Games of Olden Days


In the olden days children played various games and sang many rhymes, many of which required very little supplies or gadgets. Both boys and girls had their own games and it was very seldom that you would have seen either of them playing together. Here are a few games that children in the Placentia and surrounding areas would play. Some of these are still used today by children in our area, either in the same form or as variations of the original.



Sniggin' Buttons

Sniggin' Buttons, which is somewhat like Tiddly Winks, was played outside. A hole was dug in the ground and a line was drawn about 4 or 5 feet away. Each player would place a button on the line. The starter flicked his button with his thumb and forefinger. In turn everyone tried and the first to succeed in flicking his button into the hole was declared the winner.



Hoist your Sails and Run

Teams of ten or twelve boys would play a game called "Hoist your Sails and Run." All the boys of one team would go hide while the other team wasn't allowed to look. When they were all in hiding the other team would go look for them. If someone neared the spot where a member of the team was hiding, the team member who was approached would yell "Hoist your Sails and Run". This was warning to the other boys, that if they stayed in their places now they would be caught. This game continued until all boys were caught and then the teams changed sides.


Skipping was very popular among the girls and rhymes were often repeated continually to the number of skips. One such skipping rhyme was name The King of England and it went as follows:

The King of England went to France
To teach the children how to dance
This is how he taught them
Heel, toe, over you go
Bow to the Queen
Salute to the King
Turn your back to the Sailor.

Games taken from: Opportunities for Youth Summer Project. (1973). Placentia area.

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This Page is part of a Historical and Cultural Web Site created by students of Laval High School, Placentia, NFLD (A0B 2Y0) .February/2000