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13th October 2015

I have nothing but praise and thanks for Don and Kathryn regarding the experience they provided for our children. When I realised how very few older toy resources I had in school, I knew I needed to attempt to get someone in. With a quick Google search, ‘Toys in School’ was one of the first things to pop up – and thank goodness it did. It was everything I needed in wonderfully wrapped package!

We had two classes consisting of years 1 and 2 with 58 children in total on the day. Don and Kathryn started the day with an absolutely fantastic assembly which instantly hooked the children and got them interested (how couldn’t they be?!). A huge highlight was that they had taken the time to see what myself and the Year 2 teacher was wanting from the day and they seamlessly embedded our requests within the assembly – a great start if you ask me. Fortunately, this great start only continued to get better!

There were two elements to the day, the workshop where the children created a Victorian style toy and the toy museum, where the children could interact with a wide range of toys. Perfect for a school with little resources.

The toy museum was great in that there were no expectations set – enabling my year 1’s to simply look at and hold some of the toys. Under the careful and watchful eyes of my TA, the children realised just how delicate some toys can be. I thought it was excellent that there were two versions of the same toy; one in perfectly fine condition, the other broken. It was an excellent lesson for my children to treat toys with care and respect. 

As for the toy workshop, the children were spellbound by Don’s instructions. He was clear, concise and the children knew exactly what was expected of them from the beginning. A point to note was the emphasis on he put upon safety and ONLY using adults’ tools when an adult is present and happy to facilitate.  Great stuff!

The website told me that the children made their own toy… perfect as this is exactly what I needed to put a nice little bow onto my toy topic – however, I don’t think you can fully grasp how much of a role the children actually have in making their own toy – they do absolutely everything ! It was fascinating to see them drill holes and hammer things with such care and control – what an excellent moment for them.

An absolutely fabulous experience for all involved. It was a great opportunity to see the children in a different light. Excellent differentiation and as the teacher, I almost felt like I was cheating by not doing any of the work.

I cannot say a big enough thank you from the children, parents and myself for such a wonderful experience… But thank you anyway!


Laura Seeley, Shepley First School, Huddersfield

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