The Ring on a String Game with a Song

ring_on_stringThe Ring on a String Game is a traditional game that’s played in many countries.  Sometimes it’s called Hunt the Ring.  Here’s how you play…

1. Slip a ring on a long string and tie both ends. To determine the length of the string, you need to use about 24″ of string (50cm+) per player.

2. Everyone should stand in a circle and hold the string with both hands – so there will be one long circle of string that’s held by everyone in the circle.  One person should go in the center of the circle.

3. The people holding the string should pass the ring along the string from hand to hand while hiding the ring.  Everyone in the circle should always be pretending to pass the ring, even when they don’t have it.

4, The one in the middle has to guess who has the ring.  As soon as she guesses correctly, she switches places with that person.

Below is a video showing how to play the game.  After the video, you can find the lyrics they’re singing of a song to play this game to…

Can you guess who has the ring
As we pass it on the string?
Pass it left, pass it right,
Always keep it out of sight.

The French kids song, “Il court le furet” (The Ferret Runs) is a Ring on a String Game too.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 at 2:01 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, England, France, Ring on a String Circle Game, 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.

7 Responses to “The Ring on a String Game with a Song”

  1. Titan Says:

    I love games like this. Always great at a party. The Victorians used to call them Palour Games, and they were the entertainment before the likes of video games and TV.

  2. Camilla Clark Says:

    Hi! I was thrilled to find your description of this game. We just moved here from Sweden and my daughter and I have played it. We want to share it with friends at a scout camp. However, I would love to hear how you sing it in English. And I cannot get watch your video. I don’t see a link and there is nothing I can click. Is it possible to get access to this video some other how? Thank you! / Camilla

  3. Lisa Says:

    Hi Camilla, I put a new video in the post. Now should should be able to hear them sing it. Enjoy! Mama Lisa

  4. David Martin Says:

    We used to play it in Yorkshire in the 1950s. Our song was simple, “The ring it is moving I don’t know where” sung 4 times.

  5. Helen H Says:

    How fabulous to see it’s not just our family in Yorkshire, England that play this game.

    We sing 2 different songs.

    I’ve got the ring, I-oh, I-oh!
    I’ve got the ring, I-oh!
    I’ve got the ring and it’s on the string,
    I’ve got the ring, I-oh!

    We also sing

    Paddy from home

  6. Alice M Says:

    My aunt liked to play this game with my family when we visited. We lived in Norfolk, England. The song we sang was:
    The ring on the string keeps moving
    The ring on the string keeps moving
    The ring on the string keeps moving
    We’ll all be merry and bright!

    I’m amazed that there this simple game is played in so many countries and that there are so many different songs.

  7. Angela M says Says:

    Our song was,

    The ring it is passing, its just passed here, repeating.
    That meant people who didn’t have the ring
    could sing a little louder to confuse the
    the other players.
    Great fun!

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