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Play in the Past and Present
  • Tess Evans
Tess Evans
Town of Wytheville Department of Museums

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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All aspects of children’s lives in the eighteenth century were purposeful. Boys and girls performed tasks inside the domestic sphere of the home as well as in the public sphere. Daily chores of chopping wood, taking care of livestock, helping with maintenance of the home, and buying supplies in town had to be completed to ensure the family’s survival. Leisure was allowed only after work was completed, and even then, children’s minds were not at rest. Playing with toys and games was not just for fun; these objects were meant to educate, which mirrors the philosophy that play could be used didactically to enhance children’s cognitive development.