Outdoor Games. Games.
Games • To Early Americans these games helped children learn skills that they would need later in life as a farmers and parents. Games taught children how to aim and throw, how to solve problems and do things with their hands, and how to follow directions and rules. They also leaned to be fair, to wait their turn and to use their imaginations.
Outdoor Games • Although boys and girls played many of the same games indoors, they often played different games outside. Boys did not take part in clapping, skipping, or string games.
Graces History • The historical game of Graces is meant to be played outdoors by two people. It was brought to America by the French where it was known as La Grace. Also known as The Flying Circle and French Hoops, it was most popular during the Colonial period, particularly with young ladies, and used for exercise and to teach gracefulness. Young men never played this game together but were willing to play with a lady. Times have changed and we now encourage everyone to play this game, young and old, boys and girls, men and women.
The Three Graces • The Three Graces: The game of Graces is named after the Graces In Greek mythology. The Graces were three goddesses who gave beauty and grace to girls. In the 18th and 19th century America, girls were encouraged to be graceful in everything they did.
Graces Instruction • Instructions: To play “Graces,” two players stand directly opposite one another, approximately 10 feet apart, each player equipped with two wands. Each player begins the game with 20 points. One player places a hoop over the crossed wands. By quickly moving the wands apart, the hoop is sent flying towards the opposite player. The object is to catch the hoop on one or both of your wands and return it. The hoop is kept moving back and forth until one player misses. Each miss costs a point. The first player to use all his/her points loses the game. After you have mastered one hoop, try tossing two hoops back and forth simultaneously.
Hoops • Trundling a hoop has been a favorite outdoor activity for children for centuries. Hoops were shown in an engraving for Jacob Cats's poem Kinderspel as early as 1628 and were frequently included in illustrations of children's activities and games in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Early hoops were of metal; in the 1800s, handmade wood hoops were all the rage as a favorite plaything. The child's hoop was propelled by stroking a one foot dowel or stick along the top.
Rolling, Bowling and Trundling • "Rolling", "bowling" and "trundling" a hoop really came into its own in Victorian times. Hoops were raced and used for skipping. The Youth's BestFriend, an early book of instruction, illustrates trundling a hoop with the comment that, "This is indeed a very good sport for little boys, but only in cool weather; some little boys make themselves very hot... by which they often become very ill." Many 19th century portraits and photographs include a hoop along side the posed child.
Hoop and Stick game • Using a stick children rolled a hoop along the ground as fast as they could. Sometimes children rolled multiple hoops. Races were created to have a friendly competition between friends. Contests for both the fastest and the longest were popular.
Through the Hoop • In this competitive game, one person rolled a hoop in a straight line along the ground while one or more players stood about 15 feet away and tried to get their stick through the hoop as it passed them. The winner was the person who got it through the hoop the greatest number of times without knocking the hoop down.
Hornbook Battledore and Shuttlecock (Badminton) • “Battledore and shuttlecock is an historic game that can be played by one or two players. It is played by one player, the game merely consists of batting up the shuttlecock into the air for as long a time as possible. If two people are playing, the game consists of batting the shuttlecock into the playing, the game consists of patting the shuttlecock from one to the other. If more than two people are playing, rules for the modern game of badminton are used. In colonial America, as well as the 16th and 17th century England, “Battledore and shuttlecock” was a popular game with peasants as well as with the aristocracy. Youngsters in early America who did not possess a battledore (paddle) substituted their hornbooks for the game.
Battledore and Shuttlecock Rhymes • One, two, three, four Mary at the Cottage door Eating cherries off a plate, Five, Six Seven, eight. • Up the ladder, down the wall, A two penny loaf to serve us all, You buy milk and I’ll buy flour, And we’ll have pudding in hald an hour. One, two, three, four, five,six, ect. • This year, next year, long time, never. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor. Silk, satin, cotton, rags. Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, donkey-cart.
Jacks History Jacks, in its original form, was played in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. This game was also known as Jackstones, Five Stones, Knucklebones, and other names. Knucklebones eventually led to the game of dice (which was mostly played by boys) and to the game of jacks (which was mostly played by girls). Jacks is a game of skill, as are earlier games that involve throwing the jacks into the air and catching them, or bouncing a ball and picking up a certain number of jacks from a surface.
Playing with seeds bones stones Jacks is centuries old, it’s played with seeds, bones, stones, small filled cloth bags or other such materials. In ancient times, each player would toss five or more of these objects into the air and try to catch them in one hand. Occasionally, the player would toss another object in the air, while attempting to pick up the ones he missed. Archeological digs have uncovered evidence that primitive forms of jacks wee played in prehistoric caves, in ancient Greece and Rome and, much later in colonial America.
