Pastime - an activity that occupies one's spare time pleasantly

   This is a very enjoyable workshop where everyone has fun playing with historical toys and games - from the simplest Anglo-Saxon toys, carved wooden boats and horses, to Medieval whipping tops and puppets.

   This workshop is suitable as a space- / time-filling activity which can be hosted by a teacher / helper, if included in a half or whole day event.

   The board-games are hand-crafted and decorated by Glenn, with documentation produced by Rosie. (They are available for sale).

   In detail we look at the evidence for board-games, which includes archaeological finds of pieces (and in rare circumstances parts of boards) and references in literature, including manuscript illustrations. Then we split into pairs and each pair is given a board with pieces and a laminated rule sheet. The games range from very simple 'solitaire' type games to the more complicated tæfl games thought to be the fore-runner of modern chess. The rules are easy to follow and fully illustrated.
   Latrunculi and Tabula are the games used here.

   Carved wooden toys were popular with Viking children, while rougher games were enjoyed by the adults, such as leg wrestling and kubb.
   Nine Mans Morris and Hnefatafl are the games used here.

   As well as more board games (fox and geese to name one), there are such pastimes as hood-throwing, ring toss, and cup and ball.

Key Facts / Sources:
Ballinderry Board; The Exeter Book; Corpus Irish Gospel; Kitab al-Aghani; Taplow Burial; Dice; King Æþelstan; Alphonso X's Book of Games; Hortus Deliciarum;
5 years upwards Companion Workshop(s): Pottery
Suitable Hand-Outs:
Any from the 'Make Your Own . . . Games' range 'Games' Information Sheet
area large enough to sit around game boards