Display of toys and games 1890-1960

Toys and Games

Childhood remembered

There are various toys on display at the museum and they show a tremendous variation in quality. The porcelain headed dolls were extremely expensive: they were only sold in larger towns and cities and few families could afford such costly playthings. The ones at the museum belonged to the Gunns, a relatively wealthy farming family.

Most children played with cheaper toys sold locally: whips and tops, snobs, bowling hoops and skipping ropes.

There has been a resurgence in arts and crafts in recent years which has seen a rise in popularity of baking, knitting and the making of various decorative items for the household. Unfortunately, it is rare for toys to be made by hand nowadays but before WW2, it was very popular.

Parents used household items and recycled materials to fashion objects for their children, sometimes simple things such as peg dolls and other times more intricately designed toys or games. There are many examples of ingenious and thoughtful homemade toys on display, of which the fretwork Noah's Arkmade from an orange box, is a spectacular example.

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