What did colonial kids do for fun?
-played games -told stories
-shared riddles -played sports
-sang songs -danced
Ball and Cup Toy
Played like volleyball (the stool, instead of a net, separates the two
teams) two teams volley the ball back and forth until the ball is
dropped. The person who dropped the ball must roll or throw the ball
at the stool, if they do not hit the stool, the opposite team gets two
points, if they do hit the stool, their team gets one point. The first
team to get 31 points wins!
In his history, Of Plymouth Plantation, Governor
William Bradford reported that several colonists
were caught playing stool ball on Christmas day,
1620.These colonists had remained home to
celebrate the Christmas while those who did not
believe in the holiday continued the work of
building the colony. When those who worked
returned they found that the others, rather than
spending the day in “pious devotion”, were
playing stool ball and other sports. The governor
took away their gaming equipment and chastised
them for reveling in the streets.
Each player gets two turns to knock down as many pins as they
can. Points are based on how many pins you knock down. The
first player to 31 wins.
Does Nine Pins remind you of anything?…..
Battledore and Shuttlecock
is similar to lawn tennis or badminton and
was quite popular in colonial and Victorian
During the time of European
contact, Native Americans were
playing a game that we now call
Apart from its recreational function, lacrosse
traditionally played a more serious role in
Indian culture. Its origins are rooted in legend,
and the game continues to be used for
curative purposes and surrounded with
ceremony. Game equipment and players are
still ritually prepared by conjurers, and team
selection and victory are often considered
supernaturally controlled. In the past,
lacrosse also served to vent aggression, and
territorial disputes between tribes were
sometimes settled with a game, although not
A version of this game is known
to have been played in ancient
Greece. It arrived in England
sometime around 1100AD. Nine
Men’s Morris seems to have
been very popular with school
boys since playing boards are
often found carved into school
desks and benches.
Its kind of similar to tic-tac-toe…
The game of Graces dates back to the 1830's.
This two player game features two wooden,
ribboned hoops and four catching wands to
fling the Graces' hoops back and forth.
Graces was often referred to as a girl's game
as it was meant to encourage 'gracefulness','
hence its name.
Leap Frog is actually a a collection of
hopping and leaping games that dates
back to ancient times. The two most
popular leap frog games are “giving a
back” and “foot an’ half”.
Some you may be familiar with and some you may not!
Hunt the slipper
Bow and Arrow
Blind Man’s Bluff
This doll is from the late 18th century.
Late 18th century
term for a
A good jack-knife was the most highly desired
possession of a boy. Lots of days of weary
work and pleading were done before a boy
would acquire suck a prize.
Doll and chest of drawers are on display at
the Peabody Essex Museum.
High chest of
drawers , 1790
with a dress
from the 1830’s
Excavation since 1994
has uncovered hundreds
of thousands of artifacts
dating to the first half of
the 17th century. Nearly
half of the objects date
to the first years of
(1607-1610). The site of
James Fort was not
washed into the river as
most people believed for
the past 200 years.
This is a lead figurine of
a boy who appears to
be dancing. It is about 3
cm long and was found
in the It may be a toy
brought for the
amusement of an adult
or child in the colony
The lead boy could also be
an object intended for trade
with the Indians. Eight
similar leaden figures were
explorations of a 1596
Dutch encampment in the
arctic region of Nova
Zembla. These toys, which
are depicting classical
mythological figures, were
carried as trade goods by
an expedition trying to find
a north-east passage to
Twelve gaming dice have been
found during the excavations.
Most are made of bone, but two
are ivory and one is lead and
was probably made by a soldier
casting lead shot in the fort.
Pass-dice was a popular game
of the time in which two players
would try to throw doubles.
Every die that has been
excavated at Jamestown is
about the size of a pencil eraser.
The dimensions may relate to
the martial laws in the colony,
which forbade soldiers from
"dicing." The men made their
dice very small so the pieces
could easily be hidden from
their superior officers.
This bone gaming piece or token is about 3_ cm in diameter. It could
have been used in board games such as backgammon or as a gambling
You are going to select any one colonial
game or toy you saw in student
presentations, in this PowerPoint or in
your own research, to re-create and
Essentially, you are going to create a
NEW version of that game/toy that you
think kids would want to use/play today.
1. Spend a little more time researching…make sure
you’ve found a toy/game that you like and that you
think can be re-made in a new way.
2. Sketch out what your new game/toy will look like.
3. Write a description of how you plan to make it and/or
any playing modifications you may make.
4. Think about your step-by step process and materials.
5. Meet and discuss with me.
6. Get started….this is going to be fun!
1. Computer: you can submit your entire project as
a PowerPoint, doing all the graphics on the
2. Clay: air dry or kiln-fire (maybe to create game
pieces or game boards).
3. Paper-Marche (for game pieces, dolls…)
4. Wood and tech lab materials (for game boards,
5. Found objects
6. Cardboard/ foam core
The materials you choose have to be appropriate for whatever game
or toy you are making. (For example, you wouldn’t make Nine Pins
out of ceramics!)
Get creative! The possibilities are endless!
1.Color- add/change color or painting style.
2. Shape- changing shape of game pieces/ game
3. Characters- turn pieces into characters
4. More challenging.
5. More relevant (make a doll in amore 21st century
6. Make the game a computer game
…and much, much more!
I KNOW you will all come up
with great ideas….give
yourself time to think it
through. Ask your peers or
your totally awesome art
teacher if you need a little
This is going to be GREAT!