Game type: 'Keepings-Off' (ball game), 'Toss the Horse Shoe' (target game), nonsensical rhymes (language play)
Alternative types: play with props/equipment, rhymes

Handwritten descriptions of the ball game 'Keepings-Off', the target game 'Toss the Horse Shoe', and two transcriptions of nonsensical rhymes compiled by James Kunnegiesser, an 11 year old student at Errol Street Primary School, for Dr Dorothy Howard in August 1954. Kunnegiesser describes 'Keepings-Off' as a game suitable for boys and girls, which requires a basketball or football and two teams with a minimum of five players each. He notes that the game is played in the school grounds all year round. To play, he explains that two children compete for a ball thrown into the air by an umpire. The successful child passes the ball to their team members, who attempt to prevent the opposing team from obtaining it. Kunnegiesser lists other players of 'Keepings-Off' including Bob Kunnegiesser, Ron Kunnegiesser, Bill Bently, Brian Kariek, John King, Noel Shilts, Gwen Shilts, Russell Shaw and Bill Jenkins.

To play 'Toss the Horse Shoe', Kunnegiesser states that six horse shoes and a stick placed vertically in the ground are required. He explains that players take turns to throw the horse shoes onto the stick, noting that six successful throws results in a win. Kunnegiesser also transcribes two nonsensical rhymes, which begin as follows: 'I went to the pictures tomorrow...' and 'The elephant is a pretty bird...'.

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 descriptions in blue ink on paper. Features titles decorated in coloured pencils; text written on both sides of page.

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