Skip to content Skip to navigation

Family Games, Toys, Instruments

Family Games, Toys, Instruments


In your Kid-to-Kid notebook, write about one or more of the following. Please notice that items # 1, 2, and 3 are designed to help some families participate in one of our workshops at Folklore Village; the other items (# 4, 5, 6) are designed for students who have trouble writing about items # 1-3.


1. Parlor games--describe one or more indoor games that you, your parents, and/or grandparents know for medium to large groups of people to play together indoors. Examples mentioned in class include “Broom Over the Head,” “Organ Grinder Man,” and “Charades.” These “parlor games” are passed on in families, among children and teenagers, and in other informal groups. Do not write about sports, cards, board games, or other commercial games! Write about how to play the game--how you or your parents would teach the rest of us to play it at Folklore Village--and anything else that helps us appreciate the game.


2. Homemade toys--describe a homemade toy that you or your parents could demonstrate at Folklore Village: materials and steps for making the toy, stories about using it, and other traditions about the toy. Think about toys such as homemade dolls, doll houses, doll clothes, balls, vehicles, kites, tops, puzzles, etc.


3. Musical instruments--describe a musical instrument that your parents or grandparents owned or played. What is the instrument? what does it look like? how is it played? what does it sound like? Consider, especially, small and/or unique instruments that you could demonstrate at Folklore Village, such as flute, q’eng, harmonica, jaw’s harp, autoharp, washtub bass, washboard, spoons/bones, etc.


4. Other games you may write about:

special ways your family plays commercial games (e.g., different rules, other traditions)

counting, clapping, singing, and other rhythm games

“body” games (e.g., “Thumb War,” “Bicycle)

playground games (e.g., jump rope, hopscotch, jacks, tag, prisoner’s base)

invented children’s games

travel games (e.g., “Slug Bug”)

baby games (e.g., “This little pig went to the market . . .”)




5. Other toys you may write about:

toys made from nature (e.g., hollyhock dolls, grass whistles)

structures (e.g., snow forts, blanket and chair houses)

paper toys (e.g., airplanes, cootie catchers)


6. Other musical instruments you may write about:

the body as an instrument (e.g., mouth sounds, snapping fingers)

unusual instruments (e.g., hose, jug)