Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

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pin that holds it. It will make a loop like a crochet-stitch,
which must be pulled tightly enough to fasten the worsted
firmly : keep on with this, and, as the work grows, pull it
down through the hole in the spool. When you want to
fasten on another color, put one end inside the spool-hole,
and hold the worsted against the pin, till you have fastened
it by a fresh loop. The work makes a hollow worsted tube ;
and, when all the colors are used, it is to be coiled round and


round, sewing it together on the wrong side, as yo^i go, till
you have a round mat, which can be lined or not as you like,
and is pretty for bureau or for baby-house.


Cut a piece of stiff paper six inches square. Fold paper
from A D, then from B C, making creases. Place points
A, B, D, C, successively, to centre O, making creases da, etc.
Fold points A, B, D, and C respectively, to /, g, h, and e,
making creases op, ij, Ik, and mn. Make creases ni,pl,
jm, and k o. Cut out small triangles, indicated by creases
whose bases are ia, ap, Ib, bj, me, ck, od, dn. Cut slits


in middle of lines//, jm. Cut slits from points k, o, n,
and i, towards y and x. Cut lines op, Ik, to u, r, s, t.

The paper now appears as in Fig. 1 2. Fold r s, st, t u,
u r, with a sharp crease, so as to make a right angle. The
square r s t u forms the bottom of the box. Fold a b, be,
cd, da, in same manner. The loose squares formed in cut-
ting paper to r, s, t, and u, fold to the inside of box. The
points A and C are folded, and stuck through slits at mj
and p I, and the box is complete.



For a small cocked hat, take a piece of firm paper seven
inches by five, and fold as in diagram.

FIG. 13. HAT

I. Fold along the line A B, doubling the paper.
II. Fold along the lines C D and C E.

III. Fold along the line D E.

IV. Fold the corners O along the lines O P.
Newspaper or brown wrapping-paper can be used for

larger hats ; and, if the corners are sewed or pinned, they will
keep in shape much longer. A bright feather is a great




To make a paper boat, make first the cocked hat, and then
continue folding according to following directions :

I. The lines C D, C E, D E, and O P, having been folded,
fold along the line C F, and open out the creases C D and


C E, thus forming a square C D F G ; the corner opposite
F being lettered G.

II. Fold back the corners D and E until they touch the
corner C, making a triangle CFG.

III. Flatten the creases C F and C G, bringing the corners
F and G together, forming a new square. The corners D
and E still touch the corner C ; draw them out laterally, and
the paper assumes the shape of a boat. A match may be


put in the centre fold for mast, first running it through a
bit of paper for sail ; and a fleet of these little boats filled
with paper sailors can be navigated either in wash bowF or



Where kindergarten materials are kept in bookstores,
cards on which outlines of animals, flowers, or geometrical
patterns, are drawn, are used for the pricking ; and needles
for the purpose come with them. Just as good a result may
be had at home by tracing a pattern on stiff paper. Lay
the pattern to be copied against the window-pane, and the
paper over it, and draw the outlines very carefully. A
coarse needle, or a large black-headed pin, is best for the
pricking, which must be very closely done, the pricks almost
touching one another. Very pretty lamp-shades are made
in this way, in from tour to eight pieces ; a flower or some
other design being pricked on each piece, which is lined
with colored paper, bound, and fastened at top and bottom
with small bows of ribbon. For little children, the simple
pricking out a house or animal is always an amusement.


The coarser the soap, the brighter and bigger the bubble
will be. A set of common clay pipes can have place on one
of the shelves, long ones giving better bubbles than those
with short handles. Dissolve the soap in warm water till
it is a mass of suds, and, if you want your bubble to last,
never throw it off on a bare floor or table, but always on
carpet, or something of rough woollen. Often you can have
a whole flock of the lovely balls dancing about as if alive ;
and the big people are very likely to want to borrow a pipe
"just for a moment." If no pipe is to be had, a very large
single bubble can be blown by covering the hands with
soapsuds and putting them together so as to make a cup
open a little at the bottom. Hold your mouth about a foot
from your hands, and blow steadily and strongly. A bubble


