Toys, Play and Design

Key questions:

How are our toys different to those from the past?

What do toys from the past let us about how people lived in the past?

What were toys made of and how did they work?

 Curriculum Map KS1 Toys Play Design  Curriculum Map KS2 Toys Play Design

Session overview:

This session explores traditional toys from the past. Pupils will look at what the toys are made from, what they represent and who would have played with them in order to find out more about life in the mid to late 1800s. This is a very hand-on session in which pupils are encouraged to handle, play with and discuss the toys.

KS1 pupils will focus on similarities and differences between their lives and those of children in the past, including identifying differences in the materials used to make toys. Just like children from the past they will have the opportunity to make a simple moving toy (a thaumotrope) that doesn’t require electricity.

Older pupils will have more opportunities to explore the technical side of old toys, examining how they work and what they are made from. They will also get the chance to think more about what the range of toys available tells us about everyday life and society in the mid to late 1800s.

Session links:

To enhance what pupils have learned during Toys, Play and Design, consider adding one of these sessions to your visit.

1880 Gallery lesson or 1840 Monitorial lesson – As well as playing hard, pupils had to work hard. Find out what school life was like by experiencing a role-play lesson with a strict Victorian teacher.

People and Places – find out more about the types of people involved with the school and what their everyday lives were like by taking part in this hands-on investigative session that includes a visit to the Headmaster’s house, which was built in 1857 and is furnished to reflect circa 1880.