What Toys Did Victorian Children Play With?

What Toys Did Victorian Children Play With?

Victorian children in poor homes played with homemade toys, such as dolls, marbles that had been used to seal drinking bottles and balls made from rags stuffed with filler. Wealthier children had access to manufactured toys, such as rocking horses, train sets, puzzles and board games.

Other popular toys for rich children included tea sets, toy soldiers and puppets. Some families were able to afford visually-stimulating toys for their children, such as kaleidoscopes and toys that created moving pictures. Board games included checkers, chess and Snakes and Ladders.

Children of all socieoeconomic levels enjoyed reading books. They also played soccer at school, which was encouraged by teachers.

Outdoor toys were popular with the rich and the poor. Hoop and stick was a simple, popular outdoor game. Skipping ropes, now more commonly-referred to as jump ropes, were used by all children. Poor children would simply use pieces of discarded rope that they had found, while rich children would have skipping ropes with carved handles. Team games were encouraged to build character, and soccer was a popular game. The less fortunate would use blown-up pig's bladders from butcher shops as a balls.

Many children were not allowed to play with toys on Sundays, except for toys with religious themes, such as Noah's Ark sets.