Games Played at the First Thanksgiving

Four old-fashioned games that Pilgrim and Wampanoag children entertained themselves with.

By Kimberly B. Capozzi



Cobb’s Castle. Place three large stones close together on the ground. That’s the “cobb.” Place another stone on top. That’s the “castle.” Step back and toss stones at the castle to try to knock it down. First to do so wins.

Hubbub. Similar to heads or tails, this Wampanoag game has kids bounce a bowl full of flat playing pieces — dark on one side, light on the other — onto the ground. You can play a version using a wooden salad bowl and pennies: A player chooses a side of the coin, and each time his side lands up during his turn, he earns a point.

All Hid is basically another name for hide-and-seek. Organize two mixed-age teams, pairing adults with young children. Choose an older child from each team to protect “home base” when it’s their turn to seek.

Foot races were very popular among young Native Americans. Pilgrim children most likely played versions of leapfrog and tag. Combine these traditions in an over-under relay race: Line up teams of at least 3 players. The first player hands an object — a toy, small pumpkin, etc. — backward over her head to the next player, who then passes it between his legs. Each player runs to the end of the line to continue passing the object until one team crosses the finish line.

Skill Boosting Board Games
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Trivia

Source: The Plimoth Plantation Museum in Plymouth, MA

Photo Credit: Media Bakery

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