Game name (and type): 'Sick Dying Dead (ball game), 'Last Over The Broom' (rhyme)
Alternative type: language play, play with props/equipment

Handwritten game descriptions compiled for Dr Dorothy Howard by Brenda Holmes and Diana Park, students at Clayfield College, in October 1954. Holmes describes the ball game 'Sick Dying Dead'. Standing in a circle, players throw around a ball. Repeated failure to catch the ball results in accumulative physical actions such as standing on one leg, kneeling or placing an elbow on the ground. Holmes states that she played this ball game in 1952. Park describes the rhyming game 'Last Over The Broom', which involves pairs of players forming a circle. While one player claps, the children hop over a broom. When the clapping stops, the last pair to jump over the broom must recite a rhyme or risk elimination.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's games 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 game description in blue ink on lined paper. Features text written by two different hands; text printed on both sides of page.

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