Game name (and type): 'Clear the Decks' (imagination game)
Alternative types: elimination game

Handwritten description of the imagination game 'Clear the Decks' written for Dr Dorothy Howard by an unidentified student at Double View Government Primary School, presumably on 25 March 1955. To play, the author writes that a child stands on a box or stage in the centre of a room. One end of the room is called 'Ships'; the other 'Boats'. The spaces between are 'clear the decks'. The game's rules are unclear; however, it appears that the child at the room's centre calls out specific actions such as 'Man the boats!' to which the other players must respond accordingly. If 'freeze' is called, the players must stand still or risk elimination from the game.

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; text printed on one side only.

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