According to my seven year old son, amongst the counting, clapping and skipping songs in Spanish, the most widely used rhyme to decide who is “out” is the wonderfully named “pinto pinto gorgorito” rhyme and is decided in the same way as our equivalent Eeny Meeny. I’ve found this link to words and audio: pinto pinto gorgorito
But another popular one is “zapatito Blanco, zapatito azul”, where the players say the rhyme together and the teacher or parent points to one of the children to answer the question, upon which the counting begins to decide who is out. The rhyme translates as: “white shoe, blue shoe, how old are you?”; if the child answers “six” then the counting begins and the sixth child is “out”. The lyrics are
My son claims there is yet another rhyme which ends with counting the age of one of the participants along the lines: “en la iglesia no se habla ni se mueve el pie (when in church you neither speak nor move); cuantos años tiene usted (how old are you?); has hablado a la una, dos..hasta la edad mencionado” (You’ve spoken! Counting begins to the number of the age mentioned).
While on the subject of playground songs, I began to do a bit of research into songs to skip to. I know that skipping ropes aren’t as omnipresent as they used to be (now considered a Health & Safety hazard by many), however there are some Spanish skipping songs that rival our “I like coffee / I like tea” or “I’m a little Dutch girl”.
Spanish skipping songs 1
Spanish skipping songs 2
Where my research has failed me miserably is in finding clapping songs similar to “a sailor went to sea” in Spanish. Instead let me leave you with these two short videos prepared by the British Library, the first one is a short history of clapping games and the second one shows two girls clapping “a sailor went to sea”:
A Sailor went to sea (personalised)
A Sailor went to sea (original)
If anyone can work out the full lyrics sung by these two little girls, let me know – I think improvisation was the name of the game.
Have fun and get skipping/clapping!
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