Victorian Durham
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Toys and Games


At the beginning of the Victorian period toys and games were made by hand and were very expensive. Poor children would have played with second hand toys or ones made from scrap materials. From the middle of the 19th century factories starting mass producing toys and they became much cheaper to buy.

Popular toys for girls were dolls and dolls houses whilst boys were given model trains and soldiers to play with. Some Victorian toys were also educational and many wealthy children had 'Sunday toys'. These were religious and could teach them stories from the Bible, one example being Noah's Ark. Jigsaw puzzles with Biblical scenes were also popular.

All children enjoyed playing outdoors if they had the opportunity and toys such as spinning tops, hoops, marbles and diablo were popular.

Move on to find out about the Victorians love of theatre, sports and the arts.

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 Photograph of a wooden Noah's Ark toy.

Photograph showing a wooden Noah's Ark toy, a popular 'Sunday toy'. Copyright York Museums Trust (York Castle Museum). (Click on image to enlarge.)

Photograph showing selection of Victorian toys

Photograph showing selection of Victorian toys. Image courtesy of (Click on image to enlarge.)