Glastonbury children to experience Colonial games

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Aug. 2, 2013
Children participate in a sack race in a previous Colonial Games Day event. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The Historical Society of Glastonbury will present its annual Colonial Games Day on Aug. 15, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Welles Shipman Ward House. Children ages 6 to 12 are invited to play games that were played by Glastonbury residents in the 18th and 19th centuries, including sack races, stilt-walking and more.

Lin Scarduzio – the Historical Society's curator/program coordinator – said the event is organized much like a school's Field Day, and is coordinated by HSG docent Ann Kehl, a retired physical education teacher. “They will play games that the Welles and Shipman children might have played,” Scarduzio said. “Our kids [nowadays] seem to spend so much time in front of a computer, but Colonial kids didn't have that. They also didn't have a lot of money and a lot of leisure time, so they used what they had.”

Since an early industry in Glastonbury was making shipping barrels, children often used leftover hoops to play with. “They're a lot of fun to roll,” Scarduzio said.

One of the games is How Many Miles to Babylon, which is akin to Red Rover. There will also be Blind Man's Buff (which has been incorrectly misnomered as Blind Man's Bluff for ages). “Someone wears a blindfold and the blind person's name is 'Buff,'” Scarduzio said. “For some reason, it's come down through the centuries as 'bluff.' [In the game,] Buff has to touch one of the people who is dancing around him. When he touches somebody, they have to stand still, and he has to determine who it is.”

Juice and cookies will be served, and the events will culminate in the always-popular tug-of-war. Many of the games, Scarduzio said, are things children won't likely have the opportunity to try anywhere else. “It is a lot of fun,” she said.

The Welles-Shipman-Ward Connecticut River Valley Mansion is located at 972 Main St., in South Glastonbury. Space is limited and reservations are required. Children ages 6 through 12 are welcome.  Admission is $5. Call 860-633-6890 for reservations. More information can be found at

Let us know what you think!
Please be as specific as possible.
Include your name and email if you would like a response back.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the code without spaces and pay attention to upper/lower case.