Victorian-Era Toys and Toy Making

Maple Ridge is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2024. When Maple Ridge was incorporated in 1874, many toys looked a lot different than they do today. Plastic toys did not exist yet. Because toys could be expensive and hard to obtain, many made toys from the materials they had at home, and if something broke, they fixed them or turned them into something new.

Common toy-making materials in the Victorian era:

  • Wood
  • Bone
  • Metal
  • Cloth/Scrap Fabric
  • Yarn
  • Cardboard
  • Clay
  • Straw/Sticks/Grass
  • Ribbon
  • Lace
  • Paper

Common homemade toys in the Victorian era:

  • Dolls – yarn, fabric, wood, paper
  • Doll houses and accessories
  • Wooden figurines
  • Pull toys
  • Stuffed animals
  • Automata
  • Tops
  • Puzzles
  • Whirligigs and thaumatropes
  • Board games – eg Checkers, Snakes & Ladders
  • Jacob’s Ladder
  • Juggling balls
  • Ball and cup

For more information and inspiration, check out the links below:

Leave a Comment