Children's Games in Street and Playground

Front Cover
Floris Books, 2013 - Amusements - 448 pages

In the 1960s, Iona and Peter Opie observed that although many books had been written about how children should play, none had been written about how they actually played. To fill the gap they carried out an exhaustive survey, through the decade, of the games that children 'in fact play' when aged roughly between six and twelve years of age, and when outdoors -- and usually when out of sight.

The result was their classic work Children's Games in Street and Playground. It records games played in streets, parks, playgrounds and wastelands by more than 10,000 children across the UK from the Shetland Isles to the Channel Islands, although the majority of the information comes from children living in big cities such as London, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.

In all, around 125 games are described in detail, including the rhymes and sayings children repeat while playing them, together with the different names they are called. Brief historical notes are also included where relevant.

There are important lessons to be learned from this book about giving children the time and physical space to be themselves with other children.

Previously published as Children's Games in Street and Playground, Volume 1 and Volume 2.

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About the author (2013)

Iona Archibald Opie was born in 1923. During the Second World War, she met and married Peter Opie. Together they became a renowned husband-and-wife team of folklorists with a particular interest in children's toys, games and literature, working from their home in Hampshire and conducting primary fieldwork all over the United Kingdom. Their remarkable collection of children's books and ephemera was purchased by the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 1988. They were the authors of over 30 books including The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1952) and The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959). Iona Opie lives in Hampshire. Peter Mason Opie (1918-82) was a specialist in children's literature. He met and married Iona Archibold during the Second World War, and together they became a renowned husband-and-wife team of folklorists with a particular interest in children's toys, games and literature, working from their home in Hampshire and conducting primary fieldwork all over the United Kingdom. Their remarkable collection of children's books and ephemera was purchased by the Bodleian Library in Oxford in 1988. They were the authors of over 30 books including The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1952) and The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (1959).

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