Medieval Children's Games and Pastimes



Medieval Children's Games and Pastimes


For my medieval project, I spent the semester researching medieval children’s games and pastimes. I was inspired to pursue this topic by the idea that I could make a pedagogical resource for grade four classrooms in Ontario that study medieval times as part of their Social Studies curriculum. When I studied this topic in elementary school, I was always wondering what childhood in medieval times was like. Upon researching the childhood and play habits of children in medieval times, I found several games that I could recreate and present in a way that kids today could also play them. My research led to how medieval children’s play habits were influenced by the patriarchal structure of society, similarly to how children’s toys and play is often based on patriarchal ideas surrounding gender today. As a result, girls would be encouraged to play with dolls, toy furniture and dishes and not allowed to participate in sports, and boys were encouraged to play with knight figurines and participate in sports as related to their schooling. I filmed an informative video outlining how to recreate and play medieval children’s games as well as talking about my research at an elementary level for the purpose of its potential use in the classroom. The three games I recreated and developed included: a knight puppet game resembling a modern game of “Rock'em Sock'em Robots,” a medieval rhyming tag game called “How Many Miles to Beverlyham?” and a medieval-inspired rendition of invasion-type sports games, like football or soccer.


Michelle Nicol