Informant: Tye Griffith
Background Information/Context: The following is a description from Tye of a game called “One Frog” that she used to play with her friends at recess when she was young.
“My friends and I used to play this game at recess. It was around when I was at R.O.B. [her Elementary School], I think. We called it ‘One Frog,’ and you would get a big group of people and all stand in a circle, and you would all start this pattern: [as she demonstrates] so, first you pat your knees, then clap, then you snap your right hand, and then you snap your left hand. So that’s the pattern.
And then the first person starts, and they go, ‘one frog.’ And then it goes clockwise, so the person to your left would go, ‘two eyes,’ and then the next person would go, ‘four legs,’ and then the next person says, ‘ker-plunk.’
And then the next person to the left starts it again but says, ‘two frogs,’ and then the person to their left would say, ‘four eyes,’ yadda yadda yadda. So—wait do you get it? [I say yes.] So that all goes on, and you have to keep going at the rhythm that your doing the clapping, snapping pattern. And then if someone messes up or gets off rhythm or, like, can’t think of the next number or something, they’re out.”
Conclusion: I was surprised when she started telling me about the game, because I know the same one, but in a different context. I’m a theatre major, and we use this game as a warm up activity for a show that I’m in right now. I was also surprised that the way Tye described it seems exactly the same as the version I know for theatre. I was surprised even more though that Tye played it as a childhood game because my whole cast, myself included, really struggles with it. If college students find it difficult to think of the next thing to say so quickly, then I can’t imagine how young children who have barely learned simple multiplication could figure it out, or even think of it as a fun game.