Pin the tail on the donkey

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An example of the game after it was played.

Pin the tail on the donkey is a game played by groups of children. The earliest reports of the game, then called "Donkey Party," are from late-1886. Those reports suggest that the game originated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1] Charles Zimmerling created a copyrighted, paper version of the game in 1887.[2] He released the game under the name Donkey Party in the late 1800s.[3]

It is common at birthday parties and other gatherings. A picture of a donkey with a missing tail is tacked to a wall within easy reach of children.[4] One at a time, each child is blindfolded and handed a paper "tail" with a push pin or thumbtack poked through it. The blindfolded child is then spun around until he or she is disoriented.[4] The child gropes around and tries to pin the tail on the donkey. The player who pins their tail closest to the target, the donkey's rear, wins.[4] The game, a group activity, is generally not competitive; "winning" is only of marginal importance[clarification needed].

The game is also used in child development research.[5]

The game can also be played by teenagers and adults, especially if the "donkey" is replaced with depictions of something or someone else. As a drinking game, the person with the worst tail pinning is awarded one shot of a selected alcohol, to be determined by house rules or the loser in a friendly environment[citation needed].

Idiomatically, the term can be used derisively for any assigned activity which is pointless or for which a person has been handicapped (blindfolded)[citation needed].

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Jensen Brown, Peter. "Early Sports 'N Pop Culture Blog". esnpc.blogspot.com. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Jensen Brown, Peter. "Early Sports N Pop Culture Blog". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  3. ^ http://gamecatalog.org/gc/printed/gc8.pdf The Game Catalog, 8th Edition, October 1998 - Page 89
  4. ^ a b c Joanna Cole; Stephanie Calmenson; Alan Tiegreen (2004). Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Chronicle Books. pp. 8–9. ISBN 1-58717-230-5. 
  5. ^ Kagan, Jerome; J. Steven Reznick, Nancy Snidman, Jane Gibbons and Maureen O. Johnson (December 1988). "Childhood Derivatives of Inhibition and Lack of Inhibition to the Unfamiliar". Childhood Development (Blackwell Publishing) 59 (6): 1580–1589. doi:10.2307/1130672. JSTOR 1130672.