This year I thought for the children’s games at our church’s homecoming that we would do some old fashioned games. Our Pastor dressed up like the 19th century pastor of Hills Church–Jacob Snyder. I figured to fit the theme I should find out what types of games people played in the 19th century. As I researched these types of games I learned a lot about where some of the games I used to play originated from (see if you can guess what I mean as you read the game descriptions). It was also interesting to see how creative people once were with developing games using no more than common household items.
In the picture above they are playing the Game of Graces. It was traditionally a sport thought to appropriate exercise for young ladies. You can play it with two or more people. Each person has two 12 inch wooden sticks. One person holds the sticks parallel to each other about 4 inches apart as their opponent tosses a hoop (the often used the inside ring of an embordery hoop) from their sticks. The person tossing the hoop must cross the sticks in an X and place the hoop at the center and as she does the toss she uncrosses the sticks and launches the hoop of the end of the sticks. You play the game for a set period of time and whoever competes the most successful tosses wins.
In the photo above the kids were taking turns playing a game that Native Americans played. They would make a circle on the ground (about 12 inches) in diameter and toss pine cones into the circle. If the pine cones hit the center of the circle and bounced out that is a point, if the pine cones land in the center that is three points. We played a similar game called Chuck Farthing where you throw buttons or coins into a cup.
Another game we played was a game where one person is “it” and is blindfolded and must chase the others around. When he or she has caught someone they must be able to guess who it is otherwise has to let them go.
The last game which I didn’t have time to play was Hide the Slipper. Traditionally, you would use a slipper or sometimes a thimble to make the game more difficult. Everyone would sit in a circle and pretend to be passing around the item while one person was the hunter and had to try and figure out who had the item.
The kids had so much fun with these games that I plan to incorporate more of these old fashioned games in our next in August! Hopefully it will encourage the children to step away from the video games and computer and venture outside.