Colonial Games and Toys

Some Colonial Games and Toys That You Should Know

Brought to you from Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern MD, where vacation is both fun and educational.

Colonial Games and ToysDuring the colonial era, most kids had high responsibilities and lesser resources to play with compared to contemporary children. Also, the games and toys back then were less sophisticated than what we have now. In colonial times, children had to help with household chores, such as fetching water, sewing, caring for livestock, carrying wood, cooking, among others. So, colonial kids have less time to play. Nevertheless, during their leisure time, they still have some colonial games and toys that they often use to catch fun. Kindly read further to learn about the common games and toys during the colonial times.

  • Classical Games

Although less sophisticated, the classical children had toys as the modern kids do now. Most toys back then had educational values as well as helps develop the physical abilities of the kids, such as speed and strength. Tag, swimming, and ball games do not only improve the running and strength qualities of the kids but also prepare for the physical demands of adulthood. While some games are less physical, they helped enhance the problem-solving and analytical skills of the colonial kids.

  • Turning Chores into Competitive games

Although during the colonial era, the children had fewer toys to play with, still, they never shy away from engaging competitive games. Often than not, the kids would be seen turning their daily responsibilities into games and challenging one another to see who is the faster or the best. Duties such as fetching woods from the forest were usually turned into a game that tests speed and strength. Additionally, most families back then were extended families. Thus, kids often had relatives and companions to play with. Mostly, the kids would gather together to sing their favorite songs and rhymes.

  • Sport activities

During the classic days, kids used to create their own sporting events, such as leapfrog, relay racing, tag, “London Bridge is Falling Down,” among others. Also, there were seasonal favorites such as swimming and sledding. And back then, you would see kids performing jumping with a high rope and hopscotch. Most of these events still exist in modern times, and many are now competitive activities at the highest level, such as the Olympics.

  • Homemade Toys

The majority of toys during colonial times were either created by the kids or their parents. Some of these toys include dolls, archery sets, peg games, ball and cup, Jacob’s Ladder, and spinning tops. Most of them were practical and straightforward to practice. Also, hoops were very common among the children back in those days. Sometimes, you might see the kids running and rolling the hoops or tossing and catching them – it all depends on what’s common in a specific area. Colonial kids were taught how to aim and hunt wild animals when they grow old with arching toys. While the colonial boys preferred ball playing and kite flying, the colonial girls would play with their dolls or sew.

  • Dice, Marbles, and Jacks

Another colonial game back then is the dice games. Unlike the contemporary dice game, it used to be a simple game with repetitive rolls. Also, colonial kids loved marbles as they were used as the basis for many colonial games. Jacks and Wooden peg games served as logic and strategy games in classical times as one or many children can engage it at a go.


We are confident that many of the classical games and tops still exist in this modern time. For many years, most of the historical games have survived and evolved to become sophisticated events. You would even see some in international games and sports, such as high jumping, football, archery, racing, among others.

Visit Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern MD during your next family fun vacation.



Just For Fun

Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss in Southern MD

Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss in Southern MD

Learn Maryland HistorySummer vacation presents an opportunity for students in Southern MD to enjoy an extended break from the classroom. While this respite from routine may be a welcome change to youngsters, teachers frequently lament that valuable educational lessons seem to be forgotten each summer. Educators then face tougher hurdles when students return to school in the fall.  Learn below about resources that can help from Historic St. Mary’s City.

Such a phenomenon is dubbed “summer learning loss,” but it can occur during any extended break from school. Scholars have realized for some time that students’ rate of academic development declines during summer vacation. Oxford Learning, a tutoring and education training group, offers these eye-opening statistics.

  • Over the summer, students tend to lose 2.6 months of math skills and two months of reading skills.
  • Summer learning loss can be seen in students as young as six.
  • It can take up to two months from the first day of school to get students’ brain development back on course.

Summer learning loss, sometimes called “brain drain,” can be prevented. Proponents of year-round schooling at The National Association for Year-Round Education recommend a more balanced school year, where summer vacation lasts only 30 days and other school breaks are lengthened. In this scenario, the school year would still last about 180 days, but without the lengthy breaks.

Parents may prefer the status quo, and those who do can take several steps to prevent summer learning loss from affecting their children.

  • Encourage more reading. Schools recommend summer reading lists, but students should also learn to read for pleasure. Research from the National Literary Trust indicates reading for pleasure can improve reading attainment and writing, as well as one’s general knowledge. Historic St. Mary’s offers a fun reading list for children and adults alike.
  • Enjoy family game nights. Games can be customized to highlight certain skills that require reinforcement. For example, math-centered games that require counting or addition can strengthen generalized math skills. Problem-solving board games may help children become better critical thinkers. Just for fun check out this fun game offered from Historic St. Mary’s City: Build a Colonial House to  Be one of the twelve early colonists and build a house to suit you. But beware, you may run into trouble.
  • Make vacations educational. Add travel to historical sites or other places of interest to help history come alive. Historic St. Mary’s City offers education, history, fun and beauty all in the same trip. There’s something for everyone. When visiting new towns and cities, read the placards that explain important moments in history that took place in each town or city, making sure to include some thought-provoking areas of interest on your itinerary.

