Children's Games in Street and Playground

Children's Games in Street and Playground

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This record of children's outdoor games played in the street, park, playground, or wasteland is drawn from the contributions of 10,000 children in England, Scotland and Wales. It reveals that the games children take pleasure in when out on their own are usually those learnt from each other - not from adults. They are games in which children may deliberately scare each other, ritually hurt each other, take foolish risks, play ten against one, and yet in which they consistenly observe their own sense of fair play. This volume explains in detail how a large number of street games are played, and gives the rhymes and sayings children repeat while playing them, together with their different regional names. It also contains notes on their individual histories, and compares apparently recently invented games with amusements in Elizabethan, medieval and even classical times, while numerous analogues from other countries indicate the extent of their distribution. Iona and Peter Opie have also written "The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes", "The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book", "The Oxford Book of Children's Verse", "The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren", "Classic Fairy Tales", "A Nursery Companion" and "The Oxford Book of Narrative Verse". Iona Opie is also the author of "The Singing Game" and "People in the Playground".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 17.78mm | 136.08g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • plates, maps
  • 0192814893
  • 9780192814890

Table of contents

Part 1 Starting a game - the preliminaries to a game can be a sport in themselves: avoidance of disliked role - players take action, when a game is proposed, to exempt themselves from starting in the principal role; "He-names" - the name of the player who has a certain power in the game is subject to regional variation; selection made by chance - appointment of a player to the disliked role felt to be fairest if made a matter of luck; "Odd man out" - a method of deciding who is to take the disliked role by flashing fingers; "Dipping" - the method of determing who shall take the disliked role by counting-out with a verbal formula; "Dips" - examples of the formulas - usually nonsense rhymes or phrases - that are used for counting-out; "Chinese counting" - the use of gibberish rhymes for counting-out; counting fists or feet - players' fists or feet counted-out, rather than their persons; participation dips - formulas in which the players being counted-out themselves affect the number of counts. Part 2 Chasing games - games in which a player tries to touch others who are running freely in a prescribed area: touch - the basic game in which a player touched by the chaser becomes chaser in his place; the language of the chase - regional variation in the names for "Touch-chasing"; players restricted to particular way of moving; chases in a difficult environment; "Bull" - the touch made with the hands but carried in such a way that they represent something else; "whacko" - touch made with twisted scarf; "daddy whacker" - touch made with stick or whip; "Ball he" - touch made with ball; "Three lives" - ball or other object in effect takes the place of the chaser; the touch having noxious effect - "French touch" - the part of the body where player was touched has to be held until another player has been touched; "The dreaded lurgi" - the touch - in general play - alleged to be noxious; immunity from the touch - "Touchwood, touch iron, touch colour, colours" - immunity obtained by contact with particular substance or quality; "Off-ground he" - immunity obtained by being above ground level; "Budge he, twos and threes" - immunity obtained transiently by being at particular spot; "Tom Tiddler's ground" - immunity lost when designated area entered; "Shadow touch" - immunity obtained by not having a shadow; "Three stops and run for ever" - immunity obtained through posture; proliferation of chasers - "Help chase" - chaser continues chasing throughout game, and those he touches become chasers with him; "Chain he" - as "Help chase", but chasers have to link hands while chasing; suspence starts - "Poison" - players do not know whether they are to be chasers or runners; "Little black man" - start is delayed until those to be chased give the word; "What's the time Mr Wolf?", "I'll follow my mother to market John Brown", "Dead man arise" - players do not know when chaser will begin chasing, and suspense is intensified by dramatics. Part more

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