Victorian Day Activities
Often, when visiting schools for a Victorian school day, I get asked for activities that the regular teachers can do to complement the school lesson. Here are a few ideas.
Writing Handwriting practice was an important part of the Victorian school day. The Victorians were well known for their beautiful writing. You can print off a sheet for handwriting practice, or you can buy copybooks and handwriting books.
Drawing Victorians loved drawing and the teacher would often bring a flower or an insect or some other natural object into the classroom. The children would then draw the object, usually with a simple pen and ink or pencil sketch. This might be combined with a nature study activity.
Nature study A common activity for Victorian children, possibly more so in rural areas, involved looking for natural objects, creatures, and so on. This does not need to be complicated, and many items can be found even without leaving the school grounds. Think of different types of leaves, interesting stones or pebbles, small plants.
Make Your Own Victorian School A template is available on our free downloads page. Get your Victorian School Template here.
Make a Union Flag Use our handy template.
Make a Scrap Album Print out small pictures from the Internet and then assemble them into a scrap book. Scrap album making was a very Victorian activity, and would have been enjoyed by every child. We sell scrap books here.
Play some Victorian Parlour Games All Victorian children would have played party games and these are enjoyed by modern children as well. There are any number of party games, but a selection of Victorian and Edwardian games are found here.
Bake a Victoria Sponge Cake The Victoria sponge cake was named after Queen Victoria, who liked a slice of this delicious sponge cake with her afternoon tea.
Give everyone a Victorian name Modern names are very different from traditional names used in Victorian times. Each child could choose a name and then write it on a label or a piece of card. To finish it, perhaps it could be decorated with a picture. Find a Victorian name here.
Prepare a Piece All Victorian children would have a party piece, that they could perform or say when required. This might be a poem, a verse or so of scripture, some musical item they could play, or something they could sing. Modern children could be asked to find some poem or verse they like, and then read it or memorise it. If there is enough time, this could be worked into a performance that could be given before an audience.
Read a poem On a similar line, the children could read a narrative poem, taking turns with the verses. Poetry was used as a means of communicating information to the masses in the Victorian era. Try The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow or The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (about the Crimean War). For a "bad" poem try The Tay Bridge Disaster by William McGonagall.