Kids learn about toys their ancestors played with

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Alex Pearson, 8, laughed as he held up the Jacob's ladder, a toy made of wood and pieces of ribbon.

Alex Pearson, 8, had fun trying out a Jacob's ladder toy with Adam Ewing, a Midland Valley High School junior, at Redcliffe Plantation's Children's Day on April 19.  Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Alex Pearson, 8, had fun trying out a Jacob's ladder toy with Adam Ewing, a Midland Valley High School junior, at Redcliffe Plantation's Children's Day on April 19.

"It is fun," said Alex.

The Jacob's ladder, checkers, dolls and marbles were some of the toys children would have played with 150 years ago, and they were part of the Children's Day events at Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site on April 19.

"We started this last year. We really just wanted to give kids a sense of what life was like 150 years ago," said Elizabeth Laney, an interpretive ranger.

Several hands-on activities were set up outside the historic mansion. At one table, children could play with the Jacob's ladder or games such as checkers; at another, they could make items that slave children might have played with, such as clay marbles and cloth dolls.

The activities also included a specially designed tour of the home.

"It focused on art, architecture and pets," she said. "The kids asked the smartest questions."

Redcliffe officials joined with two other organizations to round out the program. The Morris Museum of Art provided an art activity, and Nancy Carson Library provided a story time.

Deanna Pearson, Alex's mother, said she's always looking for hands-on events to augment her home-schooling of Alex and daughter Amber, who is in the fifth grade.

"I think things like this really bring it to life," she said.

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.


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