Australian Toys Activities

Using toys to understand the past

Australian Toys images can be printed to allow children to manipulate them in sorting activities or to cut out and paste into columns or diagrams.

Sorting and comparing

  1. Ask the children to sort the toys in the pictures in a variety of ways: things they still play with and things they don’t; toys made at home and those bought in a shop; toys they would play with alone and toys that require some friends to play too; older and newer toys.
  2. Provide pairs of children with a Venn Diagram template on which they can record their sets of sorted toys and record similarities in the centre.
  3. Children can make comparisons between two toys drawn from different dates, for example, an old doll with a new one or the cowboy toy with the rocking horse.
  4. Children can make comparisons between an old toy and one of their own, for example the board game and one of their own games.


  1. Each child can be given an image of a toy. Ask children to arrange themselves in chronological order, according to the image they have. For each toy discuss what generation of the family might have used it.
  2. Images can be organised as a display in the room to indicate a continuum, from the present to a long time ago.

Language activities

  1. Students can write simple sentences describing the toys, expressing the comparisons they have made or asking questions about the toys.
  2. The pictures could be used to stimulate an activity teaching verb tense, perhaps beginning with My Grandmother’s Toy Box objects and the characters mentioned in the story.