Play and Folklore

Play and Folklore was published between 1981 and 2016 as forum for discussion about childhood and children's culture.

Schoolgirls in playground
Girls playing 'Wash the dishes, dry the dishes, turn the dishes over' in Government School Playground: Australian Children's Folklore Collection

It included articles, letters, memoirs and research studies that examined what children do when largely free of adult direction or control - their colloquial speech, songs, games, rhymes, riddles, jokes, insults and secret languages, their friendships and enmities, their beliefs and hopes. Play and Folklore was previously published as the Australian Children's Folklore Newsletter (1981-1996).

Play and Folklore was published bi-annually by Museums Victoria's Humanities (previously History & Technology) Department, with contributions from all parts of the world. It was edited by June Factor, Gwenda Beed Davey and Judy McKinty. 

Photograph - Girl Playing 'Bridge' or 'French Lace' String Game, Dorothy Howard Tour, Australia, 1954-1955

Australian Children's Folklore Collection

The Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC) brings to Museum Victoria a direct and personal voice from children at play. It is one of the largest and most significant archives of its kind in the world, reflecting Australia's cultural and regional diversity.

If you have any inquiries about Play and Folklore, please contact:

Dr June Factor
Australian Centre
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010, Australia
+61 3 9499 6151
[email protected]

Humanities Department
Museums Victoria
GPO Box 666
Victoria 3001, Australia
+61 3 8341 7378
[email protected]


Every issue of Play and Folklore is available to download below.






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