Fun and Games

With the temperature hovering around 100 degrees this week here in Lincoln, I’m reminded of similar hot summer days growing up on the farm. My brother and I spent many a summer day playing games in front of the window air conditioner or down in the basement where it was a good 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. We had a closet full of board games, card games and puzzles to keep us entertained. One game I remember playing as a young child is “Cootie.” You would roll dice, and depending on your roll, you got to add different parts to your cootie. The first person to complete their cootie would win the game.

Cootie game owned by John and Lydia Peters of Seward (NSHS 11681-9).

Cootie game owned by John and Lydia Peters of Seward (NSHS 11681-9)

This is an example of the game, ca. 1950, from our museum collections (although this one predates the one I used to play with by about 30 years). Other play time diversions in our museum collections include these 8mm films (also owned by John and Lydia Peters).

Abbott and Costello 8mm film (NSHS 11681-27)

Abbott and Costello 8mm film (NSHS 11681-27)

Mary's Little Lamb 8mm film (NSHS 11681-29)

Mary's Little Lamb 8mm film (NSHS 11681-29)

What kinds of indoor activities did you (or your parents) use to keep busy during those hot days of summer?

-Tom Mooney, Curator of Manuscripts

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2 Responses to Fun and Games

  1. Melissa Amateis Marsh says:

    My grandmother has the exact same Cootie game! I don’t know if we ever really “played” it like it was supposed to be played, but we had fun with it nevertheless.

    • Tom Mooney says:

      The more recent Hasbro/Milton Bradley versions of the Cootie game certainly have a much more “cute and cuddly” look to them!

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