Children Games, by Pieter Brueghel The Elder, Flemish Renaissance painter, 1525-1569.
While many of his other paintings also portray peasant folk culture, this summer townscape that is devoid of adults is rich in detail about Medieval children—especially at play. The painting provides a window into amusements and recreations in the past in its detailed depiction of some 200 children engaged in nearly 80 different games and play activities. Many (although not all) of the outdoor activities included in this visual compendium of 16th-century children’s play will be recognizably familiar.

Children Games, by Pieter Brueghel The Elder, Flemish Renaissance painter, 1525-1569.

While many of his other paintings also portray peasant folk culture, this summer townscape that is devoid of adults is rich in detail about Medieval children—especially at play. The painting provides a window into amusements and recreations in the past in its detailed depiction of some 200 children engaged in nearly 80 different games and play activities. Many (although not all) of the outdoor activities included in this visual compendium of 16th-century children’s play will be recognizably familiar.