Game names (and types): 'Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush', 'Oranges and Lemons', 'In and Out the Windows' (singing games), 'Rounders' (ball game), 'Hop Scotch' (hopscotch), 'Dutch and German' (skipping games), 'Prisoner' (games with found objects)
Alternative types: chanting games, games with actions, action rhymes/songs, team games, bat and ball games

Handwritten letter of game descriptions composed by Mrs L. Cordell and addressed to Dr Dorothy Howard on 8 July 1954. Mrs Cordell provides details of popular girls games played at school during her childhood in New Norfolk, Tasmania, circa 1910. She describes the singing and chanting games 'Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush', 'Oranges and Lemons' and 'In and Out the Windows', transcribing the accompanying rhymes and their associated physical actions. She discusses briefly the ball and bat game 'Rounders' and a hopscotch pattern, noting that the latter involved a chalk drawn square and a small piece of wood. Commenting on the cold climate of Tasmania, Mrs Cordell states that rope skipping games, such as 'Dutch and German', were popular ways of keeping warm. A similarly functional game, she describes 'Prisoners', which involves two teams of equal numbers lined up opposite each other. A row of stones is placed behind one group, which the opposing team must try to obtain without being caught and taken 'prisoner'.

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 letter in black ink on lined paper. Text underlined in red pencil overall. Paper folded in half; text written on both sides of page.

More Information