In childhood, fun is very important in order to grow up healthy and happy, and the retahílas or playground songs are a source of it. Here we will explain why this literary resource is so important and we will see a wide repertoire of them.

What’s a string?

A retahíla is a typically childish and usually short word game , in which a story is told with verses that rhyme and are sung as if they were a ditty or a poem, but with more rhythm.

This literary resource is widely used in educational contexts, especially with children in kindergarten and the first years of primary education, as it helps to acquire greater verbal fluency, greater vocabulary and encourages the imagination. They are widely used by teachers because they are very versatile, given that they can make comics of absolutely anything and, as they turn out to be fun, they speed up the educational process.

70 short strings for children

Now we are going to see a few short strings, all of them very funny, that can be taught to children, both in the classroom and at home.

1. Chincha, rabiña

Chincha, rabiña,

I have a pineapple

with many sprockets

and you don’t eat them.

2. Slipper

Little white shoe,

blue shoe,

tell me how many years

you have.

3. Whistle, whistle

Eeny, meeny, miny,

Where are you going, pretty boy?

To the true era,

pin, bread, out.

4. This…

This one went for wood,

this one helped him,

he found an egg,

he fried it,

and this little fat guy,

he ate it.

  • this string is made by counting the fingers. Each of the phrases is made with one of the fingers or the foot, starting with the little finger and ending with the thumb.

5. Uni, doli

Uni, doli,

teli, catoli,

quile, quileta,

being the queen

sitting in her saddle

the king came

he put out the lamp,

candil, candol,

count the twenty

that twenty is…

  • This line is used to decide who is going to get caught in the game of catch, although it is also valid for other games in which one is dedicated to catching and the others have to run away from it, or who is in charge of playing a certain role…

6. In Renato’s house

In Renato’s house

everyone counts to four:

one, two, three and four.

Everyone counts to five

in the house of Francis:

one, two, three, four and five.

7. Santa Rita, Rita

Santa Rita, Rita

What is given cannot be taken away,

With paper and holy water

It’s already written in the sky.

8. Healthy, healthy

Healthy, healthy, froggy-tail
If it doesn’t heal today, it will heal tomorrow.

  • It’s used to heal someone.

9. Whoever went to Seville…

The one who went to Seville

He lost his chair,

The one who went to Leon

He lost his chair.

10. Cro, cro, sang the frog

Cro-cro sang the frog,

underwater crocodile,

cro-cro passed a gentleman,

cro-cro with cape and hat,

cro-cro passed a maid

cro-cro selling salad.

11. I brush my teeth

I’m brushing my teeth!

With paste and brush

they are shiny

of clean my teeth

you must do it

after eating

after dinner

or breakfast

see if…

Behind you I will put

So you won’t lose me

Lara… lere… leri…

In single file we are already

To the squaw we’re going!

Lara… lere… leri…

13. One thing I have found

One thing I have found

four times I will say it

if owner does not appear

I’ll stay with her.

14. Pepito wants to hit me

Dad, Mom, Pepito wants to hit me.

Why? For ná, for a little thing that is not worth ná:

for a pepper, for a tomato,

for an ounce of chocolate.

15. Pinto, pinto

Pinto, pinto, gorgorito,

take out the hand of 25.

Where? In Portugal.

Which street? In the old blackberry.

Hide the old lady’s hand.

  • To draw lots.

16. Chasing game

Here I wait for you

eating an egg,

French fries

and a candy.

17. Sawdust, sawdust

Sawdust, sawdust,

the woods of San Juan.

The king’s will be fine.

The queen’s, too.

18. Set of clothes

Anton, Anton,

Anton pirulero,

each, each,

to attend to your game

and the one who does not attend to it

will pay for a pledge.

19. Antón pirulero

Antón, Antón, Antón pirulero

each, each

attend to your game,

and whoever does not attend to it,

will pay for a pledge.

20. I have, I have

I have, I have, I have

you don’t have anything.

I have three sheep

in a cabin.

One gives me milk,

another gives me wool,

and other butter

for the week.

