Game name (and type): 'Buttons' (counting-out), 'Dip red white blue...', 'Engine, engine, number 9...' (counting-out rhymes)
Alternative types: language play, play with props/equipment

Handwritten descriptions of different methods of counting-out compiled for Dr Dorothy Howard by Gaye Adams, a student at Collier Government Primary School, in 1955. Counting-out refers to ways of choosing one player from the group, usually at the beginning of a game. Adams describes the method 'Buttons', which involves flicking a button placed on the back of the hand towards a wall or line. The closest player is given first attempt at picking the button up by firmly pressing their thumb onto it and transferring it to their other hand. Adams also transcribes two counting-out rhymes: 'Dip red white blue...' and 'Engine, engine, number 9...'.

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 descriptions in blue ink on lined paper. Text printed on one side only.

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