1916 Children’s Play back in the Day

1916 Children’s Play back in the Day

Have you introduced the 1916 celebrations to the children in your setting yet? Our recent Early Times Spring magazine looked at ways to introduce children to the 1916 commemorations through play, long ago, and we have some examples for you below.

We know that children are interested in what other children do – particularly if we stimulate their interest by creating connections with them. The suggestions here are intended to get you started but we know that early childhood educators and young children are truly creative and were very interested in your ideas. We would also love to hear your suggestions, and invite you to share what you’ve been doing through emailing kjohnson@earlychildhoodireland.ie or by posting on our facebook and twitter accounts.

Photo courtesy of Bord Failte Eireann
Photo courtesy of Bord Failte Eireann from ‘All In! All in!’ by Eilis Brady

Merrion Square Play Day

Early Childhood Ireland are partnering with Dublin City Council and the DCYA to organise the Easter Monday Bank Holiday Play day. This will be part of Reflecting on the Rising celebrations, see more details about the event on the RTE website. It is very much geared at families and children – everything is free – and Debbie Mullen and Catherine Quinn will be the ECI representatives on the day

Discussion

Below are some questions that might be useful for discussion with 3 and 4 year old children. Remember – when we have discussions with children, we’re not looking for correct answers. We’re looking for their ideas and ways of thinking. That’s why we ask them open-ended questions and wait for their suggestions. It’s also a good idea to get them to draw their ideas – then they have time to think and to process and communicate what’s on their minds and in their hearts and as Educators we have time to listen to and note their thinking processes. Some of these questions involve conversations with parents and grandparents and community members – and so we generate more interest in what children are doing and learning.

What did your Granny and Grandad play when they were children, like you? Do they have photos to show you of when they were children playing?

What do you think children played long ago when they didn’t have toys from shops ?

How would you make things to play with – like a ball or a doll – or something you could ride on like a trolley – or a house or den?

What does ‘old’ mean – how do you know when someone is old?

Ready made shop toys play no part in these street games.Photo: Liam O Cuanaigh courtesy of the National Folklore Collection
Ready made shop toys play no part in these street games.Photo: Liam O Cuanaigh courtesy of the National Folklore Collection from ‘All In! All in!’ by Eilis Brady

Learning for Life Preschool in Lucan 

“We have been discussing the 1916 rising around the 100 year commemorations this Easter. We have made a model of O’Connell Street, including the GPO, Clearys, Easons, O’Connell Bridge and the River Liffey. We have been discussing Irelands Independence, and looked at the proclamation of Independence. We made our own proclamation for what we hope Ireland to be in the next 100 years. All of the children gave their ideas, and signed it. We have been discussing the differences between life 100 years ago and now, in relation to school, transport, toys, clothes etc. This worked well alongside the present general elections, as the children learned about how democracy works now, and that we all have a say in our country!

Below you will find some games and rhymes that you can share with the children. We have found the book ‘All in! All in!’ by Eilis Brady a very useful resource and it is  available from www.fourcourtspress.ie.

 

Ring-a-ring-a-rosie

Ring-a-ring-a-rosie,
A bottle full of posie,
A-sha, a-sha,
We all fall down!

Ring-a-ring-a-rosie Photo:Eilis Brady, courtesy of the National Folklore Collection
Ring-a-ring-a-rosie Photo:Eilis Brady, courtesy of the National Folklore Collection from ‘All In! All in!’ by Eilis Brady

Skipping Games and Rhymes

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
One  a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns.

Early in the morning at half past eight,
The postman came
Knocking at the gate.
I spy a lark,
Shining in the dark,
Echo,echo,G-O,GO!

Jumps

Apart from skipping a rope was also used for playing jumps-two are picked to hold the rope (or educators if young children) while the others line up. At first the rope is raised an inch off the ground (or on the ground), then raised once everyone has jumped over it.Anyone who doesn’t jump clear of the rope is out.The rope is raised higher and higher until only one person is left , and they are the winner.

Or another modification of the game which may be more suitable for younger children is that two children (or educators) hold the rope high so that children can run under it  saying Under the Moon, or they might lower it so children can jump over it saying Over the Stars!

Chalk

Chalk was used for a multiple of games either to decorate a flat surface for spinning a top, or to decorate walls,etc or to make an outline for hopscotch or a ball game.

Once there is chalk to be had no surface escapes. Photo courtesy of Roinn Bhealoideas Eireann
Once there is chalk to be had no surface escapes. Photo courtesy of Roinn Bhealoideas Eireann

I wrote a letter  
There are many different versions of this, but here is the one from All In! All in!’ by Eilis Brady.

A group of children sit in a circle with their hands behind their backs.Whoever is ‘on it’ goes around the outside of the circle and gives the ‘letter’ (or a piece of paper or a stone)  into someone’s hands. Nobody else knows who has it because s/he actually pretends to give it to each one, as she comes to them. During this part of the game they sing:

“I sent a letter to my love,
and on the way I dropped it.
One of you has picked it up and put it in your pocket. “

then s/he comes into the centre of the circle and pointing to different children says :

“It wasn’t you,
It wasn’t you,
It wasn’t you,
But it was….you!”

This child stands up and s/he is asked: “Give me  a loan of your fiddle,”

to which s/he replies: “There’s a great big hole in the middle.”

Then s/he is asked: “Give me  a loan of your pan,”

To which s/he replies: “Follow me around that way as fast as you can.”

S/he indicates from which direction s/he is to be followed. S/he is chased in and out through the circle until s/he is caught and the ‘letter’ recovered.
                                                              _______________________

For more traditional Irish games, songs and rhymes see:All In! All in!’ by Eilis Brady.

 Spraoi le chéile : Playing together: Traditional Irish games, songs and rhymes.

For more nursery rhymes see our web :

https://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/work/information-parents/resources-parents/nursery-rhymes/

If you have any examples  of play back in the day please email kjohnson@earlychildhoodireland.ie or by posting on our facebook and twitter accounts.

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