Press Room Archives

For Immediate Release — July 5, 2011

Games Children Play

at the Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center
July 13 to November 28, 2011


Peanuts—detail March 1, 1951

(Santa Rosa, CA) Peanuts characters, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Sally played for fifty years in the Peanuts comic strip mostly free from adult rules and intrusions. They built sandcastles, jumped in piles of leaves, perfected mud pies, and played hide-and-go-seek—all without the structure provided by an adult.

Games Children Play, the newest exhibition from the Charles M. Schulz Museum, captures the joy of play in Peanuts with fifty original strips that will run from July 13 through November 28, 2011.

Unstructured play is a critical aspect of childhood and child development, and Charles Schulz may have intrinsically recognized what many researchers in the field of child development have been reporting for years. In his Peanuts comic strip, his cast of characters has ample opportunity to play freely, mostly unencumbered by adults.

“Perhaps Schulz drew on memories from his own childhood when creating some of these strips. Growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the 1920s and 30s, Schulz had numerous opportunities to experience the pleasure of playing, relatively unfettered by the presence of adults, with a group of neighborhood children,” explains Museum Curator Jane O’Cain.

“I suppose if you look back, your life goes in different sections,” Charles Schulz recalled. “My most influential section of life as a child was living within about three blocks of the barbershop [that his father owned], down around the corner on a quiet street. … [W]e used to play cops and robbers, and cowboys … and run around the neighborhood … [I]f everyone left us alone, we did have fun.”

If you would like any of the images from Games Children Play to print in a publication, contact Gina Huntsinger at or (707) 284-1268.

Copyright and image instructions:
Copyright for all Peanuts image should be:   Peanuts © (year of strip) Peanuts Worldwide LLC

FOR USE OF ALL IMAGES IN THIS RELEASE. This art may not be altered in any way. You may not crop, flop, compress or squeeze the images. You may enlarge or reduce its size to fit your publication; and you must do so proportionately. You may not create or change words or thought balloons for the characters.

Peanuts—October 7, 1971

The Museum staff wanted to know, “What is Ha Ha Herman?”  Did Schulz invent this game for his comic strip?  Schulz’s daughters Jill Transki and Amy Johnson shed light on the game: Amy explains, “My little sister, Jill, and I used to play it all the time with our friends, mostly when we lived out in Sebastopol. As a matter of fact, I loved it so much that I have been playing with my own children (I have nine) every New Year’s Eve. All my kids love it more than any other game and we end up playing it for hours!”

Jill adds, “[In] Ha Ha Herman … one person runs off and hides. Then the people who are looking yell ‘Haha’ and the person hiding has to say ‘Herman.’  Then everyone goes to find them. If you find them you hide with them, and eventually only one person is left looking.”

PeanutsAugust 20, 1965

Peanuts — October 20, 1953

The Charles M. Schulz Museum opened in August 2002 to fulfill its mission of preserving, displaying, and interpreting the art of Charles M. Schulz. The museum carries out this mission through changing exhibitions and programming that: build an understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art; illustrate the scope of Schulz’s multi-faceted career; communicate the stories, inspirations and influences of Charles Schulz; and celebrate the life of Charles Schulz and the Peanuts characters.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is located 50 minutes north of San Francisco by car on Highway 101. The Museum is located at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, California, 95403.

Weekdays Monday thru Friday (except Tuesdays*) 11am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays*
*Open everyday throughout the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Free – Museum Members, Children 3 and under
$5.00 – Children 4-18, college students with valid I.D. card, and Seniors 62+
$10.00 – Adults

For more information consult the Museum web site:
Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center
2301 Hardies Lane Santa Rosa, CA 95403