Here are a few activities that allow you to explore Maryland Roots.

You can:

-visit a Woodland Indian Village

-Go on an Archaeological Dig

-Solve the Mystery of the three lead coffins

-Create your own museum

  • Look for science moments. Trips to the seaside, parks and much more present myriad opportunities to learn about science. Children can stage their own experiments with items they find in nature, such as learning about tides, wind and water flow by sailing homemade boats.

Children need not fall victim to summer learning loss when their days are filled with educational but fun activities at Historic St. Mary’s City Maryland.

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Entertaining ways to prevent summer learning loss

Tips to travel without busting the budget

Tips to travel without busting the budget

Brought to you by Historic St. Mary’s City, where Maryland History, Learning & Entertainment  come together.

Travel TipsIf people waited to get rich to see the world, they may never travel to destinations near and far. Even though many people view travel as a luxury, there are plenty of ways to take trips even when money is tight.

In a 2018 survey of 1,000 people ages 18 and older, Bankrate found that nearly half of respondents planned to skip travel that year. Among the 49 percent of respondents who weren’t planning a vacation, 50 percent said they just couldn’t afford it. By prioritizing travel as a goal, cuts can be made elsewhere so there’s money in the budget for vacations.

Proper planning, research and a go-with-the-flow attitude can make budget-friendly traveling a realistic possibility. Here’s how to get started.

  • Maximize your card rewards. If you’re excellent about paying for credit card bills in full each month, shop around for cards that offer the most travel bang for your buck. Hefty sign-on bonus points enable you to rack up travel dollars after a set amount of spending. Those “miles” or “points” can be turned into hotel rooms, airline tickets, rental cars, and more.
  • Be flexible on travel dates. Set up alerts for when fares drop and be able to leave when rates are the lowest. Various apps, such as Yapta or Hopper, will send price notifications on flights being tracked. Keep your bags packed and be ready to go when you find your budgeted price.
  • Cut lodging costs when possible. Travel to destinations where you know someone and you can enjoy a few nights of free accommodations. Even two or three nights in someone’s guest room or on their sofa can save a few hundred dollars in overall costs. Airbnb and Vacation Rentals By Owner are some additional services that can pair travelers with price-savvy spots to stay. Hostels are dorm-style rooms that also make for cheap accommodations if you don’t need much space or luxury.
  • Travel a little to travel a lot. The nearest airport may not offer the best deals for your budget. Consider increasing your travel radius several miles and fly out of a different airport and even a smaller one. Also, when booking hotels, look beyond city centers or tourist areas. Rates decrease the further out you go.
  • Travel together to split the costs. Get a group together and maximize the savings, advises Credit Karma. You may be able to score group rates to events, or you can split the cost of a larger condo or home among all travelers.

Budgeting for travel and learning how to vacation for less can help anyone get away when they desire.

Plan your next visit to Historic St. Mary’s City Maryland 

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Vacation Activities That Won’t Make A Huge Impact On The Environment

Family Traveling and reduce Carbon FootprintEco-friendliness at home can also happen when you’re on vacation. Sure, there are some activities that you can’t really do if you want to reduce the carbon footprint you leave behind, but there is still so much you can enjoy. Now, you may be wondering what kind of vacation activities you can do when you’re being earth-conscious and eco-friendly.

Beachy Eco-Friendly Activities

Every year, millions of people go to the beach. They have to escape the fast-paced life they have back home and get a break from the winter cold. However, if you’re eco-friendly, you may think that beach activities bring harm to the planet. Actually, there is plenty you can do at the beach that won’t bring much, if any, damage to the environment.

For example, you can enjoy your time in the sand. It doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 22 or 52, there is something to be said about digging in the sand and having a good time. If you want to spend some time building a sandcastle or something else, purchase eco-friendly sand toys for the venture.

Be mindful though of other things:

Avoid walking where you’re not allowed. For instance, if there are “Keep Off The Dunes” signs posted, make sure to follow them. These things are there to protect the various species of the area. You may also see signs for “Don’t Feed The Ducks.” This is pretty self-explanatory.

When you’re using an outside shower to rinse the sand off your feet and body, be sure not to use any soap. Why? It’s likely the drain goes into the ocean. Using soap means the soap residue goes into the water.

Eco-Friendly Water Activities

You may think that enjoying the water means having fun on jet skis and a fast boat, but there are tons of other activities you can enjoy on the water that doesn’t leave a huge carbon footprint behind. What are some of these activities?

Kayaking – While many people consider going on boats to enjoy the water, a recent study discovered that boats can boost algae growth and take up the ocean or river floor. Both of these can lead to environmental damage. Kayaking, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy the water and get in some exercise too. No gas or oil can get into the water as well as no fast speeds that can disturb the environment.

Swimming – Another watery environment you can enjoy on vacation is swimming. However, you need to be mindful of what sunscreen you use. Many of them contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoaxate. When going swimming, use products that don’t contain these chemicals that can get into the water and destroy marine life.

Eco-Friendly Land Activities

There are many enjoyable land activities you can do that won’t leave much of a carbon footprint, especially if you pay careful mind to what you’re doing. What kinds of activities?