twit** AS big as your head can often be made, but it bursts
the moment it touches the floor. Mr. Beard describes
smoke-bubbles, which every Southern child knows all about.
In the old plantation days the old negroes who sat in the
sun or by the fire smoked corn-cob pipes. The children
would come with a bowl of soapsuds, start a bubble, and
then hand the pipe to "Uncle Cassius," who had, in the
mean time, taken a long pull at his corn-cob, and filled his
mouth with smoke. Some of them, as the smoke is slowly
blown into them, will look like lovely opals. Others will
seem like balls of milk-white china, and will roll slowly
over the floor as if heavy, like china. If " the dog chases
and catches one of these bubbles, how the children laugh to
see the astonished and injured Jook upon his face ! and what
fun it is to see him sneeze, and rub his nose with his paw !
Still better fun is to have two or three lively kittens in the
room. They will jump after them, roll over and over, and
never stop being surprised at not finding them in their paws."


In the large toy-stores, tin stores, fitted up with counter,
scales, and boxes, are sold ; but quite as good ones can be
made at home. An older brother who can use tools, or a
carpenter, must be called upon in the beginning, who, from
a smooth and well-finished box such as canned fruits come
in, can make a back for the store. Half of the top and sides
should be taken off, so that the shelves can be easily reached,
leaving the bottom for floor. Supposing the box to be ten
or twelve inches high and wide, and eighteen inches long :
after half of the top and sides are taken away, three shelves
are to be made at the back ; the lower one five inches from
the floor, and about five inches wide, the other two not over
three inches wide, and some two inches apart. It is best to


plan for a country store, where all sorts of things are kept ;
and then, with a division in the middle of each shelf, dry-
goods and fancy articles can be on one side, and groceries
on the other. The pieces which come off the box will make
shelves, and a counter ten inches long, five inches high,
and four inches broad, which must be fastened to the side
of the box, and closed in front. Some bits of cigar-box or
thin shingle can be used to make a little drawer for change.
When all is finished, the nail-holes can be filled with putty,
and the store either painted or stained a dark brown. It is
easy to fit up the dry-goods side with miniature pieces of
calico, flannel, and silk, little rolls of ribbon, ruffles, and all
sorts of penny toys, and bits of china. For the grocery side,
more trouble is needed. Little tea-chests can be covered
with paper saved from larger ones, and small spice-tins do
duty for coffee-cans and canned goods, or pill-boxes answer
almost as well. Tiny tin or earthen pans can hold samples
of peas, beans, etc. ; and miniature coffee-sacks, etc., can be
made of coarse bagging. There is no limit to what can be
done toward making it seem a real store.

A supply of paper money must be made, and this may be
the work of an older brother or sister. Thin pasteboard
must be cut in circles, or visiting-cards or old postal-cards
can be used, cut in the sizes of a five, ten, and twenty-five
cent piece, and silver paper pasted on neatly. When dry,
they may be merely marked plainly, 5 cents, 10 cents, etc.,
or may be lettered as nearly in imitation of the real pieces
as possible. Bills may be cut from tinted linen paper, and
colored to imitate real ones. Where the thin gold or silver
paper is used, it soon tears, unless pasted on a stiff back ;
but a little box of well-made money will last a generation of
children if always put away after using. Toy scales can be
made where the expense of buying druggist's scales seems
too great.



There is no more delightful way of taking in some of the
mysteries of arithmetic than in making change ; and I have
known one case where French and German and English
money was also used, and the exercise stimulated by real
candy, nuts, etc., in the small jars. There must be a little
flour-barrel, sugar-boxes, etc. ; and, if a pair of druggist's
or any very small scales can be had, this will prove one of
the surest of amusements for both pleasant and rainy days.


Those who doubt if there can be any fun in this are
referred to " Little Women," and the newspaper edited and
owned by Jo and Beth and the rest. If the boys, or girls
either, own a home printing-press, it can come out in real
newspaper shape ; and hundreds are now printed in this way.
But there is, perhaps, as much pleasure in the one which
depends altogether on the pen, a large sheet of congress
paper being divided into three columns to the page, with
news and a story, and paragraphs of all sorts ; each variety
having its own special writer. Nobody's feelings are hurt
by rejected articles ; for whatever is written has its place,
and it may be made as large or as small as seems best.


