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Colonial Homes for Kids Illustration

Colonial Homes

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For Kids

New England Colonies: In the New England colonies, most people lived in town. Each day, they would leave the town and go into the surrounding countryside to farm their land. As time went on, the little cabins they had built when they first arrived were replaced with houses in town. Houses were made of wood or stone or a combination of the two. The roofs were sloped steeply to make sure snow could be removed. Homes did not have a lot of furniture. Mostly, there was a bed near the wood pile for the parents, and furs on the floor for the kids. They ate meals at tables made of wood. They used pewter and clay to make dishes and utensils.

The Middle Colonies: The Dutch homes were a bit different. Their houses were tall, narrow, and made of brick. They faced the water whenever possible, be it the sea or a canal built from the marshy rivers. The beds were built into the walls like cupboards. Some people had leather chairs. The fireplace was decorated with blue and white tiles. And the boys and men ate their dinner with their hats on! It was the way things were.

Southern Colonies: In the south, there were very few towns. Farmers lived on their farms in farm houses, some nice, some not so nice. A few very successful farmers lived on plantations. The plantations had "great" houses, which were very large houses made of brick and wood. The planations had green lawns that stretched to a nearby river or waterway, and a great deal of land to grow crops. Some servants lived in the great house; others had homes on the grounds. There were small log cabins for the slaves. Some of the largest planters had private docks. This allowed them to import fine china, silver, fancy clothes, and books from England, and to ship out rice and tobacco to England. Life was very different in the south than it was in the New England and Middle Colonies. 

Explore Colonial Homes

Houses and the Land

Colonial Houses

New England Architecture (flash, interactive)

The New England Colonies for Kids

The Middle Colonies for Kids

The Southern Colonies for Kids

Daily Life in Colonial Times (games & activities)


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