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Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 1
  • Subjects: English, History, Science
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: Museum of Liverpool
  • Free


Our session uses original and replica toys from the Museum of Liverpool’s handling collection to examine toys that parents and grandparents played with.

This session can be booked Monday to Friday at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm.

Further details

school children with a doll and a Mr Potato Head toy

© Paula Parker

The Toys session begins with considering favourite toys and introducing chronology through investigating the Toys timeline in the History Detectives gallery. Differences in materials, design and technology are explored and how these provide clues about their age.  Moving toys are then positioned on a mini timeline.

Pupils use their knowledge of materials, technology and design to help sort old and new toys from a toy box which needs reorganising. 

The session finishes with an opportunity for free play.  Pupils are encouraged to choose their favourite toy and explain their choice. 

Curriculum links

Key Stage 1 - History

  • events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.

Key Stage 1 - Science: Everyday materials

  • distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made.
  • identify and name a variety of everyday materials, including wood, plastic, glass, metal, water, and rock.
  • describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

Key Stage 1 - English: Spoken language

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.
  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • explore ‘old’ and ‘new’ and the differences between them.
  • recognise that toys from the past are different from toys of today.
  • recognise the differences between ‘old’ and ‘new’ materials.
  • understand and talk about the similarities and differences between toys of the past and toys of today.
  • understand museums can be used to find out about toys from the past.
  • decide if an object is ‘old’ or ‘new’.


  • ask questions of objects and use this information to form an idea.
  • speak about everyday objects in the past.


  • grasp that the materials toys are made from can help determine their age.
  • appreciate that some toys their grandparents played with when they were children are still made today.  


  • appreciate how people’s everyday lives in the past were different from their own.
  • appreciate that the Museum of Liverpool is an enjoyable place to visit.