Game names (and type): 'Cat's Cradle', 'Cup and Saucer', 'Parachute', 'Sydney Harbour Bridge' (string games)
Alternative type: play with props/equipment

Handwritten letter with accompanying string game descriptions composed by Joan Browning, a teacher at Melbourne Girls' Grammar School, addressed to Dr Dorothy Howard on 10 February 1955. Browning provides Dr Howard with examples, photographs and information of the string games that she and fellow teacher Mary Kitchen have observed being played by 12 year old students. She writes that 'Cat's Cradle' is the name used by adults to describe string games, stating that children use terminology such as 'Cup and Saucer', 'Parachute' and 'Sydney Harbour Bridge' to describe the shapes created with the string. Browning claims that string games are commonly played in the school yard, in class before school, while waiting for public transport and at home in late autumn and spring. She continues with information about the enclosed photographs which feature, with the consent of their parents, Andrea Napthine and Rosemary Robertson.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's game written to children's Folklorist Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1955. Dr Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. This letter, together with the other original fieldwork collected by Dr Howard during this period, is preserved in the Dorothy Howard Collection manuscript files, part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), Archive Series 3. The ACFC is an extensive collection documenting children's folklore and related research.

Physical Description

Handwritten letter and game descriptions in blue ink on paper. Text printed on both sides; three sheets in total.

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