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 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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