It was considered normal practice during childhood and family life, that children in the colonies and Europe were expected to help with household chores, even burdens we might consider inappropriate, help with the family business, and learn a trade.By the time boys went to grammar school, they were … Colonial schools. Toys. Homeschool Day Workshop: Growing up in Colonial CT. In 1621 some people in Plymouth Colony even got in trouble for playing games on Christmas day! Some of the things kids did back then may be just like chores that kids do today. By the time they had reached age 14, most children were already considered adults. Colonial folks worked hard, but got plenty of opportunity to relax and participate in recreational activities. … But people of colonial times were also interested in healthy activities as well, such as walking, swimming, and horse racing. Still, cultures all have their own forms of entertainment, and people in colonial Pennsylvania engaged in various forms of amusement. © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Considered to be leisure activities, the people of colonial times had both individual and team sports, board games, gambling, card games, and so much more. If you've ever played tic tac toe, then you'd recognize a game of "naughts and crosses." Not only was recreation an outlet for unwinding after a long day's work, but also the opportunity to socialize with friends, and maybe even to meet a special person to marry. Some liked to dance to fiddle and fife music. What did kids do for fun? A good jack-knife was the most highly desired possession of a boy. The love of gaming wasn't lost on those who set sail for new lands, according to the a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Adults in colonial America often died young by today's standards, and many children lost their parents and were raised by step-parents. Boys worked with their father learning farming, cutting firewood and fixing tools. Older children were quickly expected to complete adult chores and were held accountable. Drums, made of deep wooden platters and covered with animal skin, were used in the dances as well as in war. Small pieces of wood and leftover string could be used to make spinning tops. Adults sometimes played games, sports or danced as part of celebrations, like weddings and harvest celebrations. Colonial days are the years from around 1565 to 1776 (when America was no longer a colony of England, but its own country – the United States of America). One activity that both men and women could be involved in, and which was extremely popular as a form of recreation, was drinking and gambling. There were no factories for making toys, and store-bought toys were very expensive. They wore them on either foot, left or right. Colonial life was filled with work, but it wasn’t always hard or boring. Lots of days of weary work and pleading were done before a boy would acquire suck a prize. Recreation in colonial times consisted of many of the factors that make it what it is today. Fun Facts and Additional Information about Colonial America Colonial America was the time period in World History that lasted from 1600- 1799. Child abuse and neglect are strong words that bring with them a particularly abhorrent meaning today. Women worked extremely hard during colonial times. The main instruments used were rattles made of gourds. Free time was almost nonexistent. Recreation in colonial times consisted of many of the factors that make it what it is today. Considered to be leisure activities, the people of colonial times had both individual and team sports, board games, gambling, card games, and so much more. They also played tag, stickball, and blindman's buff. Recreation in colonial times consisted of many of the factors that make it what it is today. Children weren't the only ones having fun. For those who survived, adulthood came quickly. Wealthy men-Held large dinners and feasts to mark important civic events. Early Americans knew how to turn work into fun by singing or telling stories, having contests, or working together in spinning or quilting bees. The three most popular games that people played when they wanted to unwind were Piquet, Euchre, and Whist, which is similar to what we now know as Bridge. In colonial times, “Jack” was a general term for a young man. There are some subtle differences in the recreation of colonial times and recreation of our modern days. These fun colonial games for children to play are the perfect way to get older kids excited about studying history. In fact, outdoor activities were considered something that had to be done both for the adults and the children. Many games helped children learn skills they would need when they grew up. Recreation in colonial times was not all that different from what adults like to do today, but definitely on a much lower key, as far as gambling goes. While death was not uncommon for marriage-age adults, it was almost expected for children. Even colonial men and women needed a way to entertain themselves. The one difference in recreation in colonial times as compared to today was that it was mostly for men. Recreation then was considered to be entertainment, and to take them away from the hard work that they did all day long. Daily Life in Colonial Times (games & activities) For Teachers. Native Americans (Indians) had games that they played or athletic competitions. Whatever was fun at the time was what the people did. People would tell stories of legends and their ancestry, or just make up their own. Mortality was high, with approximately 40 percent of all children dying before age 9. It was done purely for enjoyment. England's King Charles II loved gambling, and playing games of chance was a key part of life in his court. It was all done for fun and to escape the day to day drudgeries of cleaning, cooking, and farming. You may have heard Of the founding of the 13 British colonies, the founding of Jamestown, The Revolutionary War etc. Recreation then was considered to be entertainment, and to take them away from the hard work that they did all day long. Since many families had five or six children, colonial children usually had playmates nearby. In colonial Pennsylvania, people lived very differently than most of us do today. Both Piquet and Euchre were introduced by the French and brought over to early colonial times where it was picked up immediately. I found out that brickmakers kept their kiln going all year round, night and day. Going back to the extremely popular activity of gambling, card games were often times to get together and bet on things like who would win the game, who would roll the highest score when playing dice, and who would win the board game. Storytelling was also a very fun wasy to pass the time. They cared for their pets, played with dolls, shot marbles, pitched pennies, and went fishing. Two children might have a contest to see who could card wool faster. Whatever was fun at the time was what the people did. A group of students might sing their multiplication tables out loud to make it seem more fun. Children might have to carry wood or water, husk corn, gather berries, lead oxen, card wool, gather eggs or churn butter. When children had time to play, they played some of the same games we still play today – like tag, hid-and-seek, and hopscotch. I was amazed when I heard that they wrapped wigs in bread to give them a certain texture. Boards were handmade, of course, and draughts were only played after the day's work was done. Considered to be leisure activities, the people of colonial times had both individual and team sports, board games, gambling, card games, and so much more.