You are here

Duck, Duck, Goose

Duck, duck, goose is a children's physical game involving tagging and chasing around a circle. The game is played with minimum of three individuals, and there is no maximum group number. All of the participants sit in a circle, with the exception of one participant who is nominated to be “it” and begins the game standing. The “it” participants walks around the outside of the circle in a clockwise direction and gently taps the heads of the participants one by one. Each time the “it” person taps on a head, they either call out the work “duck” or “goose”. If duck is called, the person sitting stays where they are. If goose is called, the person sitting down must get up, and run around the circle in a counter-clockwise direction back to their spot, while the “it” person runs clockwise to the same spot. The first person to reach the vacant spot in the circle gets to sit down, while the other person becomes or remains “it”. The rules of duck, duck, goose may be adapted depending on the context or abilities of participants.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Duck, Duck; Grey Duck; Daisy in the Dell

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

The origins of the game are unknown, although some sources claim that the game was originally created in Sweden and arrived to the United States with Swedish immigrants. Its arrival in Canada is unknown.

Who takes part?

Boys and girls of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Duck, duck, goose is played informally year round in schools, daycares, camps, churches, and other settings.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

There are no organized clubs or leagues, as the game is organized informally.

Cultural Significance


Is there anything else we should know?



Physical Game

Do you have any images/videos or other information that you would like to contribute to this activity profile? Please submit your additions.