Children’s Toys from the Pioneer Era- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 8

By Ebony Porter, September 27, 2017, Family, Green

Pioneer times were tough, and we would never suggest life without modern plumbing, refrigeration, or electricity! But with the fast pace of modern life, some folks have decided to learn skills from bygone eras. This includes purchasing local products made closer to home with more care and quality materials, unhooking from technology, and embracing homesteading. In our Pioneer Life in the 21st Century series, we’ll help you embrace a few pioneer-like actions, create mindful moments, and perhaps save a few bucks, whether you live in an apartment in the city or a planned community in the suburbs.

Children’s Toys from the Pioneer Era- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 8 | Bounce Energy Blog

Plastics, electronics, gadgets that require batteries, and synthetically made toys are what most of our children play with today. But what did the pioneer children play with?

Simple toys we imagine, made from wool, wood, stone, and other fibers.

Follow along as we share tips on how to embrace toys of yesteryear, that require no batteries to operate, and shine in their fun and simplicity. Their material has a tactile feel, they are typically good quality, and are, of course, timeless.

An Old Fashioned Chalk Board

The one-room schoolhouse of the pioneer days didn’t involve overhead projectors. A large chalkboard hung at the front of the classroom. They were originally made of black or dark grey thin sheets of slate stone, and the chalk was made from sedimentary rock or a form of soft limestone.

Chalkboards are affordable, and you can buy them to easily mount on the wall. Many are both a drawing surface and magnetic. Chalks come in every color of the rainbow.

Use the chalkboard to draw pictures together, to practice math problems, to teach a child how to write their name, or a million other things. It is light years away from working on a tablet or a computer.

The tactile approach of drawing and writing with chalk is far different from typing on a keypad. And you might find your creativity is enhanced using this medium!

Children’s Toys from the Pioneer Era- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 8 | Bounce Energy Blog

A Simple Jump Rope

Scooters are the rage right now, and they certainly take coordination. But do you, your friends, or your kids, use a jump rope? With recesses these days getting shorter and shorter in schools, the school yard filled with kids jump roping is of a bygone era.

Pick up a quality jump rope with nice wooden handles and see how good your coordination is. Jump rope is also a high intensity workout. Ditch the plug-in elliptical style machines and go jump!

Wooden Stilts

The only place you’ll likely see a set of wooden stilts these days is either at an actual Pioneer Day, or in the circus. Have you ever tried to walk with a set? It’s a real challenge!

Forget the corn hole game at your next party and order a few sets of stilts. See how your friends do with them! It’s harder than it looks.

Children’s Toys from the Pioneer Era- Pioneer Life in the 21st Century, Part 8 | Bounce Energy Blog

Hoop It Up!

While we are on the subject of circus games, why not grab some hula hoops?

Not only are they used for hula hooping around the waist, neck, arm and leg, but you can use them to race with.

Grab your partner and two sticks from the yard, and start rolling each hoop down the sidewalk using the stick to move your hoop along – without letting it fall, of course!

Embrace Handwork

Learning to knit or crochet is great for the mind! It provides the space to mediate and ease out of a long day without having the television on, and you’ll be making something while you’re at it. It also crosses both hemispheres of the brain, and is a great activity for those of all ages.

Start simple and small if you’ve never knitted or crocheted before. Start by finding someone you know that already knits, and see if you can arrange a lesson. If you don’t know anyone, there are numerous tutorials online.

Children are excellent knitters and can absorb the lessons at an early age, lending themselves to a lifetime of this healthy and nurturing pastime. You could even barter for a lesson like they would have for goods in the old days!

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