Childhood
Game

“Beanie-Baby” Safari

Title: “Beanie-Baby” Safari

Category: Children’s Game

Informant: Kurt A. Gabbard

Nationality: American, caucasian

Age: Upper 50s

Occupation: Princeton Seminary—Vice President of Business Affairs/Financial Consultant/CPA/CFO

Residence: 5031 Mead Drive/ Doylestown PA, 18902 (Suburban Home)

Date of Collection: 4/8/18

Description:

This is a game played between a child and their parent/guardian either in the evening or at night. The parent/guardian will take possession of the child’s “beanie baby”/stuffed animal toys. The child will then go to a separate area of the home where the game is not being played. The parent will then hide the child’s stuffed animals throughout the area of play. The lights are then turned off and parent brings the child a flashlight. The parent and child then embark on a “Safari” to find the stuffed animals hidden. The game is finished once all stuffed animals are found.

Context/Significance:

The “beanie-Baby” safari was a game my brothers and I played regularly throughout our childhood. Slight alterations have been made in the steps leading up to, during, and after the game has concluded. The child participants of the game will often times dress up in “safari” clothes before beginning the game and the parent will wear a “safari” hat. This game was played exclusively with our father, Kurt A. Gabbard, and it was played as a competition between siblings instead of a team oriented event. After ending the game, our father would assemble a camping tent in our front living room and the children would pile in pillows and blankets along with the stuffed animals before being read a story and being allowed to spend the night in the tent.

Personal Thoughts:

I enjoyed this game tremendously when playing with my brothers. We didn’t get to play this game on a regular basis as our father worked a nine-to-five job and often was dis-inclined to play after coming home late in the evening. Getting to play this game was a special activity as it requires a time-consuming set-up/deconstruction.

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