Here’s a quick little doodlewash of one of my earliest little toys. A game called Cootie where you roll dice to earn body parts so you can build a brightly colored and insanely happy little bug. This was suggested by Guest Doodlewasher Jaimie Campbell after yesterday’s Mr. Potato Head. I don’t actually remember playing this as a game so much as putting together and playing with the little bugs themselves.

The game was meant to be for younger kids who couldn’t read yet and used only pictures. The object is to be the first to build a three-dimensional bug-like object called a “cootie” from a variety of plastic body parts. The game came out in 1949 and is still available today, however, the bugs have changed over the years. These are the ones I remember from when I was a kid in the 70s, but the current ones have even goofier faces.

Perhaps the most memorable thing from my childhood, was the word “Cooties.” This wasn’t used to refer to the game, but to refer to the diseases you would catch if you were to be even touched by the opposite sex. In grade school, this was a reason to avoid the opposite sex as you were just beginning to discover how different they were from you. So, getting cooties was not cool and it was best to just hang out with the other kids of your matching gender and avoid it entirely. Luckily kids outgrow the fear of opposite genders, but the fear of catching cooties lived on in high school, referring then to more serious afflictions with embarrassing to alarming consequences.

Things are still super busy around here, so I’m hoping they slow down tomorrow so I have a bit more time to doodlewash. That said, these fast and furious doodlewashes the last couple days have been really good practice! But I’m longing to get lost in the details again soon so here’s hoping for a calmer tomorrow with time to paint. Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Azo Yellow, Azo Orange, Sap Green, Pyrrol Red, Dioxazine Purple and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal


Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

31 replies on “Getting Cooties

  1. I have never played with or seen this but the little legs look like a choking hazard to me.. (The preschool teacher in me.. 😁) I was just learning English at the American School in Okinawa when I first heard the word, cootie. No one could explain it to me, but I understood that I was not to touch boys or let them touch me or something terrible would happen. Ha!

    Cootie is really cute!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kari! ❤️😃 And haha!! I almost put something about that in the post! There were all sorts of concerns about choking hazards on this game and “parental supervision” is highly suggested. Surprised these didn’t get a dreaded ages 5 and up rating… since it’s a preschool game this would have been a death knell for it! But yeah, the word was the most memorable. Funny that none of us ever knew exactly what “getting cooties” actually meant back then! Lol


  2. Your blog pleasing me as much , I am pleased to inform you that I have nominated you to the Liebster Awards.
    A challenge awaits you on my blog, very soon to read your answers to this challenge!
    Friendly !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so sweet of you my friend!! ❤️😃I typically shy away from those awards, and I already did the Liebster award post once here:

      So I’m not sure if I’d want to do the nomination of other blogs again. But I’m happy to answers questions, I would break the chain! (Just wanted you to know in case you wanted to nominate someone else who hasn’t been yet!😉👍🏻)


  3. Oh my, as far as cooties goes, I really had no idea about this game, only the hideous disease you got from girls. The cootie was barging in, but such a condition tended more often to be classed as ‘lurgies’ when I was in the risk group.

    Your little cooties look quite charming and friendly, though, Charlie! I wouldn’t mind catching those!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cooties = sex? Ya gotta be kidding! As I look again at those adorable little bugs (I view your posts on my cellphone first thing in the morning), I’d suggest that Cooties is just the American way of pronouncing ‘cuties’, ‘cos they are really cute! Did they move at all, once all parts were in place? I’m a fan, now.

    Liked by 1 person

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