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Pioneer Games Classroom Visit

I was recently invited into a second-grade classroom. After a brief review of American pioneers, we began to talk about games specific to the pioneers. The children may have been surprised that some of their favorite games were also enjoyed by the pioneers.
As I took out props to show the children, I also passed around a small jar of buttons. I challenged them to find the cherries in the jar. 

The class was split into groups and each group visited stations around the classroom (and hallway).

Who's Got the Button?

The children quickly learned who could be sneaky and keep the button a surprise.


Since few children had experience shooting marbles, the ring was tiny.

 Wooden Toys

The children played with wooden tops, blocks, and the cup and ball game.

Hop, Step, Jump

Competitions of physical agility and strength were popular with the pioneers and the second-graders.

They were all enjoyed, but the marbles intrigued them the most. I wonder how many children went home to find that odd-sized marble they had always ignored until now.

The children were delightful and eager to learn about the games.

Visit my website to learn more about the large and small group pioneer and author visit presentations

Get even more ideas from my book The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter Guidet's full of rich history, deep discussion, and 75 activities. 

~ Annette Whipple
Annette Whipple is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at

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