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Milestones Museum

Follow up activities for Toys and Discovery

Old Bear story writing

Write a story about our old teddy bear. Who did he belong to? Where might he have lived? Does he have any friends – if so, who are they? Has he had any adventures? A good introduction to this task is to read the story of Old Bear by Jane Hissey, which links in very nicely with the museum session and could provide some ideas as a stimulus for this writing task.

Create your own class Toy museum

Children could create their own class Toy museum in a corner of the classroom. They could display some of their own toys and possibly some toys that their parents/ grandparents have allowed them to bring into school. Each of the exhibits in the class museum would need its own label giving information about the exhibit which the children could write. This links to discussing the different purposes of labelling e.g. a simple label to identify an object or a more detailed description giving further information about it.

Shop toy display

Set the scene that a local toy shop would like to make a display in their shop window of some really special old toys.  They would like to display three really old toys which are good examples of toys children used to play with in the past. Thinking about the toys children saw on their visit to Milestones they need to select the three which they feel best fulfil this criteria. They could then write a letter to the toy shop owner giving the reasons for their choices with illustrations to support their opinions.

Toys of the future

The children could design their own toy that they think children of the future might play with which they could draw and label with information. To do this they would need to consider which toys were popular in the past and which toys are popular today. Does this give us any clues as to what might be popular in the future?

Writing to the museum

The children could write a letter to the museum about one of their favourite toys, either one of their own or one they saw on their museum visit, explaining why they think it should be displayed in the museum. This should allow children to think about the value of toys and express their own opinions on them.

Comparing old and new toys

Remembering some of the toys they handled during their session at the museum, children could match up a toy that they now play with today with an equivalent toy that they saw on their visit. E.g. Compare our old teddy bear with one of their newer cuddly toys. How are they the same? How are they different? Which do they prefer? How can you tell which is the old one and which is the new one?

Memories of Toys

Children could interview their parents/grandparents about their memories of toys they used to play with when they were young and report back to the class. This would enable the children to identify similarities and differences between toys today and toys in the past.

Guess the Object – Twenty Questions

Children should work in pairs. Each child needs to be provided with a picture of a toy which they keep hidden from their partner. One child takes the job of asking yes/no questions about their partner’s picture e.g. Is it made of wood? Does it have any moving parts? Etc. The questions could relate to what the toy is made of, the way it moves, what it looks like, its design or its use. The aim is to ask relevant questions to help identify what the toy is by focusing on the properties of the toy.

Topics for discussion

  • Which toys that were around in the past, that are still around today do you think children might still play with in the future and why? e.g. toy cars, teddy bears, dolls ……
  • Which toys that children play with today might be collected in a museum for people to look at in the future and why? Children would need to explain their reasoning i.e. why might people want to remember one type of toy but not another?
  • Many toys have printed on their boxes a recommended age range to show who the toy would be appropriate for. Using a range of toys – old and new – children could discuss what they suggest the recommended age range for a toy should be and why.