Game name (and type): 'Drunken Sailor', 'Tens', 'Sevens' (ball games)
Alternative type: ball bouncing, games with actions, ball bouncing rhymes, language play

Handwritten descriptions of ball games 'Drunken Sailor', 'Tens' and 'Sevens' composed for Dr Dorothy Howard by Lenore Harding, a student at Collier Primary School, in 1955. Harding describes how each game is played, providing detailed descriptions of the accompanying physical actions and rhymes. To play 'Tens', she writes that participants bounce a ball in sets of declining number beginning at ten and ending at one. Each set is accompanied by increasingly complex actions primarily involving clapping. Similarly, 'Sevens' involves bouncing two balls against a wall in sets of declining number beginning at seven and ending at one. Each set is accompanied by increasingly complex actions such as throwing one ball in the air and the other against the wall. Harding discusses the physical actions associated with the rhyme in 'Drunken Sailor'. In each verse, particular words are a cue for players to throw the ball into the air.

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 descriptions in pencil on lined paper. Comprises two pages; text printed one side only. Handwritten annotations in blue ink overall. Margins ruled in red pencil.

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