21. At one o’clock the moon rises

At one o’clock the moon rises.

The sun comes up at two o’clock.

The train leaves at three.

22. I met Pinocchio

Around the corner from my house,

I met Pinocchio,

And he told me to count

up to eight.

Pin, one, pin, two,

pin, three, pin, four,

pin, five, pin, six,

pin, seven, pin, eight…

  • this patchwork is for learning how to count.

23. To the wheel, wheel

To the wheel, wheel of bread and cinnamon.

Give me a toad and go to school.

If you don’t want to go, go to sleep.

24. The light

In the dark shadow

the light was made

opened his little eyes

the Baby Jesus.

Straw cradle

linen cloths,

the manger is poor

where he was born.

25. Canned in the can

In the can, in the tin,

the chocolate maker’s daughter.

To a, to a,

Ladybird can’t iron.

To the e, to the e,

Ladybird can’t read.

To the i, wing i,

Ladybird can’t write.

26. The Elephant

Slow step

always heavy

Here comes the elephant.

Horn weight

weighs the belly

and the little tail doesn’t weigh a thing.

Make way

otherwise it doesn’t happen.

27. Sailor

Sailor who went to sea and sea and sea,

To see that I could see and see and see and

The only thing he could see and see and see,

It was the bottom of the sea and sea and sea.

28. China, China

China, c

  • After saying ‘give a little kiss to’ you say the name of a child present and give him or her a kiss.
  • 33. De tin, Martin

    De tin Marín de do pingué

    Cucara macara puppet was

    I didn’t do it was teté

    Hit him that that credit was.

    34. My grandmother had a cat

    My grandmother had a cat,

    with rag ears,

    and the paper muzzle.

    Do you want me to tell you again?

    35. Cricket, cricket

    Cricket, cricket

    whoever finds it,

    for your pocket.

    36. What’s going on?

    -What’s going on?

    -Saliva down the throat,

    the train on the track

    and the arm up the sleeve.

    -What’s going on?

    -A donkey for your house.

    -What’s going on?

    -The flag for your house.

    -Mine is over.

    -And in mine he stayed.

    • Infinite story. The beauty of this line is that you follow it until you decide when to stop.

    37. If this book were lost

    If this book were lost,

    as is often the case,

    my name is chocolate,

    First cousin of the cafe.

    Counting ropes:

    38. Pon, pon

    Put it on.

    Who is it?

    The mailman.

    What do you want?

    A letter.

    For whom?

    For you.

    39. The Francolina hen

    The Francolina hen

    put an egg in the kitchen.

    put one, put two,

    put three, put four,

    put five, put six,

    put seven, put eight,

    he put in a sponge cake.

    40. To the chair the queen

    To the chair the queen

    who never combs his hair,

    one day he combed his hair

    and the chair broke.

    41. Around the corner from my house

    Around the corner from my house,

    I met Pinocchio,

    And he told me to count

    up to eight.

    Pin, one, pin, two,

    pin, three, pin, four,

    pin, five, pin, six,

    pin, seven, pin, eight…

    42. He who eats and does not invite

    He who eats and does not eat

    has a toad in his belly.

    I ate and invited him

    and the toad is on you.

    43. Lelo, lelo

    Lelo, lelo,

    you who are

    on that hill,

    give it a voice

    that goatherd,

    What goatherd?

    What corral?

    Who will

    twenty stripes

    not counting?



    hot bread,


    and twenty.

    44. A lioness in pajamas

    In the zoo we saw

    a lioness in pyjamas

    flying from branch to branch,

    singing “la cucaracha”

    45. The Story of the Fighting Rooster

    Do you want me to tell you the story of the bald rooster?

    • This line consists of someone answering this question with a sentence and, from the answer given, a whole story is followed, which can be so surreal that it will surely unleash the laughter of all the children.

    46. Enriqueta

    Enriqueta makes kibble

    for Clota and Anacleta,


    He takes them to the library.

