Future Ticia 2020, I finally added in the last few Colonial games into this post. This is like the third time I’ve added more to this Colonial games post. Deep sigh, finally done.
When you look back at Colonial America, one thing we think about is how their life is different from ours. We think about Colonial Games, and in my mind, that is capitalized, even if that’s incorrect grammar. We picture kids playing with a wooden hoop or maybe playing jacks. Then we marvel at the idea of those same games still being played today. Well, we did it. We had a fun Colonial games lesson with our kids for our history lesson in co-op, and it made a fun addition to our Colonial America lessons.
Future Ticia here, we actually had so much fun with this lesson, we repeated it when we reached this point in history again, so some of these pictures are from our more recent Colonial Games lesson.
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Our Colonial Games Co-op meeting
We got together a few weeks ago and played some of the games that colonists played, but since I had a migraine and the other Mom had two million things going on that day our GRAND AND OVERARCHING PLANS failed……
Instead, we did two easy-to-reenact games, especially if you’re a former teacher who did the old “marble in the jar trick” for every time you caught someone being good. Seriously I have a big huge box of marbles……..
Originally I had grand plans of making toys, and playing jacks (totally linking to this one because of the cool tin), but that didn’t happen. I’ve since gone on to make some of those with the kids and play some of them, but it didn’t happen at the co-op.
Supplies needed for our Colonial Games
This lesson in particular (when originally done) was part of the Time Travelers Colonial America Unit
Future Ticia here, my kids did this lesson again and a few other colonial games a second time around right before our last visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
How we started our colonial games co-op
We discovered that it was super easy on our paved concrete driveway with a slight tilt downhill to get marbles out of the circle. Since that is not at all how the colonial kids would be playing games, it was time to move to the patch of mud in our backyard.
Not so easy on the not completely level and bumpy mud that the colonists probably played on. The kids all agreed they did not like playing it like this.
They all enjoyed playing hopscotch, which we couldn’t agree on what the rules are, which led to a discussion on variations on rules in different areas, and how games evolve over time.
Extending the Colonial games lesson
Then I challenged them to come up with a game of their own involving chalk and marbles.
The first group with a lot of eye-rolling and “Do we have to’s” came up with a sort of Pictionary with marbles.
The second group came up with a combination of hopscotch and marbles. You rolled the marble and got that many points for the number your marble stopped in.
Future Ticia here again, another time I’ll have to tell you all about our second time learning about this and how we played quoits and Nine Men’s Morris.
Colonial games: Nine Men’s Morris
Another popular colonial America game is Nine Men’s Morris. It’s a series of 3 rectangles joined by lines in the middle of each side. Superman gave a somewhat okay explanation of how to play the game. I’m also wildly amused that he used Shogun figures (from a now-defunct game) and fishbone buttons for the figures.
Now, because I’ll admit 10-year-old Superman’s explanation is not the best. Especially since looking up the rules, I know he’s wrong on a couple of these games, but he did a decent job. I’m fairly sure this is from the summer before 6th grade, so maybe 11 years old? 2020 Ticia is really not sure.
How to play Nine Men’s Morris
This is a rough version of the board I made up in Picmonkey. Each player has 9 pieces and they take turns placing their pieces on one of the unclaimed spaces, any of the circles or the corners.
As you place your pieces on the board, if you can successfully line up three pieces in a row, then you can remove one of your opponent’s pieces.
Once all pieces have been placed you take turns sliding pieces into empty spaces in an attempt to lock three pieces in a row. When you have done that you can remove your opponent’s piece.
You win the game when your opponent cannot move a piece legally or when they are down to only two pieces.
Colonial games: Quoits
Quoits is essentially horseshoes.
Or, that’s how I think of it. It’s also incredibly hard to take a good picture of the game as most of my pictures from this are slightly blurry in some way.
That might be why it took me so long to update this post with more colonial games, I didn’t like the pictures I had.
How to make quoits
You can, of course, buy a quoits game; but we made ours with paper plates, dowel rod, and some clay to keep it stable. Princess made ours with a plastic test tube from our test tube science kit and large amounts of duct tape.
Basically, you’re throwing the rings and attempting to get it around the stick. Also, I’m just going to add it’s incredibly weird to see my kids soooooo little.
But, quoits is pretty straightforward.
And now to our final colonial game….
Are you ready, this will be super hard to learn about, almost as hard to play as quoits.
Nah, I’m totally kidding. It’s easy, you’re basically playing an early version of bowling.
How we made our Nine Pin game
So, this was wildly popular when we did this apparently in 6th grade, so that is almost five years ago, so apparently I took these pictures in 2016. I guess it is useful for me to be updating all of these with the exact age the kids were when we did the lessons.
More fun hands-on lessons
- World War 1 Trench Warfare
- Roman Mosaics
- Underground Railroad craft
- Raphael art history lesson
- Xerxes and the Hellespont bridge lesson