Game name (and type): 'Tip the Finger' (hiding game)
Alternative types: games with actions, games with rhymes, language play

Handwritten description of the hiding game 'Tip the Finger' composed for Dr Dorothy Howard by Jennifer Harrison, an eleven year old student at East Camberwell Girls Secondary School, in 1954-1955. Harrison describes 'Tip the Finger' as a popular girls game requiring a minimum of three players aged between eight and twelve, which is played on the street or in a playground all year round. A player assumes the role of 'he' and stands with her back to the other children. A child approaches 'he' and draws a circle on her back with a fingertip. Harrison writes that 'he' must identify the child who touched her back. In response, the other players recite 'How many does she have to count, and where does she have to go?'. Harrison explains that 'he' names a number and location; however, if 'he' incorrectly identified the child, 'he' must count to the specified number and run to the location while the other children hide. 'He' proceeds to locate the hidden players, exchanging roles with the first child discovered. Harrison lists other players of 'Tip the Finger' including Margaret O'Bryan, Jenny Castell and Dianne Marshall.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's game 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 black ink on paper. Comprises two sheets. First page features a letterhead printed in black ink; second page features a hand drawn illustration in coloured pencils.

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