Camping – This is a favorite pastime for many people for all kinds of reasons – warm campfire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, S’mores, scary stories, sleeping under the stars, etc. There is so much to love about camping, and it’s a way for you to enjoy

Hiking – This is another activity that people love to do, but if you’re trying to save the environment, you need to remember this golden rule: “pack out what you pack in. What does that mean? It means you leave with what you brought in with you. Therefore, use a reusable water bottle and take any trash out with you.

Special Note About Hiking: If you’re hiking in a well-known area where paths are marked, be sure to stay on that path for two reasons – you won’t cause soil erosion, and you stay safe.

Now, when you’re out and about with the bugs, you may want to use a bug repellant to keep them off you. The problem with this is that many of them using a chemical called DEET in them. DEET can kill bioluminescent organisms and lead to neurological damage. Therefore, when enjoying these activities, use only repellants that have no DEET in them.

Leave The Electronics Behind…

And, it doesn’t matter if you’re headed to the beach, camping or out on the water, the biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint is not to take your smartphone or laptop with you. Anything electronic should be left behind when you can. The fewer things your car battery needs to “charge up,” the better off the environment will be. Are you going to bring an air mattress with you? Don’t forget the “foot” air pump.

Other Fun Eco-Friendly Activities You Can Enjoy On Vacation

There are all kinds of other activities you can enjoy such as:

• Walking or biking tours – These help you to learn about the area you are visiting, give you some exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
• Museums
• Wildlife conservatories
• Birdwatching
• Local parks
• Local farmer’s markets

3 Helpful Tips To Stay Environmentally-Friendly On Vacation

• Visit stores that work to reduce their carbon footprint.
• When you see trash while hiking, pick it up so you can throw it away later.
• Use reusable containers for your food and drinks.
• Again, any trash you make, you take.

When you go on vacation, you can still have fun and be eco-friendly. For you, that means doing your homework about the different activities available that promote eco-friendliness. And, if you decide that a staycation is the way to go, all the better!

If spring break or summer is right around the corner, consider checking out the Historic St. Mary’s City to book your next kayaking venture or other eco-friendly vacation activity. Despite what people may think, an eco-friendly vacation can still include a lot of fun.

Learn about Eco Friendly Vacations.

Eco-Friendly Vacation Activities in Southern MD

Eco-Friendly Vacation Activities in Southern MD

Inside this article you’ll find: Travel information, Activities to do, Enjoying Nature, Eco-Friendly Activities, Kayaking in Southern MD

eco friendly kayaking in southern mdWhen traveling and trying to reduce your carbon footprint while away from home, there are activities you’ll want to avoid and activities that are a must-do. Mostly you need to get out and just enjoy nature. Here are some eco-friendly activities you might want to give a try while on your next green vacation.

Eco-Friendly Activities at the Beach or Places to Kayak 

If you’re headed to the beach for your vacation, then there are some things you will want to keep in mind to make sure you don’t destroy the earth and the environment while you’re away from home and soaking up the rays.

  • Get eco-friendly sand toys for digging in the
  • When using the outside showers, avoid any kind of soap. The drain likely goes right back into the ocean. Use them to just rinse the sand off your feet and
  • Follow the rules. Signs like “Keep off the dunes” are important to follow. These are habitats for many different species, so be respectful. “Don’t feed the ducks” is another important sign to follow.Eco-Friendly Activities while Camping and Kayaking

Are you going camping? If so, here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. Yes, even while camping you have to take special steps to ensure you’re being as eco- friendly as possible.

  • Ditch the gadgets. It goes without saying that you probably don’t want your laptop and/or cell phone on your camping trip, but really the fewer things you need to run off your car battery, the better. So if you have to blow up an air mattress, use a foot pump.

Are you going hiking?

  • When you go hiking, stay on the path. If there are markers, follow these. Not only is this important for safety, but it also prevents things like soil erosion from happening.

Eco-Friendly Activities

When vacationing, no matter where you go, you should be able to find activities which make every effort possible to reduce the carbon footprint. Find the eco-friendly shops and museums which are located in the city you’re staying in. Check out local parks and wildlife conservatories. Look for sporting venues that might have taken extra efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

Take a hike or find a walking tour you can take of the city you are visiting. Bike tours are a great way to learn your way around the area, while getting exercise and learning the history as well. Visiting local farmer’s markets and birdwatching are all perfect things you can do that have minimal to no impact on the environment. See a concert in the park while on vacation.

When you take your trip, no matter where you go or what you do, always make the place cleaner than when you got there. If you see trash on your hike, pick it up and take it with you. Pack food in reusable containers. If that’s not an option, then make sure you carry out any trash you brought in.

Going on vacation doesn’t mean the environment has to suffer. If you can stay closer to home for your getaway that’s great, but if not, then doing your due diligence prior to your trip to see what kind of eco-friendly activities are offered in and around the area you’re staying in will help you maintain your green lifestyle even while vacationing.

We hope you’ll join us at Historic St. Mary’s City when you want to kayak on your next eco-friendly vacation.

Contact HISTORIC ST. MARY’S CITY for more information.