Medieval Games and Recreation
Medieval Games and Recreation
Games Played in the Middle Ages
(Outdoor entertainment during the middle ages centered around the Village Green.)
Games of Amusement
Hide n Seek
Hide and Seek was played the same as today. Using whatever hiding places are
available and the restrictions or limits agreed on by the players, play this ancient child's
game. Someone is designated at “it.” Everyone hides. “It” looks for them. Usually, the
first one found is “it” the next round although there are many variations.
Tag is another game played the same. Tapestry's, murals, and other drawings and
pictures show kids chasing each other in what appears to be tag. Set up the game your
favorite way, or ask the kids for their favorite version. There are literally hundreds of
versions of tag. Nevertheless, at its essence, whoever is designated as “it” chases the
other players until they successfully “tag” another player. That player is then “it” for the
next round. Many versions have a safe place where runners can rest and untaggable—
Ring Around the Rosie
The words to the “Ring Around the Rosy” have
their origin in English history. The historical period
dates back to the Great Plague of London in 1665
(bubonic plague) or even before when the first outbreak
of the Plague hit England in the 1300's. The symptoms
of the plague included a rosy red rash in the shape of a
ring on the skin (Ring around the rosy). Pockets and
pouches were filled with sweet smelling herbs (or
posies) which were carried due to the belief that the
disease was transmitted by bad smells. The term "ashes, ashes" refers to the cremation of
the dead bodies! The death rate was over 60% and the Great Fire of London only halted
the plague in 1666, which killed the rats, which carried the disease, which was
transmitting, via water sources. The English version of "Ring around the rosy" replaces
Ashes with (A-tishoo, A-tishoo) as violent sneezing was another symptom of the disease.
Players hold hands in the shape of a circle. While they walk in a circle, they sing
or chant….
Ring around the rosy
A pocketful of posies
"Ashes, Ashes"
We all fall down!
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