Game name (and type): 'Initials' (word game)
Alternative types: running games, guessing game, language play

Handwritten description of the word game 'Initials' written for Dr Dorothy Howard by Jill Pollard, a student at Double View Government Primary School, on 25 March 1955. Pollard describes 'Initials' as a game requiring a large, open space and at least three players. She includes three hand drawn and annotated diagrams to explain the various stages of the game. Pollard writes that one player is elected the 'speaker' and must stand in the centre of the space facing the other players, who are lined up a few paces away. The 'speaker' selects any word, such a film character, car model or a flower, and announces the initial(s) of the chosen word to the other players. If successfully guessed, Pollard explains that the 'speaker' must run away until the other players call out stop. The child, who guessed the correct word, must spell it out taking a heel to toe step with each letter in an attempt to physically reach the 'speaker.

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 pencil on lined paper. Features borders ruled in red pencil and three, small, hand drawn and annotation diagrams interspersed amongst text; text printed on one side only.

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