Getting Cooties

Cooties Doodlewash

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

 

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! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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34 Comments
  1. Teri C 2 years ago

    Lol, I remember getting the ‘cooties’ also but from the boys or….gasp…someone with head lice. Your sketch is exactly how I remember the game. Good job!

    • Author

      Thanks Teri! 💕😃Haha…oh yeah…head lice was the other cootie! Seems childhood was full of the things! lol 😉

  2. Kari 2 years ago

    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!! 😊

    • Author

      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

  3. agneslise 2 years ago

    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 !

  4. Jacob 2 years ago

    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!

    • Author

      Oh my… Lurgies sound like a much more terrifying affliction!! 😳 I’m not even sure penicillin would help remove those! Lol Glad ya liked the cooties! Hehe

  5. S. A. Smith, Author 2 years ago

    So darned cootie….oh! cute!!!!! haha

  6. More sweet memories! Perfect cootie capture, O’Bro! Happy time to paint soon! 💜

    • Author

      Thanks Laura!! 💜😃 Yeah…just haven’t had any time at all and it’s frustrating!! Hehe…I need it!! Doodlewashing is my drug! Oh dear…that sounds bad. 😊lol

  7. Jodi 2 years ago

    Cutest cooties ever! What are you so busy doing Charlie O? Hope it’s fun stuff! ☺️

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi! ❤️😃Work was super busy and the dog had minor tooth surgery on Friday. Hehe… Then just a lot of household things yesterday. Finally a fun evening with friends last night, so today looks more promising and less busy! Lol We’ll see!

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Hope phinneas is ok and you have a fun day. Football day here. 🏉🏈

      • Author

        He’s doing great! I was really minor tooth work. Hehe…have a fantastic football day!! 😃😃

  8. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Love your title! Hehe! 😜 I remember playing with these little bugs too! 😍 Super fun doodlewash today, Charlie! Thanks for the smiles! 😄🌟👍🎨

  9. memadtwo 2 years ago

    I think the simplicity is appropriate to these toys…the plastic shapes of childhood. Yeah, we didn’t want cooties either. It’s universal. (K)

    • Author

      Thanks Kerfe!! 💕😃 Glad you liked this one…it went so fast I didn’t even know what I made. Yeah….those other cooties weren’t something anyone wanted back then! Lol

  10. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    I remember this as a fun game. Great doodlewash, Charlie. I wonder if this game is still for sale?

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon!! 💕😃 It is still for sale! Only they changed their faces and body parts. I think they’re too overdone now and lost all the charm of these though.

  11. Cathe 2 years ago

    You have really nice cooties Charlie! Now that sounds wrong, but you captured quite charming cooties! Yikes! Well, you know what I mean!

  12. Susan Feniak 2 years ago

    I am laughing as I type!! Thanks for the giggles. 🙂

  13. jmnowak 2 years ago

    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.

    • Author

      Cooties wasn’t sex until high school. Just being near the opposite sex was enough to catch them as kids! Lol And they didn’t move when complete, sadly… That would have been super cool!!

  14. Rachel Murphree 2 years ago

    Your commitment is amazing, Charlie, and they don’t look like quick washes to me at all. your standards are nicely upheld!

    • Author

      Awww thanks Rachel!! 💕😃I really appreciate hearing that. I was feeling super rushed and didn’t feel like it had the same finish. 😊

  15. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    I loved playing with my Cooties. Love your memories – similar to my own.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 6 days ago

      Yeah, they were fun! I need to do another month of these types of things. It was fun to paint! 😃💕

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