December 16

There are 9 days until Christmas!  How is your shopping coming along?  Long before the ‘must have gifts’ of the season, thaumatropes, tiddlywinks and whirligigs were all the rage!

Children of the Victorian era entertained themselves with toys and games made from natural products and left over materials, such as small bits of wood, pieces of string, fabric scraps, fragments of ribbon, and corn husks. Wood was used to make building blocks and Jacob’s Ladders. Pieces of string went into thaumatropes and whirligigs. Corn husks were crafted into dolls who were clothed in scarps of fabric and ribbon. Games and toys like duck duck goose and dumb crambo required no materials at all!  Toys and games not only provided pleasure and entertainment but also enhanced many skills children used daily, including fostering a health imagination, strengthening hand-eye coordination, increasing physical fitness, and improving memory. Jacks and the ball in a cup game strengthened hand-eye coordination while hoops and tug of war increased physical stamina and vigor.

Cornhusk Doll, a favourite for Victorian Children!

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