Victorian Children’s Games



King George V Coronation celebrations, 1911  Courtesy of Nottingham City Council and

King George V Coronation celebrations, 1911
Courtesy of Nottingham City Council and

Today, there is a very strong link between children and parks – playgrounds, climbing equipment, children’s activities of all sorts.  This was not always the case – parks were designed for adults.  Children were tolerated if well behaved. Middle-class children, supervised by nurses or governesses would have played with toys considered appropriate to boys or girls, and in a controlled way. For much of the 19th century, working class children had little free time for games as they probably spent many hours in the factories or other employment. Unruly children and ‘youths’ (teenagers) were controlled by park superintendents wielding a big stick.

This began to change in the 1870s/80s as education became compulsory (to the age of 10), giving children more free time away from work.  From the end of the 19th century, swings, see-saws and other play equipment were installed in parks, and children’s entertainments were organised by groups such as the Band of Hope.

The Victorian Children’s Games sessions will give 21st century children the opportunity to experience, hands-on, the toys and games used by their great, great, great, great (and possibly great) grandparents.  The session is being organised by Peter Hammond from Hands on our History .

There are two sessions:

16 July, 2pm, Queen’s Walk Recreation Ground

24 July, 2pm, The Arboretum



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