Games of the Early 1800s

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

It’s fun to think about what types of games kids played a hundred and even two hundred years ago… A couple of weekends ago we enjoyed an afternoon out at our Historical Society’s Harvest Festival at Lakeside Park. It was the perfect crisp fall day for hot apple cider, baked goods, peaking into the historical Thomas House, a Pioneer home of the 1830s – 1840s, and best of all (as far as Violet was concerned) trying out games of the era.

The ‘hoop toss’ game, as I’ll call it (not sure of it’s official name), kept Violet occupied for quite some time. This is certainly going on my project list for cottage games to make.

We were also introduced to a ‘leisure activity’ called The Game of Graces in which each person gets two dowel rods and throw a wooden hoop between the players. I learned from Wikipedia that the “winner is the player who catches the hoop ten times first”.

Nana and Violet gave it a try!

Now, this is a game meant for older children and ladies, however Violet did alright with some directive throwing from Nana! The history of the game is interesting:

The Game of Graces was considered a proper game benefiting young ladies, and supposedly, tailored to make them more graceful. Graces was hardly ever played by boys, and ever played by two boys at the same time, either two girls, or a boy and a girl.

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