Kids' Stuff: the Lives of Children's through Their Possessions opens to the public on Saturday, September 11. It illustrates the lives of children during the 19th and early 20th centuries by presenting objects important to children.
The majority of the material in the exhibit dates from the latter half of the 1800s to the first decades of the 20th century. Some of the games, such as Dominoes, Tiddly Winks and Lotto (a type of Bingo), will be quite familiar to visitors.
The Hallway portion of the exhibit presents a variety of toys and games that would have been used by boys and girls to pass their free time. These objects include blocks, toy cars and trucks, games, pull toys and banks.
The Red Gallery will focus primarily on dolls and miniatures, in addition to children's clothing and furnishings. This juxtaposition is intentional, as it allows us to link the real world of Victorian era children with the play world they created with their dolls and miniatures. It allows us to show that play was not simply idle activity, but that it actually prepared children in some ways for their future lives as adults.
Objects displayed in the Halliday Gallery expand upon the range of activities at which children played and include a working miniature oven, printing presses, a sewing machine and a toy boiler engine. Model trains fill one case, while a child's china fills another illustrating the very different worlds for boys and girls at this time.