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The Virtual Museum of Childhood
Who can deny the magic that any childhood toys have, whatever period of History they come from?
From the Early Regency, through the Victorian and Edwardian periods the need to educate, amuse and entertain children, has given rise to a myriad of innovative and interesting Toys & Games.
When it slowly became apparent that children had their own special needs and interests, a industry was spawned to cater for the needs of doting parents. Before the Regency period, social rules for the Upper Classes and the middle classes that emulated them, dictated that parents although loving, should be remote and formal. Children of the poorer classes were simply set to work as soon as they were judged able.
In the late 18th Century new ideas about liberty, naturalness and companionship began to circulate. Out of this came the belief that "childhood" was a phase of life separate from "Adulthood". That it was something precious and magical.
With it came the idea that children should be protected and sheltered from the "problems" of society, at least for a while. They were encouraged and giving the freedom to experience the joy and beauty of the natural world, before been eased into a "career". Play became recognized as something desirable and with this change in attitude, a steady stream of novel toys and books became available. These were no longer designed with instruction and education in mind but were simply to entertain and be enjoyed.