Mums Rule the Playground


We all had a favourite playground game when we were little, but can you keep up with your little expats as they attend French-speaking school? Here’s Céline’s own selection from when she was a child, enjoy!


A group of pupils choose one person to be the ‘hawk’.

Everyone lines up at the end of a playground while the hawk stays in the middle. All at once ask the hawk ‘Epervier peut-on passer, à quelle condition?’ (‘may we cross the playground, under which condition?) and the hawk answers whatever he likes :’oui mais il faut compter jusqu’à 5’ (yes, you may, after counting up to 5’). Then the children will run to the other end of the playground as the hawk has to catch as many of them as possible, who themselves become hawks as well and the game ends with the last person who has not been caught being the winner.


Everyone hold hands in a big circle. One person is chosen to be the farmer and stands in the middle. The children start turning singing the fermier song, at the end of each chapter a person has to be chosen to be in the middle with the farmer. There is no winner or looser but the last person to get picked is the cheese and gets a light beating !

Le fermier dans son pré

Le fermier dans son pré

Ohé, ohé, ohé,

Le fermier dans son pré.


Le fermier prend sa femme (the farmer chooses his wife)

Le fermier prend sa femme

Ohé, ohé, ohé,

Le fermier prend sa femme.


La femme prend son enfant… (the wife chooses her child)


L’enfant prend sa nourrice… (the child chooses the nanny)


La nourrice prend son chien…(the nanny chooses the dog)


Le chien prend le chat… (the dog chooses the cat)


Le chat prend la souris… (the cat chooses the mouse)


La souris prend le fromage… (the mouse chooses the cheese)


Le fromage est battu,(the cheese is beaten)

Le fromage est battu

Ohé, ohé, ohé

Le fromage est battu

Tout cru !


image credit and copyright M.A. 2012

  1. We played Farmer in the Dell when I was little too. (In the States.) But in the end “The Cheese Stands Alone” and no beating is involved, lol. My Favorite thing was to play 7-up. It was a rainy day game for when we couldn’t play outside. I kind of forget how to play, but I think it went like this: 7 kids go up to the front of the room. Everyone else in the room puts their heads down on their desks, with their thumbs up. The lights go out and the 7 kids each put one thumb down (on the kids who have their heads down.) The lights go on and if your thumb has been pressed down, you have to guess which of the 7 put your thumb down. If you get it right you get to be one of the next 7.

    1. Hi Bettiann @,
      thanks for your message, we love to think back to the time we were little! Sometimes I daydream with my eldest boy that we could build a time-machine and go back to the time mummy and daddy were little so he could play with us! He’d beat us at every game I’m sure 😉 take care, please keep in touch xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Indoor Playcentres

Considering we still have so many rainy days ahead of us, I reckoned a post about indoor play…

Child-Friendly Restaurants

We have posted so many bits of information about child-friendly restaurants in the Geneva region both on the blog…