Salem to China: Life on Land and Sea  1784 - 1820

Jenny and Pauline’s Third Grade

What was it like to be eight or nine years old?

Boys and girls played a lot of the same games that we play today.  They played checkers, tops, dominoes, pick-up sticks, Jacob’s Ladder, Backgammon, Jack’s, tops, fox and geese, yoyo, rings, hopscotch and marbles.  Mazes were made by the parents in the fields to keep young kids busy while parents ate and drank.


Children had to bring their beds upstairs to the loft on cold nights.  When it got too hot, they had to go down to their room.  Boys chopped wood.  They pulled up tree stumps to make room for fields.  They also worked in the garden.  They have a lot more chores than us.  They made bridges.  A boy named Noah Blake helped his father make a bridge and got the bridge named after him.

                                  by Anna and Emmaline

Text Box:

Playing Jacks

Think you are good at doing two things at once?  In this game, you must bounce AND catch a ball, while picking up small metal or stone objects.  Sound tricky?  Read on to find out how to play….


To play this game, you can use either 6 6-pointed metal jacks or 6 small stones and a small bouncy ball.  You play with two or more people on a smooth floor or ground.  To start the game, a player tosses the ball into the air, scatters the jacks, and catches the ball on one bounce.  The player wants the jacks to land pretty close together, but not so close that they’re hard to pick up one at a time.  Even if he doesn’t like the way they landed, he must play the jacks where they are.


GAME 1:  Onesies, Twosies


Start the game by bouncing the ball and scattering the jacks, as described above.  For onesies, the first player tosses the ball again, picks up one jack, and then catches the ball on one bounce with the same hand.  Player 1 then puts the jack in the other hand and repeats the play, again picking up one jack.  Player 1 continues until all six jacks have been picked up one at a time.  If the ball bounces more than once, or the jack is not picked up, the player looses her turn and the next player tries their hand at the game.


For twosies, you repeat everything just like before, but you must pick up two jacks each time.  Then for threesies, the player must pick up the jacks three at a time!  Continue increasing the jacks to play foursies, fivesies, and sixies.  To win, a player must go from ones through sixes without an error. 



More Game Instructions