We offer a choice of Toys workshops (click the link for each listing):


In-School Day

Designed specifically for Key Stage One, our History of Toys Day allows pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of history through creative and practical activities, as well as hands-on experience with artefacts. We divide the day into four main sessions.

Travelling Museum

The best way to explore toys, of course, is through play! Explore toys from the past of various types, ranging from metal automata to spinning tops to wooden dolls. What are the toys made of, and how do they work?


The pupils continue to develop their historical detective skills by investigating the toys in our dig boxes. The session includes a strong language element and features cross-curricular links with mathematics as the children sort and classify their finds.


The children receive hands-on experience making their own traditional toys from a range of materials. This is ‘making and doing’ based on historical evidence.

(View our risk assessment of the day’s activities in a new tab.)


If time allows, the pupils design and create their own toys based on the work they have already done. From the ‘inventing bags’ pupils will pull out the components with which they can create their own unique toys and games.

Details of this and further information about the day are included in a booklet which is sent out prior to a booking. All the History Off the Page providers are experienced teachers and storytellers who enjoy working with large groups of children. Generally there will be a story told during the day.


How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: The number of children participating determines how many work stations our Teacher brings. Please recruit a corresponding number of adults (teachers, TAs, parents) to oversee the activities and the afternoon session. (Your booking form lists the exact number needed.)
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).

Please note that we still require adult helpers for in-school days. If this conflicts with your schools coronavirus policies, please let us know — a virtual workshop might be a better option for your school.

Virtual Workshop

Meet our Teacher Craig Hatfield and explore the toys in his workshop. Some are old, some are new, and many are made from different materials and played with in different ways. Can your children spot all the differences?

The topics covered during the workshop include:

  • The materials toys can be made from, including fabric, wood, clay and plastic
  • How toys are constructed
  • The different forces we use to play with toys, including pushing, pulling, twisting, turning, lifting and dropping
  • How toys developed, including tops, dolls and balls


How Does the Workshop Work?

The new workshops consist of two key elements:

  • A box packed with individual activities kits for each child in your group (plus a few extra, just in case). The kits contain up to six activities, which the children can do at their own desks.
  • A pre-recorded video made by our knowledgeable teachers that leads the children through the narrative and gives purpose to the activities they do along the way.

The workshops can take place in your own room at your own pace – we give you access to the video for several days, so you can rewind, replay, or break up the activities as you see fit.

Our school trials so far indicate that they can fill up to half a day.

For a small additional fee, you can also choose to add on an hour of “live” teaching time with one of our qualified teachers. This extra time, which takes place via video conferencing software, is a chance to add extra engagement to the day – the children can prepare questions, take notes from the answers, discuss artefacts and explore the materials used to make them, and generally probe further into the learning.

What Activities are Included?

The toys include a jointed bear made of card, a peg doll, a paper football game, a spinning top and a magnetic fishing game.
Some of the toys the children will make during their workshop.

As mentioned, each child will receive an activities kit to match the video. There are a few basic supplies such as PVA glue, scissors, and pencils that the school will need to provide, but otherwise the children will receive the necessary materials to make six projects:

  • A jointed bear from card
  • A magnetic fishing game
  • A spinning top
  • A thaumatrope
  • A tabletop football game
  • A peg doll

The workshop will also come with an information sheet for teachers, which will detail the learning outcomes, extra supplies that might be needed and possible follow-up learning.

How Much Does a Virtual Workshop Cost?

The pricing scheme is straightforward. We charge £300.00 for the first 30 children, plus £6.00 for each additional child (the costs are inclusive of 20% VAT, which the school can claim back.) Shipping is free.

The optional hour of video conferencing with one of our knowledgeable teachers can be purchased for an additional £60.00 (incl. 20% VAT).

How Do I Book a Workshop?

Please feel free to contact us by form, e-mail or telephone. Let us know the week you would like to use the workshop, and whether you would like the optional live teaching time, and we are happy to help.

Since the virtual workshops do not depend on our diary, there is no limit on when they can be ordered. Once full payment is received, we can turn them around and get them into schools within days. (Or they can be ordered well ahead and delivery scheduled – it is very flexible.)