Facts on 18th Century Toys & Games

Updated March 23, 2017

The toys of the 18th century were in some cases not that much different from the toys of today. While electronic devices and video games now dominate the toy landscape, a fair number of today's toys are based in part or entirely on popular toys from the 1700s. Growing up in the 1700s, depending on where you lived, meant that your toys were likely much more simple and probably crafted by hand.

Cup and Ball

You have probably played with a plastic version of this toy at some point. The toy consists of a small, wooden cup with a handle. Attached to the cup by a string is a small wooden ball. The goal of the game is to swing the small ball into the air and get it to land in the cup. Once you have completed the task, you can dump the ball out again for a new game.


You can use marbles to play a wide variety of playground games. While most people recognise marbles from their local toy store, marbles have been around for hundreds of years children played with them in the 1700s. Marbles in this time period were crafted with simple machines or by hand, as opposed to the modern factory method used today.

Pickup Sticks

To play pickup sticks, a lead player holds the sticks in one hand and drops them to the ground. This causes the sticks to fall in a random, overlapping pattern. From there, each player must attempt to remove one stick at a time without disturbing any of the other sticks. Should a stick be moved accidentally, that player loses his turn. The player with the most sticks at the end of the game wins.

Trundling Hoops

A trundling hoop looks a lot like a hula hoop, only players use it for a wider variety of purposes. You can use a trundling hoop like a hula hoop, or roll it down a hill or race it by pushing it forward with a stick. Trundling hoop toys and variations on the theme have been around for thousands of years and were a popular toy during the 1700s. You can also place hoops around one foot and skip over them with your foot while spinning them.

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