I wonder if any child takes the delight in these that I
shared in my own childhood with the cronies who spent long
Saturday afternoons writing the letters. Sometimes I was
Robinson Crusoe, and the letters were from my friends, who
advised me what to do. Sometimes it was fairies who wrote,
sometimes giants ; and often we were all grown up, and wrote
about our families, and all our difficulties in bringing them
up. A letter-box can be fastened in one corner of the work-
room, and opened on any day selected. A real postman's




"Infinite Riches in a Little Room."


f^ome 3rtem0.



T. E.




bag can be made, and " one of the boys " chosen to deliver
them all. Save the stamps from old letters, and cut them
down. And old envelopes can also be turned, and cut into
smaller ones, if you have not the little boxes of little sta-
tionery sold now for children. I know of one family where
one child went to Italy, and another to Norway, make-
believe, of course, and each wrote to the other all the
things she saw. No matter what you choose to write about,
there is always excitement in opening the letters, for some-
times the big people drop in one ; and it may be a little
scolding, which can be more easily borne in this way, or
perhaps an invitation or a plan for something pleasant.

In a chapter of this nature not much more than hints and
suggestions can be given. There are countless quiet games
for a rainy day or home evenings. Jack-straws are old-fash-
ioned, but always interesting. Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge has
an excellent set of games, published by Charles Scribner's
Sons ; and there are consequences, and the game of authors,
and word-games with letters, to say nothing of dominos and
checkers, loto, fox-and-geese, solitaire, and the whole host of
puzzles and games in general. Only do not have too many ;
for, though names multiply, many are simply old acquaint-
ances in new dress. Your own invention can often plan
some new form ; and, in the chapters that follow, you will
find many which can be altered to suit circumstances.




IT was a sensible party ; and that, you see, made it at once
different from all every-day parties. The children did not
come from eight in the evening to midnight, dressed in silk
and lace, and jewelry even, like their grown-up sisters. Nor
did they think that dancing, and a band, and a great supper,
were a necessary part of the invitation, which read " From
4 to 8 P.M.," and had in one corner, " Old-fashioned plays."

As you grow older, you will often hear two sentences used
by everybody ; some knowing just what they mean, and
many, not at all. But they are used all the same, and are,
"the law of natural selection," and "the survival of the
fittest;" applying just as much to plays as to people, and
meaning for us that boys and girls, almost from the very
beginning of the world, have had sense enough to make
plays that were pleasant, and suitable for the place they
were to be played in, and that, where there were too many,
they were weeded out, and only those lived that were good
and pleasant everywhere. All the boys the world has ever
held have played ball and marbles, and flown kites, and
had "buzzers " and "bull-roarers," or something that would
make a dreadful noise ; and all the girls have had dolls, and
played house, and all the other girl's games. And so with
"forfeits " and "stage-coach " and "button," and many other
games under one name and another. They are sure to amuse
if well done. We are far too fond of endless variety ; and


there is more real pleasure in a few well-understood and
well-played games than in dozens of new ones, which are
really often only changes rung on the old. So if you have
been spoiled in this way, and think no game should ever be
played twice in the same way, you must look in some of the
many books of " home amusements," and make your choice
there. The children at this party began with "stage-coach,"
because seven of the twenty were strangers, and this game
gave them a chance to look at one another, and get ac-
quainted, first slowly, then all at once as a great rush came.
Curiously enough, perhaps because it is so old, it is given in
but one of many books of plays I have examined.


This is sometimes called "The Family Coach." The
players sit as nearly in a row as possible, and each one re-
ceives the name of something connected with the coach, as
in the form given, in which a story is told, introducing all
the different characters ; as, for instance,

The Driver.


Right Wheel.

Two Horses, one Gray, one Black.

Miss Stacy s Box.

The Old Woman.

The Parrot (this ought to be the youngest child).

The Old Woman's Basket.

The Man with a Long Beard.

The Girl with a Red Hat.

The Stage-coach.

Other parts of the coach, such as axle, or door, or other
passengers, can be added if they are needed, and the story
altered so as to bring them in.


