Lost Toys Remote Learning Activity

Remote Activity, from £55 per class, KS1

In this remote learning activity, the shopkeeper explains that some of his best toys have gone missing. The errand boy has mistakenly delivered them to his friends. They will list and describe the toys for the children, showing them the parts of The 1900s Town where he thinks they may have gone missing. This includes the bank, the garage, the Co-op, the 1900s Town street itself and outside the dentist’s and the music teacher’s.

Each toy will have a link to the area where it is hidden – through a character that would have been in that space 100 years ago. The characters’ names will give the children a clue as where they could visit to find a toy.

During this remote learning activity, the children will learn:

  • What toys were like for children in the past and how to play with them.
  • How shops, garages and other parts of everyday life were different or similar in the past.
  • What jobs people had in the past and how these differ today.

Please note that this is a remote learning activity, the supervisor with the children will have an active role to play to support them as they visit different parts of The Town remotely.

  • £55 per class for live one-hour engagement, KS1
  • £45 for the 10 toys sent by post (top and whip, yo-yo, cup and ball, flick book, Jacob’s ladder, poly glider, pick-up sticks, noughts and crosses, marbles and tiddlywinks), KS1 appropriate.
  • £100 for live engagement and purchase of toys for KS1

Guidelines for teachers:

Preparing for the Zoom activity: It is strongly recommended that supervising staff should test the connection between the museum and classroom before the session. Contact Simon Woolley, Head of Learning, email simonwoolley@beamish.org.uk to make arrangements for this. The Beamish presenter only needs to be able to hear the children in order to make the activity work. Some classes have used the chat facility to ask questions and say their answers, this can be typed in by the teacher as the activity progresses.


  • Use of an effective microphone has been beneficial but not essential to the success of the Zoom activity, otherwise children can come up to the laptop to ask a question or make a suggestion as to what to do, or the chat facility can be used. The supervising adult can communicate on the children’s behalf.
  • The information about where the toys are hidden and the character they are with will be sent to the supervising staff beforehand.
  • The presenter will set the scene at the beginning of the activity – the delivery boy has misheard his instructions and delivered the toys for free to all his friends in The Town area, everyone then needs to work together to get the toys back. The deliverer will visit parts of The Town, following the instructions of the children to find the toys, they will show the students how to play with the different toys, collect them in a sack and then move on. The presenter will be aware of the concentration levels of the children and will adapt the delivery accordingly. It may not be possible to find all ten toys during the session. The length of the session can be agreed with the presenter beforehand, it may be possible break the session into shorter lengths.
  • There may be localised school rules that the presenter may not be aware of regarding online activities for the children, it is important that these are discussed beforehand so everybody is clear about how the session will be delivered.
  • The supervising adult may choose to do the whole activity, finding all 10 toys, or decide to limit the engagement and reduce the number of toys to be found, according to the ability of the children. This can be agreed beforehand or the activity can be adapted according to the reactions of the children. If the supervisor wishes to concentrate more on a story or exhibit area then that can be done as the activity unfolds.

Outline of activity:

The presenter (in period costume) will start the session outside the bank on The 1900s Town street at the museum. They will explain how the session will be organised, introducing some of the concepts to be encountered. The presenter will briefly show the children the street scene and some of the buildings.

Then the shopkeeper will travel around the various exhibits, scanning what can been seen so that the children can help to find the toys. The children will interact with the presenter, asking and answering questions.

Objectives of the activity:

  • To encourage the children to use their observation skills to find the toys and to make associations with the present.
  • To understand the similarities and differences between various aspects of the past and the present.
  • To be able to solve problems with the presenter.

Ideas for pre and post visit:

  • Pre: Prior to the experience students should be told a little about what they will be doing. It might be useful to have the children in the room when the connection is tested prior to the actual session.
  • It would be useful if the supervisors could explore some of the toys before the session starts so the children are already familiar with them.
  • Post: Possible follow up activities could be:
    • For the children to make their own period toy in class.
    • Complete the follow-up worksheets on offer.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Telephone Simon Woolley, Head of Learning, on 0191 370 4011 or email simonwoolley@beamish.org.uk.

Book your visit