    47. Five chicks

    Five chicks

    has my aunt,

    one jumps you,

    other le pía

    and another sings to him

    they go, quack, quack, quack.

    A doña gallina

    follow the chicks,

    over there, over there,

    pio, pio, pio, pa

    51. I have a rooster in the kitchen

    I have a rooster in the kitchen

    What the lie tells me;

    I have a rooster in the pen

    Who tells me the truth.

    52. Jump, jump, San Francisco

    Hop, skip,

    San Francisco.

    If I do wrong,

    Let me heal

    San Pascual

    53. One, dola

    One, dola, cloth, cinnamon,

    Sailing line,

    Sumaqui, melon.

    Count the hours

    The big-headed kid.

    54. Salt, alone

    Salt, alone,

    and warm me up a little bit,

    for today, for tomorrow

    and for the whole week.

    55. My duck

    My duckling went to the fairs

    To buy a pair of socks.

    As socks there was no

    My duck was laughing:

    Heh heh heh ho ho.

    My duckling will be you!

    56. Here is bread

    Here’s some bread,

    There’s honey over here,

    This way, this way,

    the tickle I will find

    57. On Noah’s Ark

    On Noah’s Ark

    they all fit, they all fit.

    On Noah’s Ark

    Everyone fits in but you.

    58. Pim, pom

    Pim, pom, peach,

    sardinite, anchovy,

    Sleeve, cat, twenty-four.

    One, two, three and four.

    59. Five little wolves

    Five little wolves

    had the she-wolf.

    Five little wolves

    behind the broom.

    Five had,

    five raised

    and all five

    titty he was giving them.

    Five little wolves

    had the she-wolf.

    Five little wolves

    behind the broom.

    Five wash,

    five comb

    and all of them,

    to the school sent.

    60. In a cafe, a fish is raffled off

    In a cafe, a fish is raffled off,

    whoever gets number ten.

    One, two, three, four, five, six

    seven, eight, nine and ten

    I know what you’re gonna do.

    61. A cat is raffled off in a cafe

    A cat is raffled off in a cafe

    Whoever gets it

    The number four:

    One, two, three and four.

    • Shorter version than the previous tableau, especially useful for choosing in games where few participants are available.

    62. Small tortillas

    Tortilla chips, tortilla chips,

    tortillas for mom;

    little omelettes for daddy.

    The little burns for Mom.

    The nice ones for Dad.

    Tortilla chips, tortilla chips,

    little omelettes for daddy.

    Tortilla chips for mom;

    bran tortillas

    for Dad when he’s angry.

    Lard omelettes

    for mom who’s happy.

    Pat, pat,

    Butter pat.

    My mom gives me the cookie

    and my dad in the flip-flop.

    63. This song will make you laugh

    With this little ditty

    you will laugh

    and if you laugh

    I’m laughing too.

    I cover one little eye,

    the other one too

    and if I cover them up,

    How will I look?

    64. What a nice little hand

    What a nice little hand

    that the baby has.

    So cute, so cute,


    It was an animal

    very sensational.

    That’s the end of it.

    68. Under a bridge

    Under a bridge

    there is a snake,

    with glass eyes

    to go to the hospital.

    69. At one o’clock the mule

    At one o’clock the mule,

    at two o’clock he kicks,

    on three strip again,

    at four o’clock he jumps,

    at five o’clock he jumps,

    at six o’clock it jumps as you see,

    at seven o’clock jump soon and go,

    at eight o’clock sherry and cake,

    at nine no one moves,

    at ten o’clock he jumps again.

    To each other,

    to the mare, to the filly,

    to the foal, to the colt,

    the one who loses the corner.

    70. In the city there is a door

    In the city there is a door,

    the door faces a street,

    The street goes to a square,

    in the square there is a house,

    in the house there is an entrance,

    the entrance goes to a room,

    in the room there is a table,

    on the table a cage,

    inside the cage a parrot,

    who singing says to all:

    get me out of the cage

    on the table

    what’s in the room

    facing the entrance

    that is in the house

    in the square

    facing the street

    going to the door

    in the city.