Game names (and types): 'Skippy' (skipping games, skipping rhymes), 'Tiggy', 'French Tiggy', 'Red Rover', 'Knock-down', 'Old Granny Gray' (chasing games), 'Drop the Hanky' (circle game), 'Draw the Bucket of Water' (imitation game), 'One Potato, Two Potatoes', 'Eenie, meeny, Miny' (counting games), 'Ring a Ring o'Rosies', 'Oranges and Lemons', 'The Farmer's in his Dell', 'Christmas is Coming', 'Pease Pudding' (rhyming games), 'Beamey' (ball game), 'Corners' (elimination game), Hopscotch (jumping game), 'Poor Pussy', 'The Priest of the Parish has Lost his Considering Cap', 'O'Grady' and 'Follow the Leader' (unspecified types)
Alternative types: play with equipment/props, language play

Typed letter composed by Heather Giffen, a former teacher, addressed to Dr Dorothy Howard on 15 August 1954. After reading about Dr Howard's research project in a local newspaper, Giffen compiled a collection of games, rhymes and jingles played by children in northern Queensland, especially the region between Bowen and Cairns. In the introductory page of her letter, she considers the impact of the tropical Queensland climate on the types of games played by children, suggesting a tendency for indoor, seated games as well as highlighting the limited access to educational resources such as libraries. Giffen also mentions her personal interest in recording Australian folk stories and songs, largely gleaned from her great grandparent's generation. The subsequent five pages comprise detailed descriptions of the various games, particularly rhyming games. Two of the games 'Beamy' and 'Corners', which appear to be unique to Queensland, are accompanied by explanatory illustrations and diagrams. Giffen also provides a list of popular terminology used by children in particular games and more generally.

One of a collection of letters written to and from children's Folklorist Dr Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1995. 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. The original fieldwork she collected during this period is held in the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC) at Museum Victoria and includes index cards, letters and photographs.

Physical Description

Typed letter in black ink on paper. Comprises six pages printed on one side only. Page five features hand drawn illustrations and diagrams in pencil. Note accompanying letter states that this document is a typed copy of the original.

More Information