What Kind of Toys Did They Have in Olden Days?

Regardless of the definition of "olden days," most past generations of children had simple toys such as marbles, jump ropes and dolls. Victorian children, for example, relied much more on imagination than do children in modern society.

Children have always desired toys for entertainment, but in years gone by, only the wealthiest families could afford to buy something even as simple as a rocking horse for their children. In Victorian times, toys for families with modest incomes were typically handmade. Jump ropes, for example, could be either store-bought or handmade. Wealthy Victorian girls might have enjoyed imitating their mothers by throwing tea parties with their own tea set, and almost all girls wanted a doll of their own. For most, that meant a handmade doll, but for daughters of wealthier families, China dolls were popular.

As for boys, toy soldiers were a popular way to act out different war scenarios or battles the child may have learned about. Hoop and stick was a simple but amusing game in which children would see how far they could roll a wooden hoop with a stick. Finally, a game called skittles is the ancestor to our modern-day bowling. In skittles, nine "skittles" were set up on a table or on the ground, and a round hard ball was rolled at them, with the object being to knock down as many as possible.