Children’s Games of the 17th Century

Bruegel-childrensgames-300x214

There are a few games that originated in the 1600′s that either we still play today or that have been developed over time into some of the more modern games we play today. Another of the favourite games was called ‘Nine Pins’ this is where there were 9 skittles set out in 3 rows of 3 and the children would do their best to knock them down with a ball, this game has had a few tweaks over the years and we now know its modern equivalent as bowling. Kids of the time also played things like ‘Tag’ and ‘Blind Mans Buff’ both of which I can remember playing as a child and even now marbles are a huge craze in primary school playgrounds, these were also an enjoyable pastime for the children of 17th Century.

There were many benefits of these types of pastime. Of course the number games would help mathematics and problem solving skills, jumping, skipping throwing games would keep the children fit and would improve dexterity but one of the main advantages was the necessity to socialise. If you didn’t have friends in the 17th century then it was very difficult for you to play alone as most (if not all) of the games of the time were for two players or more, this forced kids to play and socialise with one another and to develop relationships with each other that would only strengthen as they got older, this again is something that we constantly hear is lacking in today’s society so maybe it would be a good idea to take a leaf from the 17th century manual and get back to spending time with our friends and family face to face.