While writing my Third Novel that is based in Classical Greece, I had to think about my characters upbringing, their parents, siblings, the city-states they lived in, and the different events that effected their childhoods. And then I realized, how did the Ancient Greek kids have fun? A lot of our evidence comes from pictures on pottery vases and artefacts.
Types of Toys and Games:
- Made from rags, wood, wax and clay
- Some dolls had moveable arms and legs
Rattles, Hoops, Yo-yos, Hobby horses, Toy wagons
- wool or apples
- made from rags or blown-up pig’s bladder
- made from ankle-bones of sheep or goats
- two players place a stone upright on the ground and throw other stones at it from a distance. The winner who hits the stone rides on the losers back.
- two players make a fist behind their backs and before they reveal what numbers of fingers they have extended, they must guess the other players number.
My favourite would be the ancient Greek dolls, not because I am a girl, okay, maybe it is, but one of my main characters from my Third Novel, Kleio, was given a doll when she was a child. I had to research what type of doll she had and what it meant to her. I will also mention something to you about the Ancient Greeks. Their religion was integral to the celebration of life events, for rites of passage – many people would know this. When a girl was about to get married, she would offer a childhood toy, usually a doll, to the goddess who protected her during childhood, Artemis. The offering of the toy to the goddess at her temple was a symbol of the girls transition of maidenhood to that of a bride, wife and mother. She was considered to be a nympha (nymph), a virgin girl, until she was married. My character, Kleio, looks upon the doll, and I as the writer, use it to trigger memories for her to reflect on. I’m still working out the description of the doll, but she does have moveable arms and legs, and I have a range of artefacts to help me write the doll’s description and features. You could just imagine little girls playing with their dolls in their family’s courtyards and at the marketplace.
Till next time,
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