Meal timesIn schoolPlay and holidays

Play and Holidays

On Dover beach

Find out about the games the children played and the holidays they had. Read the fact file look at some original photographs then print the sources and try the worksheet.

What do you think?

  • Why do you think that the children would need a 'change of air'?
  • How would your day at the seaside compare with theirs?
  • What kinds of games do you play that do not need toys or equipment?
  • Do you agree that the losing side should 'take defeat in good spirit'?

Printable worksheets and source material:

worksheet PDF (12k) | source material PDF (227k) Download  Adobe Reader

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  1. It was important that the children should experience a 'change of air' during the summer and the homes tried to find enough money for a day-trip or a holiday near the sea.
  2. The homes had a holiday fund and money was often provided by organising sales or collections in the local town or village. They held Pound Days when local people brought in pound weights of produce or gave a £1 donation.
  3. Many of the children would never have seen the sea before.
  4. They would paddle in the sea, visit the pier, have donkey rides and picnic on the beach. Ice creams were a real treat!
  5. Some groups of boys went on a summer military cadet camp where they were instructed in drill and scouting. Prizes were given for the neatest tent.
  6. In the homes, the boys were very keen on football (see the photo) and cricket. This extract is from a 1908 edition Our Waifs and Strays 'every moment that can be legitimately spent out of the schoolroom and workshop is devoted to football and cricket. The boys are very enthusiastic and if not always successful take defeat in good spirit'.
  7. Many of their games were played without any toys or equipment. Games like oranges and lemons (see the photo), tag, blind man's buff and hopscotch.
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