Toy theatres (or ‘juvenile drama’) were hugely popular in the 19th Century, and were collected by adults and children.
|Scooped by Aidan Popely|
Oh wow I could have just linked to various pages from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Before we get any further, I want to say how much I reccommend taking a look at this site for idea for engaging history lessons.
This page doesn't have a huge amount of information about Toy Theatres, only a snippet, but it does have a template and instructions for making a Toy Theatre as well as a script based on Cinderella. As an activity in class, this is a wonderful starting point, but I would suggest actually completing the stage model once on your own to gauge the difficulty of building it for your class. I suspect it may be too difficult for the 6-8 year olds these suggestions are aimed at.
What's great about using this as a basis for the lesson is how broad you can be. While linking into history, demonstrating a kind of toy/ game that has fallen out of style nore recently, it easily cross links into drama and visual art and literacy outcomes are accessible if students write their own scripts. The scope of the lessons using this as a basis can be as wide or as narrow as you choose.
Seriously though, I cannot stress this enough: browse the museum website. There is so much on there to use as a spring board for a lesson, with other activities on other topics.