The characters who are Italicized get up and turn around
as their names are mentioned ; and, as has been said, at
" Stage-coach," every one gets up at the same time, and turns
around once, until it upsets, and they all rush to change seats.

" One day I wanted to go from Albany to New York in
the Stage-coach. It always started very early in the morning,
but every thing made me late. I overslept myself; breakfast
was not ready ; my boots were stiff, and hard to put on ; all
seven of the children had to be hunted up and kissed good-
by ; my wife had fifty Jast directions ; and at the last moment,
as I rushed off, out came Miss Stacy, the milliner, with
a Box she wanted me to carry to her mother. I hadn't a
moment to spare, and I rushed down the street as if I was
crazy; but to my delight, when I reached the inn, there stood
the Driver snapping his Whip, and now and then patting
the Gray Horse.

" ' My goodness ! ' I cried : ' I expected the Stage had

" * Gone ! ' said the Driver. ' Not much, if an Old Woman
can hinder you/

" ' Go without her/ called a Man with a Long Beard, put-
ting his head out of the Door.

" ' Here she comes,' said the Driver; and he snapped his
Whip again, and got up on his box.

"The Old Woman was pretty stout; but she came steadily
along, carrying a Basket in both hands, with her bonnet
swinging on the back of her head.

" ' I was half afraid I might be late/ the Old Woman aid.

" ' Come, get in, get in ! ' cried the Man with a Long
Beard. And he flung open the Door, and the Old Woman
climbed in, and I after her ; and the Man with a Long Beard
banged the Door fast, the Driver snapped his Whip, and
the Gray Horse gave a pull, and that wakened up the Black


one ; and so the Stage-coach started off. In front of the Old
Woman sat a young Girl with a Red Hat, who was forever
putting her head out of the window to watch the Right
Wheel, which she said she knew would break down. She
had noticed it as she got in the Door.

" I put my Box on the floor, and the Old Woman put her
Basket by it, and then the Man with a Long Beard began to
talk of robbers.

"'It was only last week,' he said, 'that a Stage-coach
going to Rochester was stopped by .two men in masks,
who '

" ' You'd better believe it ! ' said a strange voice.

" The Man with a Long Beard looked at the Girl with a
Red Hat, and she put her head out of the window as if the
Right Wheel had spoken.

" ' Who,' continued the Man with a Long Beard, ' pulled
out pistols, and '

" ' Stuff ! ' said the voice.

"Then the Man with a Long Beard looked at me, and
I looked at the Girl with a Red Hat, and she looked at the
Old Woman, who looked at my Box. This made me mad.

" ' There's nothing in that Box that isn't right,' I said.

" ' Nor in my Basket,' said the Old Woman ; ' and, if that
Black Horse don't run away, I'll be surprised.'

"Til eat him with a grain of salt,' said the voice; and the
Girl with a Red Hat screamed ; and the Driver pulled up
both of his Horses, and dropped his Whip under the Right
Wheel ; and the Man with a Long Beard flung open the
Door, put his foot in my Box, upset the Old Woman s Basket ;
and out jumped a great green Parrot, screaming, 'Fire!
Fire ! ' and this frightened the Horses, and over went the
Stage-coach down the hill."

If any one forgets to answer to the name given, a forfeit is

BUFF. 27

paid. These forfeits were not redeemed till various other
forfeit-games had been played, each pledge being put on a
little table in the corner. Before any one had begun to be
tired of "stage-coach," "buff" was started; and this is the
way they played it.


This, like many of the games is only a way of collecting
forfeits. One of the players comes forward with a poker,
and knocks on the floor three times. " Whence come you ? "
one of the company asks. " I come from poor Buff, full of
sorrow and care." " And what did Buff say to you ? "

"Buff said, < Buff!'
And he gave me this staff,
And he bade me not laugh
Till I came to Buff's house again."

With this the poker is handed to the questioner. But before
this is done all have been trying to make the poker-bearer
laugh. If there is even the faintest smile, a forfeit is paid.
Sometimes the rhyme is like this :

" Buff says 4 Buff ' to all his men,
And I say * Buff ' to you again.
Buff he neither laughs nor smiles,
In spite of all your cunning wiles,
But keeps his face with a very good grace,
And carries his staff to the very next place."

