What Did Pilgrim Children Do for Fun?

Historians believe that Pilgrim children played games such as checkers, leap frog and tic-tac-toe. They also were encouraged to play games that required exercise, such as running races, or those that allowed them to practice life skills, such as playing house. Games that involved luck were discouraged because they were too similar to gambling.

Since few records were kept describing the lives of Pilgrim children, historians are unsure as to what games they played or how much free time they were allowed during the day. Most likely the children played the games that had been played in Holland and England during that time. Pilgrim children need to work hard to help the family. They took care of the animals and younger children, worked in the fields and performed household chores such as cooking. While some did learn to read and write, there were no schools in the area for Pilgrim children to attend.

Pilgrim children may have had some toys, such as marbles, pinwheels, bubbles, hoops and stilts. Word games, such as tongue twisters were also known at that time. As long as games did not get in the way of work Pilgrim parents did not mind allowing children to play as a break form work.