Holland Land Office Museum
Genesee County, New York
131 West Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
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Tuesday - Saturday
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(Closed July 4th)
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If your looking for some fun activities while the weather warms up, check out these fun and simple games that date back to the 18th & 19th centuries. There are many more examples of "Pioneer Games," but here are three great examples that will bring out the pioneer kid in young and old. You can find the materials and instructions below for: Recycled K Cup Ball Game, Pioneer Ring Toss, and Buzzsaw Pioneer Toy.
Recycled K Cup Gall Game:
- Coffee Pod or another Small Cup
- Washi Tape or Duct Tape
- Markers or Paint
- Large Bead
- Craft Stick
1. Use an empty and clean k cup/coffee pod or another small cup.
2. Decorate it with washi tape, duct tape, markers, or paint.
3. Poke a hole in either the side of the cup or use the hole on the bottom that your Keurig poked through.
4. Next is adding the string. Use braiding cord, string, or elastic cording to tie one end to the hole in the k cup. On the other end, tie a jumbo bead or something else of similar size.
5. Use a scissors or craft knife to cut a slit in the bottom. Poke a craft stick through the slit. Hold it in place with duct tape on the bottom.
Pioneer Ring Toss:
- 10" Wooden or Plastic Ring
- 4 1/2" by 36" Dowels
- Fabric Strips
1. Start by cutting or tearing the fabric scraps into four strips about 1.5 inches wide, they can be varying lengths.
2. Tie the fabric strips together. Tie one end to the wooden/plastic ring and begin wrapping the fabric around the ring.
3. Wrap, wrap, wrap the fabric around the ring, overlapping as you go. When you come back around to the starting point, tie the ends securely together.
How to Play:
This game is for two players. Each player holds two dowels, one in each hand. The first player places the dowels through the ring and crosses the dowels. Now quickly pull the dowels apart. (Imagine a movement similar to unsheathing two swords at once). You do not throw the ring. It is the act of pulling the dowels apart which tosses the ring.
Buzzsaw Pioneer Toy:
- Large Button
- Crochet Thread
1. Take a long length of thread, crochet thread works the best.
2. Thread it through both holes, until there is plenty of both cords on BOTH sides of the button.
3. Tie off the string
How to Play:
1. Hold the buzzsaw in both hands.
2. You then begin wrapping it over itself.
3. Until it has become tightly wound.
4. You then pull on the edges, which still have your fingers in them, and you see how many times you can get it to wrap and unwrap.
5. It is a simple game but has entertained me many an hour.