Victorian Dolls and Toys – What did Victorian Children Play With?

Victorian children's toys
Victorian children's toys

The Victorian era was a time of great invention and innovation. This was also reflected in the toys of the times, since there were a lot of mechanical toys invented during this period, such as mechanical banks that would encourage children to save money. Money would be inserted into a slot and then a mechanical doll or dog would perform a trick.

Victorian children's games
Victorian children’s games

Victorian Boy’s Toys

Poorer Victorian boys would play with marbles, spinning tops, kites, balls and cheap wooden toys or paper home-made boats.

Poor Victorian Boys
Poor boys playing in the street
Victorian boys and toys
Victorian boys and toys

Richer Victorian boys would have clockwork train sets, soldier sets, wooden blocks beautiful rocking horses or hobby horses with real horse hair manes and spinning tops.

Victorian toys for richer boys
Victorian toys for richer boys

Victorian Girl’s Toys

Poor Victorian girls would have cloth-peg dolls, skipping ropes and iron hoops.

Richer girls would be spoilt with china or wax dolls, elaborate dolls’ houses with beautiful miniature furniture and tea sets. Drawing and reading was always encouraged.

During Victorian times, people became fascinated by toys that made pictures move.

Victorian Girl's toys
Victorian girl’s toys


Victorian Doll's House
Victorian Doll’s House

Where Can I Find Vintage and Antique Victorian Toys?

Often boxes of toys can be found when a family member dies. Often these toys are kept because of sentimental value and because the deceased wanted these toys to go to a good home.  Going through the attic or grandma’s stuff or even at garage sales or car-boot sales can yield some interesting collectibles that can be quite valuable and go all the way back to the Victorian era.  Also, besides looking online, look out for antique toys at collectors’ fairs and antique fairs.

There are many online stores specializing in Victorian collectibles and stores that buy and sell antique toys. An on-line search is a good place to start. Also, try looking out for antique toys at collectors fairs and antique fairs.