Washday and toys

Outstanding KS1 history lessons on Washday and Toys in  the past.

Washday is one of the best topics there is for young infants. Whether you teach it as a stand alone topic or as part of a broader theme of homes, you will find that it excites the children and gives them plenty of hands-on experience. Artefacts are cheap and easily obtainable and there are clear modern comparisons to help consolidate the idea of then and now. Pupils’ ability to sequence will be strengthened by excellent lessons such as helping the Hopeless Mr Lather. Pupils of all abilities love the topic and many children with profound special needs respond very well. Many are fascinated as much by the language of dolly or posser, as by the ability to actually do some ‘old fashioned’ washing.

The topic on TOYS was completely revised in  June 2020 with its rationale, own planner and set of new enquiry questions:

KQ1 What are our toys like today NB There are no resources or activities for this as most teachers say they want to make this specific to their own pupils

KQ2  What are other people’s toys like?

KQ3 How can we tell these toys are old?

 KQ4 What were our grandparents’ toys like and how do we know?

KQ5 Who played with these toys a long time ago?

KQ6 Can we set up a Toy museum in our school?

There is also a great assessment task to diagnose whether the pupils have grasped the slippery concept of ‘old and new’.


You need to be logged in to view this content in full. Please Login or register

Teaching Toys to Key Stage 1

Toys is an obvious topic to select for infants. Not only is it appealing , at least initially, it is also one where you can find a good range of artefacts. Investigating these objects helps not only in Art and Science but also in Design...
Read more

KQ2 What are other people’s toys like?

This session comprises two very simple tasks: matching objects to the young children who would usually play with them, followed by a follow-up task, this time on the theme of wheeled transport where children have to sequence 3 images and match them to who would...
Read more

KQ3 How can we tell these toys are old?

This smart task complements the existing lesson on the site using ICT . Rather than re-write the whole lesson this is added as an extra task. Using slides 2-5 show pupils the pairs of objects - old and new versions of teddies, dolls, trains and roller...
Read more

KQ6 How can we set up our own toy museum?

This final KS1 lesson on the Toys topic cements children’s understanding of old and new in an interesting way.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils are able to make reasoned decisions as to what constitute old and new items
  • They can apply criteria to their chosen objects
  • They can...
Read more

Toys old and new: Sorting and setting

This lesson draws on some excellent resources you may not have come across, produced by museums in Bedfordshire and Warwickshire.  Not only do they look at old and new and then and now they also offer Venn diagrams which provide that extra challenge.  You will...
Read more

OFSTED’s report on teaching of Toys-outstanding lesson

  When the inspector entered, the pupils were sitting on the carpet around the teacher. She was gently exploring whether they understood the concepts ‘old’ and ‘new’ and the differences between the present and the past. The pupils responded very well to this. Virtually all were...
Read more

Washday in the past; helping the hopeless Mr Lather

The children will be familiar with the range of processes involved in washing clothes in the past.  They will have watched programmes such as Magic Grandad and will have explored a range of artefacts such as a mangle and a dolly-stick/posser.  The aim of...

Read more
KSH footer silhouette