a kid was Hen Rooster Chicken Duck. A very simple chant where everyone “ducks” under the water on “duck”.

Hen Rooster Chicken Duck sounds like a great game for kids as it gets them to hold their breath and put their heads under the water.

Marco Polo is another pool game that’s popular in the states. One person is “It”. They close their eyes and say “Marco” and everyone else in the pool has to say “Polo”. That helps the person who’s “It” identify where the other people are. He has to catch one. Then that person is “It”.

Many thanks to Troy for sharing Hen Rooster Chicken Duck with us.

If anyone else knows of any other pool games, songs or chants, please share them with us in the comments below.



UPDATE: You can find out about another pool game called “Sharks and Minnows” in the comments below!

UPDATE #2: Troy over at SongStreet gives some good ideas in his lastest blog post about how to turn these games into “dry” classroom games.

This article was posted on Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 at 9:01 pm and is filed under Canada, Countries & Cultures, Games Around the World, Hen, Rooster, Chicken, Duck, Marco Polo, Pool Games, United Kingdom, 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.

5 Responses to “Pool Games and Chants”

  1. Robin Says:

    A game we played as a child growing up in Florida was “Sharks and Minnows”. One person is It, “the shark”. The other children are the minnows, and wait by one side of the pool, hoping to swim past the shark to the other side of the pool. The shark waits in the pool and tries to tag the minnows as they swim back and forth across the pool. Any minnow who has been tagged becomes a shark and tags others also. When my husband played this game as a child, (in Georgia) they would let either the first minnow or the last minnow that was tagged be the shark the next game played.

  2. Troy Says:

    When I read your post I had one of those strange childhood memory moments where something went off in my brain telling me I knew this. The more I think about it, we used to play the same game. I’m pretty sure we called it sharks and minnows as well. If not sharks, then there were definitely minnows because I remember being a minnow. I was probably never fast enough to ever be a shark :)

  3. hayley Says:

    I love seeing websites like this and i now go on it every day!

  4. Kristen Says:

    When I was a child, we played a game called “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”. The object of this game was to have one person float in the middle of the pool, while the other players chose a specific number of times to chant “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”. For example, the group would decide to chant is 3 times. This means they would lift the person in the middle out of the water and chant it 3 times and then drop and catch the person in the middle before they hit the surface of the pool. This game is perfect for trust exercises and once it is mastered, may be tried on the ground with a parent nearby.

  5. Steve Says:

    This page is great to get ideas, but i would really like to know how to play Hen Rooster Chicken Duck! I got great ideas for games on all the wonderful comments, but not by the page itself.

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