What are your favourite toys? What are they made from? How do you play with them?

Toys, games and play have been very important throughout history, and the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were no different! In this session we’ll look at the evidence for play in the artefacts we have in the museum.

Firstly, there will be an introduction to toys and play, with a knowledge sharing by the children on what they enjoy playing with in comparison to the toys and games of ancient civilizations. Concepts such as new and old, dynamic and static will be explored as well as the materials with which toys and games are made then and now.

The children will then have a chance to play with replicas of some of the toys as well as depictions of games and play on some of the pottery items we have in our collection, working in groups to draw parallels between them and modern equivalents. The session will include a craft activity to create an ancient toy to take home. This will either be a set of knucklebones, a game similar to jacks, or a discus.

Finally, the children will look at the animation of the Doctor’s Game, based on an excavation site near Colchester, and we will discuss the importance of games, toys and play in the context of burial and the afterlife in the ancient world.

This session last 2 hours.