What Did Kids Do in the 1800s?

In the 1800s, children played a lot of table games, board games and outdoor games in order to entertain themselves, according to the National Park Service. Families at this time were large, and so children often played these games with siblings or parents and grandparents. Children also played games at school and around their villages.

One of the most popular table games during the 1800s was dominoes. Although many of today's dominoes are made from wood, dominoes used in the 1800s were generally made from ivory. Another common table game was tiddlywinks, in which players used a larger disk to flip smaller disks called winks into a cup. The player who gets all of his or her winks into the cup first wins the game. Board games were also common, with chess, backgammon and checkers providing entertainment for both kids and adults alike. Some children played educational board games, which taught them about geography, history and literature. Examples of these games include Geographical Lotto and Round the World.

Children also spent a lot of time playing games outside in the 1800s. According to the National Park Service, one popular game was Annie Over, which involved throwing and catching a ball over a barrier. Baseball also gained popularity as a formalized sport in the 1840s, and many different versions of the sport were played by children.