Little time for games

In Loyalist times most families had many children. Being part of a big family meant having lots of playmates, but pioneer children had little time to play.

Children had many jobs, and even the youngest members of a family would have chores to do. Children tended crops, collected berries, and if the family had any livestock they took care of the animals by collecting eggs, milking cows, and cleaning their enclosures. Girls helped their mothers cook and clean the house and learned early how to sew. It took many hours of work to feed and clothe a family, tend a farm and clear the land. Every person had to do their share.

Few children were able to bring toys with them to their new country, so most children had to amuse themselves with simple objects they found. When an adult had a chance to make a toy from wood a child could have a puzzle, toy boat, wagon, and whistles. Dolls could be made from wood or from corn husks. Many games are still played today, such as jumping rope, jacks, tag, tug-of-war, hide and seek and hopscotch.