How to Play May We Cross Your Golden River

'May We Cross Your Golden River?' is a popular playground game, most commonly in the UK, and is a less dangerous version of British Bulldog. Here is how to play!


  1. 1
    Arrange or collect together at least 6 children.
  2. 2
    Assign one child the job of the 'Troll' or 'River Master'.
  3. 3
    Line the other 5+ children against a wall.
  4. 4
    Tell them where they have to run to.
  5. 5
    Get the 5+ children to say "May we cross your golden river?".
  6. 6
    The 'Troll' or 'River Master' then must reply "Only if you are wearing/have _____." (For example: Only if you are wearing black socks, or Only if you have blonde hair).
  7. 7
    The children who have said item may walk across, and the 'Troll' or 'River Master' can't catch them. The children who don't have the item must try to run to the point specified in step 4 without being tagged by the 'Troll' or 'River Master'.
  8. 8
    If caught by the 'Troll' or 'River Master', they must replace them in the next game (if more than one children are caught, they may both be it together).


  • This is best played on a hot, dry day in a large field or playground.
  • Once children are taught this game, they never forget it.


  • Make sure the 'Troll' or 'River Master' only tags, and does not tackle, because a tackle could injure someone.

Things You'll Need

  • Two walls or lines.
  • 6+ children.

Article Info

Categories: Backyard Games