Victorian Games

Have you ever wondered what Victorian children would do for fun? If so, carry on reading!

Children from the Victorian era would often be seen playing outside, toys and games would particularly be made from wood – no cheap plastic toys like in today’s society. As with any child, Victorian children would always want something new to play with. Richer families would be able to afford new toys but for the poorer families they would often make them from materials found around their home – this would be from dolls and wooden soldiers.

These cute little soldiers are made from wooden clothes pegs, fabrics and paint! You can even make them at home by following the steps below – crafty kids will love to get involved.

Things you will need:
- Wooden clothes peg
- Paints and brushes
- Glue - Black pompom
- Fabrics (optional)

1. Paint outfit onto peg – if you want to get more creative use fabric to create an outfit.
2. Paint facial features
3. Glue the hat (pompom) on to the top of the peg

TA DAH you have a Victorian soldier! - You can even make an army of soldiers and have a battle.

Many of the traditional toys used in the Victorian era are still used today but with some upgrades. The rocking horse and hobby horse for example – these were and still are very popular for imaginative play, who didn’t have one of these?

Although alterations have been made; the traditional rocking horses (on the left) look more expensive and we must all agree, much fancier than what you can purchase today.

Other popular Victorian toys include:
Cup and Ball
Pick up Sticks
Skipping ropes
Tea sets
Snakes and ladders
Spinning tops and yoyos

Although the wooden cup and ball was a popular toy in the Victorian era, it was first invented in France during the 16th century. The wooden cup and ball was first known as Bilboquet – It wasn’t until the reign of Queen Elizabeth that the craze started and became known as ‘Cup and Ball’. Pick up sticks was called Spillikins by the Victorians, it originated from Europe and often crafted from wood or ivory. The sticks are scattered onto a surface and the aim of the game is to pick up one stick at a game without touching or moving any other sticks. The winner is the one with the most sticks. In some versions of the game, the sticks were coloured and numbered, and the winner is the one with the highest points.

The Victorian times were very different to today, toys were very expensive therefore, they were often handmade, there were no cinemas, tv or games consoles, therefore children had to use their imaginations and make their own fun. They would often share their toys with friends and have competitions to keep themselves entertained. Victorian children would also play different types of games that did not involve toys, such as skipping, tug of war and football. All these games required little equipment; therefore, they were easy to play and they could usually find bits of rope around to skip with or play a tug of war.

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