Children as young as three had chores to in Colonial Times. They would weed the garden, wash dishes, and feed the chickens. When they were about four years old, boys and girls would learn to knit so they could help to make clothes.
At age six, they were given their first real pair of shoes, and expected to work both inside and out of their home.
Children played an important role in making candles and soap. Their small fingers were a big help to picking the berries that produced the wax.
Everyone in the family helped make clothes. Children would gather ingredients to make dye. Girls and women would work on the spinning wheel, and men and boys created cloth on a loom. The women would then sew the cloth into clothes for the whole family.
Children in colonial times played ball. Their leather ball was stuffed with feathers. They had drums, marbles, hoops, popguns, tops and kites. Dolls were made of rags and cornhusks and there were wooden dolls that were for display and not usually meant for play.
In Colonial Williamsburg today, children in colonial costumes roll hoops, walk on stilts, or play a game of ninepins.
Boys and girls were taught that work was good for them. Most thought it was wrong to be lazy. Boys and girls worked before and after school and at night.