Here’s a roundup that’s sure to give a fun new spin to that old phrase “what goes around comes around.” Pay homage to the merry-go-round with games where everyone plays in a circle and the laughs go on and on. Whether you’re looking for a summertime activity or new birthday party entertainment, scroll through our picks below for classic games everyone will love.

Duck Duck Goose

Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Flickr CC

1. Duck Duck Goose
From preschool and kindergarten to summer camp, this game is pretty much a rite of passage for the younger set. If you need a brush up: players sit in a circle while the person who’s “it” walks around tapping heads and reciting “duck, duck, duck” on repeat. When a “goose” is chosen that person must jump up and try to catch the picker to avoid becoming the next “it”. Fun fact: In South Africa, kids play a version of Duck Duck Goose called Vroteier (rotten egg).

2. Hokey Pokey
Let’s face it: the Hokey Pokey is what it’s all about. And it’s not just the under 10 set that can’t get enough of this dance craze—the Hokey Pokey has been known to pop up at weddings, parties, and other events that could use a blast of nostalgia. It’s easy to see why this dance-centric game has such staying power. Who doesn’t want to shake it all about once in a while?

Musical Chairs

Photo: Nicole Klauss via Flickr CC

3. Musical Chairs
Music, giggles, bursts of running—Musical Chairs has it all. The gist: The number of chairs in the circle is always one fewer than the number of players. Music means the game is afoot; when it turns off, everyone needs to grab a seat. To make the game extra fun, use goofy music (Weird Al, anyone?) or try the less competitive A Cold Wind Blows.

4. Ring Around the Rosie
It doesn’t get more kid-friendly than a game that involves singing, twirling around, and then being ordered to fall dramatically to the ground. (As for that rumor that this nursery rhyme actually refers to the bubonic plague–worry not! It’s just a suburban legend.) For added culture, try the English version that shouts “atishoo, atishoo, we all fall down!”

Human Knot

Photo: VSPYCC via Flickr CC

5. Human Knot
How about some fun problem-solving? Everyone stands in a circle, reaches into the middle, and grabs somebody else’s hands. (Hint: You have to hold hands with someone besides the person next to you.) Then it’s teamwork time! Work together to untangle the human knot without letting go of any hands. You may need to bend, twist, and climb under arms and legs–so let the silliness ensue!

6. Telephone Game
Psst! If you haven’t played this game in awhile, then gather ’round because you’re about to remember why this is a bonafide classic. You know the drill: One person in the circle whispers a sentence to the person on their right. The message travels around the circle until the final listener says it aloud. We dare you not to laugh once you hear how the original phrase has been transformed!

Did we forget your favorite circle game? Share it with us in the comment section below!

–Abigail Matsumoto