Toys – KQ5 – Who played with these toys in the past? and how can we know?

This is particularly suitable as an extension question for the older/ higher attaining pupils in KS1 if you are teaching this topic to a mixed-age class.


Learning objectives

  • Pupils are able to go beyond three generations to see people from over 100 years ago, beyond living memory, playing with very old toys.
  • They grasp that there is no-one alive now to tell us about the toys they used over 100 years ago.
  • They grasp that we have to rely on pictures and photographs to give us the information.

Important note:
Before starting your teaching of this enquiry pause a moment to consider the lurking tension between genuinely very old toys and modern reproductions that children may well have seen.  The best way to overcome this is to explain that these are modern copies but to focus primarily on seeing the objects being used in context.  This will cement the association with the distant past.  Don’t expect pupils to assume something is old-fashioned and antique just from its nature.  There has been a recent resurgence of interest in Victorian-style wooden toys which we need to be aware of.

Step 1

Start with an air of mystery. Inside your ‘feely’ bag

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