Farmer in the Dell

Farmer in the Dell is one of the fun child party games and preteen games. It's great for pre-schoolers.


6 or more players
Ages: 3 and up


Begin with all players except one standing in a circle. They all hold hands. The other player gets in the middle - he's the farmer.

The kids move around the circle clockwise and sing:

"The farmer in the dell,
(repeat verse again)
Hi ho the dairy-o,
The farmer's in the dell."

The center player picks a player in the ring, and the player joins him in the middle.

The kids sing:

"The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife,
Hi ho the dairy-o
The farmer takes a wife."

Play continues with the "wife" choosing another player from the circle to join them in the middle as the "child".

The player who joined the circle last then picks another kid, and the play goes on. The kids still sing, but each verse is different.

"The wife takes a child, the wife takes a child,
Hi ho the dairy-o
The wife takes a child."

This fun singing activity continues with the following verses:

The child takes a nurse . . .
The nurse takes a dog . . .
The dog takes a cat . . .
The cat takes a rat . . .
The rat takes the cheese . . .

If the circle gets smaller and players can't hold hands, they still walk around in a circle and everybody sings.

The kids can make up their own verses if the above verses aren't enough for the number of players.

The rat and cheese will be the last verse, and the cheese is the last player in the circle. When cheese is called, he joins the others in the middle.

The other players then leave the center and stand in a circle around the "cheese".

Everyone sings,
"The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone,
Hi ho the dairy-o,
The cheese stands alone."

The players then all join each other excitedly in the middle.

The cheese will be the new farmer for the next round.

Farmer in the dell > main / Hom

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