Mexican Child Game- “Aquí va un Gusanito”

The informant is a 47-year old accountant working in California, originally from Michoacán, Mexico. She lived a modest life as a young adult, having to take care of her family at a very young age while still finding success in management. She then moved to the United States with her husband to raise their family and now works in accounting. She primarily speaks Spanish with English as a second language.  He shall be referred to as MB.

“Por aquí va un gusanito, no encuentra el hoyito, no encuentra el hoyito, y ya le encontró!”

“By here goes a worm, no finds the hole, no find the whole, and now it found!”

“Here goes a little worm, can’t find the little hole, can’t find the little hole, and now he found it!”

This game is played with slightly older children, about six months. The parent takes an outstretched arm in the non-dominant hand, then walks the index and ring finger of the other hand from the child’s hand toward the armpit, and on “y ya le encontró!”, the adult starts tickling the child in the armpit.

This game seems to serve both a physical and social purpose for children as they reach a certain age. As this game requires that the child be strong enough to support itself and supply an arm, it is not played until about six months of age. It is a very engaging activity for both involved, as the child might ask the parent to repeat this incessantly. With this game, the child’s repeated requests to repeat it take it a step beyond the simple mirroring of earlier child games. The worm looking for a hole could also be a basic introduction to types of animals (a worm looking for a hole), while the “-ito” suffix on “gusanito” is added to make it small and endearing.