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24 September 2014
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Toys from Victorian times
Toys of the past

What did Victorian children in Leeds play with, when there was no electricity and life was harsh?

You might be surprised by what Victorian games are still played today!

SEE ALSO

BBC History Trail

Victorian and Tudor clothes

WEB LINKS

www.victorians.org.uk

V&A Museum of Childhood

Armley Mills Museum

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

FACTS
In the 19th century, opticians sold optical toys such as kaleidoscopes and zoetropes.

Victorian children were allowed to play with Noah's Ark toys on a Sunday. (Hampshire County Council)

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Hand-crafted toys

In Victorian times, children would not have the toys we have in the modern world. They had hand-crafted toys that were very simple.

Can you guess what the Victorian toys in these pictures are? The answers are at the bottom of this page.

Do you know what this is?

Some are toys we don't see anymore and some are still being played around the world today.

Can you guess what it is?

No electricity

The Victorians did not have electricity so they played with toys such as marbles, skipping ropes and various wooden toys.

What's this?

Many Victorian games are still used to model brand-new games. For example, there are now hundreds of different games you can play with marbles, including collecting stylish and trendy coloured marbles.

Can you name this toy?

Activity games

Victorians also played activity games such as Hunt The Ring, Follow The Leader (still enjoyed by many children throughout the world), The Potato Race and Buzz.

What does this toy do?

Moving images

Victorians loved moving images, in fact they made the first ever cameras and moving video cameras. They invented toys like the thaumatrope and zoetrope, which work because of the phenomenon of persistance of vision.

What was life like for Victorian children in Leeds?

Answers: 1. pop gun; 2. ball and cup; 3. skipping rope; 4. spinner from spinning top; 5. acrobatic squeeze toy.

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