The poker is handed from one to another till each has said
the rhyme, and it must pass from hand to hand as rapidly
as possible. Only seven of the twenty kept a perfectly
sober face ; and they were not the seven strangers, who by
this time were not strangers at all, and who, when all the
fr rfeits had been redeemed, were ready for



In this game one child is sent out of the room, and any
one who can play the piano tolerably takes a place there.
A pair of gloves, or any small object, must be hidden, and
the banished one called in ; and the business of the player
is to indicate by the music when the seeker comes near the
hiding-place. When at the greatest distance, the music is
very low, and as mournful as possible ; as it is more nearly
approached, the tones are louder and louder ; and, when found,
there should be a triumphal march or a gay reel. The game
is varied by choosing something the player is to do, and
letting the music show what it is. This is a game for chil-
dren from eight to twelve, though I have seen older ones
enjoy it.

Then came an old-fashioned guessing game :


In this, one of the company is sent out, and the rest
choose some article or object with several different mean-
ings, which she, on her return, must endeavor to discover
by asking the three questions, " How do you like it ? "
"When do you like it?" and " Where do you like it?"
The one whose reply betrays the secret pays a forfeit, and
changes places with the questioner.


Fanny leaves the room : her companions, having in her
absence decided on the word " box," recall her.
FANNY. Jane, how do you like it ?
JANE. Of Chinese workmanship.
FANNY. And you, Clara ?


CLARA. Not too crowded.

FANNY. Mary ?

MARY. Lined with crimson velvet.

FANNY. Now, Agnes.

AGNES. Filled with pleasant people

FANNY. Martha, it is your turn.

MARTHA. Green and flourishing.

FANNY. Constance ?

CONSTANCE. Well cushioned.

FANNY. And Ellen ?

ELLEN. Inlaid with silver.

FANNY. Annie ?

ANNIE. Not too hard.

FANNY. Come, Emily.

EMILY. Large and handsome.

FANNY. And when do you like it ?

JANE. When I'm at work.

CLARA. In the evening, after nine o'clock.

MARY. At any time.

AGNES. Some day next week.

MARTHA. At all seasons of the year.

CONSTANCE. Whenever I can get it given me.

ELLEN. On my next birthday.

ANNIE. When I have neglected my music-lesson.

EMILY. Next time I go a journey.

FANNY. And now where do you like it ?

JANE. On my table.

CLARA. At the opera.

MARY. On my toilet.

AGNES. At the theatre.

MARTHA. In my garden.

CONSTANCE. In the best circle.

ELLEN. Where it can be seen and admired.


ANNIE. On my ear.

EMILY. In my dressing-room.

If Fanny is still unable to guess the word, she pays a
forfeit, and again leaves the room : if not, the one from whom
she guesses it changes places with her.

There was not time for more than two more games before
supper ; and, as the children were tired of sitting still, one
of the older ones proposed


All the players but one are placed in a circle : that one
remains inside to hunt the slipper, which is passed from
hand to hand very rapidly in the circle. The hunter can-
not judge where it is, because all the players keep their
hands moving all the time, as if they were passing it. The
one in whose hand it is caught becomes the hunter, and
pays a forfeit. Usually little girls play sitting side by side,
very close to each other, on low stools, or resting upon their
feet. If the company be sufficiently numerous, it is better
to have two circles, one within another, sitting face to face,
resting on their feet, with their knees bent forward so as to
meet each other : in this way a sort of concealed arch is
formed, through which the slipper may be passed unper-
ceived. There should be two slight openings in the circle,
one on one side, and the other opposite. When the slipper
is passing through these openings, the player who passes it
should tap it on the floor to let the hunter know where it
is. She springs to seize ti ; but it is flying round so rapidly,
and all hands are moving so fast, that she loses it, and in
less than an instant, perhaps, she hears it tapping on the
other side. This game may be played rudely, and it may
be played in a ladylike manner. If little girls are rude, they
are in great danger of knocking each other down in trying


to catch the slipper ; for cowering upon their feet, as they

Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 2 of 28)