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School holidays

Holidays from school were likely to be different depending on where people were from, whether they were from urban or rural backgrounds in Ireland. For the latter, the break from school often meant children were available to help with work on the farm or in the home, cutting turf, making hay or caring for animals and poultry. Girls might have been expected to help more with housework, cooking and childcare, while boys were required to help with cutting turf, ploughing or caring for animals.


  • Did you look forward to your school holidays?  Why/why not? 

  • What were you expected to do when you were not at school?

  • What games did you play with your siblings?

  • What skipping rhymes can you recall? 

  • Did you play hurling /camogie? What is the ball and the stick called? 

  • Did you play “tig” or “tag”, “the farmer wants a wife”, “blind man’s buff”?

  • Did you ever build a shelter?

  • Did you have any family days out? If so, what did you do?

  • Were you ever taken to the seaside or for a picnic as a child? 

  • Did you go blackberry picking or foraging for mushrooms? 

  • Did you ever go to stay with relatives during the holidays?

If you would like this information in PDF format to download or print please click HERE.