Story: Children’s play

Boys playing in the river, Dunedin, 1894

A group of boys play in the Water of Leith, Woodhaugh Gardens, Dunedin, in 1894. In the early years of Pākehā settlement older children were often expected to work, with school only becoming compulsory in 1877. As most adults took only a limited interest in children's play, youngsters made their own fun when they escaped from adult supervision. The outdoors provided many opportunities for adventure, entertainment and mischief. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, E. R. Williams Collection
Reference: 1/2-140627-G
Photograph by William Williams

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Children’s play - Traditional Māori and settler children’s play', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 April 2024)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 5 Sep 2013