Pioneer Toys & Games

Children playing with pioneer toys

One hundred years ago children did not have such things as video games, TV’s or computers to entertain them. Children made up their own games. Since many families in the country lived miles apart, children enjoyed going to school or anywhere they could get together with other children. Games like Tag, Hopscotch, Hide and Seek, and Leapfrog were played many, many years ago. The game of baseball began in the 1700’s with a stick and a rock. The players caught the rock with their bare hands. (“OUCH”)

Many years ago people had a hard time providing the basic necessities for their families such as food, shelter, etc. Therefore, there was not much money for toys. Most toys were made out of natural materials that were found around the house. Things like wood, plant fibers, yarn, even corn cobs were used to make toys. Simple toys were made by the children themselves. If a father or mother was good at working with wood, he or she might make a more complicated toy for their child. Wooden tops, corncob dolls, and whirligigs are just a few examples of homemade toys.

Children spent much of their free time learning things that would lead to skills that they would need later in daily life. Girls would work at leaning how to sew. They might begin sewing simple designs for a patchwork quilt or cross-stitch sampler. Later they might sew clothes for their dolls. And eventually they would learn to sew clothes for themselves. A boy might being whittling a whistle, then go on to lean to make a stool or some other type of furniture that would be needed later in life.