Colonial Children’s Games
In Colonial times, children didn't have electronic toys, or factories to make their toys. Many children or
their parents made their toys out of scraps and things that were not needed. Little girls in Colonial times
made their dolls out of corn husks, rags, scraps, and sometimes carved, dried apples as heads. The
boys used sticks as imaginary horses. Children enjoyed spinning tops made of leftover wood and string.
Children were often left without supervision and were left to play in the field or house.
Another toy the children enjoyed was a Whirligig.
To make a Whirligig, Cut out a 4 inch (10 cm) circle on a piece of
stiff cardboard or use a large 2 or 4 hole button. Make two holes
in the cardboard approximately 3/8 inch (9 mm) from the center
as shown above. Thread a piece of string about 2-1/2 feet long
through the holes and tie the ends together. Proceed by twirling
the circle until the string is tangled and then pull. Continue the
pulling and relaxing method and enjoy the Whirligig.
Many families had at least six or seven children, so they always had someone to play with. Also, if the
neighbors lived near by, the children would have more company and then all children would join in the
games. Many times children would make up games on the spur of the moment. When the children
weren't making up games to play, they played many games that are still played
Colonial children jumped rope, played tennis, swinging, scotch-hopper (modern day
hopscotch), and played on a see-saw. The children even played leap frog, tag,
hide-and-seek, sack and relay races. Some other games played by the Colonial
children were nine pins (similar to bowling, but more difficult due to uneven ground),
bow-and-arrow, quoits (ring toss), and wooden stilts.
Battledores, which is similar to Badminton, was played often. A popular game
during the Colonial times was “Rolling the Hoop”. This was when children would get