Montgomery Parks Presents the ‘History of Play’

by MCS Staff

Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is offering a special program on the History of Play at the Josiah Henson Museum and Park on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from 12 – 4 p.m. The program is free with paid admission to the museum.

The event will explore how children always find ways to play and how games are formative in all children’s lives, even children who live in extremely difficult and dire circumstances. Stations with different games that have historic associations with Native American and enslaved children and children of the Holocaust will be on the museum grounds for children to play. Volunteers will help children learn the games and information will be provided on the role of the game in the group’s history.

  • Marbles were easy for enslaved children to make with clay, and they could find flat surfaces for rolling marbles on dirt floors or in fields.
  • Corncob darts was a game Powhatan Indian children played to practice their aim.
  • Jewish children often played cards when hiding during the Holocaust, such as “Snap” which could be played quietly.

The event promises to be a fun day of game-based learning for all ages, but especially ages 10 and younger. Registration is not required.

About Josiah Henson Museum and Park

The Josiah Henson Museum and Park is the first museum in the United States dedicated to Reverend Josiah Henson. Located on the grounds of the former plantation where Henson was enslaved prior to self-emancipating to Canada, the site includes a visitor center, a historic house with an attached log kitchen dating to 1850, and a 4-acre landscaped park with accessible walking paths.

Indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits throughout the property detail Henson’s inspirational life story, enslavement in Maryland, and the ongoing struggles for racial equality and justice. The park is part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.

Josiah Henson Museum and Park is located at 11410 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

Hours:  Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Admission: $5 (adults); $4 (kids, 6-17); $4 (seniors); Free (5 and under)


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