The Amish are well known for their work ethic. But all work and no play makes Amos a dull boy. I did an internet search of Amish games to see what I could find. AmishAmerica.com had an extensive article on the subject. Not all communities enjoy all the activities listed below, it depends on the customs and what is sanctioned in that particular church district. As Amish America states it, “Amish see leisure time as a time to both relax and to enjoy the company of friends and family. In this way leisure time serves to recharge batteries and strengthen community at the same time.” This is not meant to be a complete list, but a start to some of the activities the Amish enjoy.
Life on the Farm, is similar to Monopoly in that would-be farmers race to amass a herd of 60 cows. When you pass “GO” you collect your milk check of $100 per cow you own. See more about Life on the Farm at www.werfungames.com.
Dutch Blitz, according to the website, DutchBlitz.com, this is a fast paced game that will test your skills, smarts, and speed.
Scum, is similar to Uno with the object being to get rid of your cards the fastest.
Other Indoor Activities:
Letter Writing, many Amish family or friends begin a “Circle Letter” in which one person begins the letter, that letter and an address list of everyone who is participating in the circle is included in the envelope which is mailed to the first person on the address list. That person reads the first letter and then writes her own letter and includes both letters plus the address list in an envelope and sends that to the next person on the address list and so on. Once the letters have come “full circle”, you take out your letter, read all the letters, and write a new one. What a fun summer project for a bunch of cousins!
Reading, the Amish read the Bible often as well as their newspaper, The Budget, but they also enjoy good, clean fiction. Some also read Amish fiction but dislike if they are portrayed as uneducated or foolish. They are also unhappy with books that make the Amish bishop the villain. They say the mean Amish bishop is totally unrealistic.
Quilting, only after the household chores and gardening is done will Amish women take the time to work on the craft of quilting. Much of the quilting is done by hand but some Amish quilters use treadle powered sewing machines. Women get together to sew and assemble their quilts at a quilting bee, usually sharing a meal or snacks plus lots of talking to complete the quilts as a group.
Volleyball, Softball, Baseball, Basketball, Shuffleboard, Cornhole, Lawn Croquet, Cornerball, Hockey, a wide range of sports are played and enjoyed in Amish communities. Some Amish communities believe sports are best left to children and teens and do not condone adult participation. Amish in general shy away from the use of uniforms and competition in organized, competitive leagues. This is not to say that Amish do not play on any organized leagues, just that it is less common. Some of the sports listed are played more in one area than another, for example, basketball is more popular in Indiana and Ohio communities. Hockey is obviously most popular in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other northern states, whereas Shuffleboard is mainly played in Pinecraft, Florida. Volleyball is almost universally accepted and played everywhere. Softball and baseball can be seen on the playground of most schoolhouses. Cornerball is similar to dodgeball but played with a smaller ball. Cornhole is played with beanbags and is similar to horseshoes.