Play Parties and Games on Kansas Homestead

Entertaining was truly a team effort on a Kansas homestead, but play parties certainly set the tone.

| Good Old Days

As I am an old-timer, I want to tell about old-time play parties. They were enjoyed by young and old and were our main source of entertainment.

Usually young men or women in the neighborhood, looking for diversion and entertainment, would hit on the idea of a party. They would ride a horse or walk to a friend's house and ask, "How about a party tomorrow night?" Usually the friend would be agreeable, so off they would go to other houses until every family around had been invited. The parties were neighborhood affairs.

Sometimes at a party one of the guests would volunteer to be the host for the next party and he would issue his invitation to the group. If a new family moved into the -community, they would be invited, too.

Most homes were small and more often than not a bed had to be taken down or a table moved out to make room for the activities. The games we played were not much different from square dancing except that we danced to singing instead of fiddle music. We sang as we danced. None of us minded the rough floors made of native lumber. In the summertime we often played in the yard.

No one thought of serving refreshments – well, maybe a pan of apples would be passed around or at Christmas popcorn balls would be offered.

Most parents played the games with their children while others told stories or sang songs to the little folks. I had my father as a partner many times when Mother didn't care to play.

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