Daily Life in Colonial America –
Life at home long ago was very different then today. Children had responsibilities that helped the family survive. The chores were divided between the men and women inside and outside.
The men and boys had chores like:
- plowing the land
- planted the crops
- tended to the crops
- harvested them
- building the furniture
- repair equipment
- looking over all of the livestock
The women and girls had chores like:
- cooking the food
- sewing the clothes
- tending to chickens and ducks
- made soap
- made candles and other things needed
When doing activities with your children, let them do a variety of chores regardless if they are a girl or a boy.
A basic wood wheelbarrow.
All children were expected to learn to read. Boys were given lessons in Latin, grammar, penmanship and math. Their instructors were always men.
Children played a variety of simple games:
- spun tops
- jumped rope
- rolled hoops
- shot marbles
- Fox and Geese
- King Am I
- Scotchhopping (hopscotch)
Watching acrobats and puppets shows in town was a popular pastime.
Forms of punishment:
The Puritans were big on humiliating someone as a form of punishment. In front of the town meeting house there would be an area for public display of individuals that were being punished. They would lock the individuals in the stocks or pillory with a sign hung around their necks telling of their indiscretion. There would be a large “D” if the person was a drunkard and a “B” for a blasphemer. There would also be a whipping post, depending on your offense. The Puritans also believed that it was important that a criminal should be marked and humiliated for the rest of their life, so they may brand them, cut off an ear, hand or tongue. These people did not forgive a person of their past bad behavior.
When we had our simulation, we made form core stock and our students had a blast “hanging” there. They definitely weren’t in trouble and by their expressions, they didn’t think they were!