Kids' Guide to Jamaica

Children Games Played In Jamaica

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Written by Xavier Murphy

The games played by children in Jamaica is a mix of some old-fashioned games with some unique innovations that make them Jamaican. The names of some may be different but they are similar to games played around the world. Some of the most popular games played by children in Jamaica are: “Brown girl in the ring”, “Dandy Shandy”, “What can you do, Puncienella likkle fella?”, “Simon says”, “stucky freezy, “stucky ketchy”, “mother may I”, “1 and 20”, “sitings”, and “Capture de base”. Below is a description of some of these children games.

Dandy Shandy
This is a ball game consisting of 3 players (and maybe 4 if possible to be more exciting). This game must be played outdoors in a big/wide open area, preferably on a grass field. For the experts, a bare ground will do.

There are 2 pitchers, each standing on either end and the 3rd player is standing in the middle.

A ball is used for pitching/throwing at speeds up to 120 miles per hour at the player standing in the middle. The “ball” is usually a stuffed 1-pint juice box, stuffed fully with newspaper and the four corners are rounded off.

Dandy Shandy is a very exciting game as the ball is thrown at speeds up to 90 miles per hour by the pitchers towards the 3rd player standing in the middle. This player must do all kinds of gymnastic style airborn jumps and leaps to prevent the ball from hitting her. Also, ducking and side jumping the missile. The game gets extremely exciting as the player in the middle does these acrobatic jumps! You’ll usually hear the onlookers shouting out SALAD! as the player in the middle leaps off her feet, legs splayed and skirt flowering up over her waist.

Dandy Shandy is considered a girls game but boys will often play ~ which makes the game a must see.

(Dandy Shandy is the same as dodge ball only difference is we made our ball out of a oj or milk box stuffed with paper(some of the paper you had to wet it so it would stuff properly)real good for flinging, can you tell I was responsible fi meking de ball.)

Brown Girl in the Ring
This is a Ring game (no doubt adapted from England).

Players form a ring holding hand, one girl goes into the middle of the ring and starts skipping around to the beat of this little tune –

There’s a brown girl in the ring
cha la la la lah
There’s a brown girl in the ring
cha la la la lah
There’s a brown girl in the ring
cha la la la lah
She looks like a sugar in a plum — PLUM PLUM

the girl will start doing her favourite bump adn grind dance during this song segment
Show me your motion
cha la la la lah
show me your motion
cha la la lah
show me your motion
cha la la la lah
She looks like a sugar in a plum — PLUM PLUM

during this segment the girl will pick her partner/friend to join her in the ring

Show me your partner(?)
cha la la la lah
show me your motion
cha la la lah
show me your motion
cha la la la lah
She looks like a sugar in a plum — PLUM PLUM

About the author

Xavier Murphy