Jacks Instructions • To Begin: To determine the order of play, the players take turns ‘flipping’. To ‘flip’, each player grasps the jacks in the palm of one hand, tosses them into the air and catches them on the back of his hand. Whoever catches the most jacks goes first. In the event of a tie, the player take turns flipping until the tie is broken. • Ones: The basis of Jacks involves a series of moves in which the player bounces the ball, then first picks up the jacks, and so on before the ball bounces a second time. This is continued until all the jacks have been picked up and put in the other hand, or until.an error has been committed. • Twos: In the game, the jacks are picked up by twos. Otherwise, the procedure is as in ‘Ones’. The game can be carried on to play the game of Threes, Fours, and so on.
Quoits History • The game of quoits may have evolved from ancient Greece, where athletes enjoyed throwing a discus for competition. Peter Brown, president of the National Quoits Association, believes that the Greeks passed quoits to the Romans as a weapon of war. His theory continues with the thought that the Romans brought the game to Britain. He even suggests that the origins of the game go back to the Minoan Empire circa 2000 B.C. because the boy king of Knossos evidently used quoits as a weapon on slaves if they tried to escape.
1st Rules for Quoits • Quoits was made illegal in 1388 by Sporting Regulations, but by the 15th century, it had become a favorite organized sport in English pubs and taverns. The first official rules for the game of quoits were printed in the April, 1881, edition of The Field in northern England. The National Quoits Association was formed in 1986.
Backyard Quoits • There are several different games of quoits being played in England today: The Northern Game, The Long Game, East Anglian Quoits, and Sward or Lawn Quoits. Sward Quoits is played with a clay square to which the stake or hob is set in, but it can become muddy and difficult to maintain. Many people happily adapt this game and its rules for backyard play with the hob or stake set in the grass.
Quoits to Horseshoes • Quoits was played during the American Revolutionary War by both British and Continental soldiers to pass the time. It has been said that the game of horseshoes was derived from quoits because some people could not afford to have quoits made, so they used what was similarly available: old horseshoes!
Indoor Quoits • Miniature versions of indoor quoits were played near the Welsh-English border for at least a century. It seems that the game was invented toward the end of the 19th century, but the history of indoor quoits is not really known. A game called Rings was played in Northern England. Now, many variations of the game exist. "Deck quoits" were made from rope and used on cruise ships. "Rope quoits" is probably the same game and is popular in Australia. English and Welsh descendants in parts of Pennsylvania play the game with the hob set at a slight angle on a slate board instead of a clay bed because they resided in "the slate belt."
Quoits Rules • Rules: • Place the stake (hob,mott) on a flat surface at an agreed-upon distance from the tossing line. • Toss a coin to determine the order of play. • The first player tosses two quoits (rings) from behind the tossing line, aiming at the stake. The second player then follows with two tosses.
Quoits Scoring Scoring • Each time a player ‘rings’ the hob, score 3 points. (This is called a ringer) • If the ring just touches the bob or the base it is called a learner and is worth 2 points. • If a player’s quoit is closer to the mott than his opponent’s one point is scored. • The winner is the first player to score 21.
Nine Pins (skittles, bowling) • Nine Pins, the forerunner of 10 pin bowling, has been a popular game for centuries and made most famous in Washington Irvings’s famous account of the legend of Rip Van Winkle. Nine pins was also called skittles. Colonist from Germany and the Netherlands brought this game to North America.
Nine Pins Colonial Era • The Colonists used a long board to roll the ball on, but the game can be played without it. • In the colonial days, both the nine pins and the bowling ball were carved from wood. To play Nine Pins, the pins were set up in a diamond pattern as shown. An agreed-upon distance was then marked off, which served as the point from which the ball was rolled into the pins.
Two versions of the game • The oldest version of the game called for each player to knock down all the pins except the center one. Another version of the game called for each player to roll the ball two times in succession. The first person to knock down 100 pins won the game.
Nine pins to modern bowling • The game of nine pins continued well into the nineteenth century. Because of the widespread betting on the game, the sport was outlawed by Connecticut in 1841, and other states soon followed. The law was circumvented by using ten pins.
CAT'S CRADLE • The game of Cat’s Cradle has a rich and varied history. Cat’s Cradle is believed to have traveled from Asia to Europe with the tea trade in the early 17th Century. History reveals that children in England played Cat’s Cradle as early as 1782. In Colonial America, Cat’s Cradle’ (Or ‘Cratch Cradle” as it was sometimes known) was among the earliest and most popular of all know string games. Cat’s Cradle is played with a piece of yarn, string or cord 6 feet in length, folded in half and knotted. • One player stretches a length of yarn over the extended fingers of both hands in a symmetrical form. The second player uses his fingers to remove the yarn without dropping the loops and tries to make another figure.