Year 2 Comparing life in the Victorian days to today

  • Why did children go to work?

Many Victorian children were poor and worked to help their families. Few people thought this strange or cruel. Families got no money unless they worked, and most people thought work was good for children. The Industrial Revolution created new jobs, in factories and mines. Many of these jobs were at first done by children, because children were cheap – a child was paid less than adults (just a few pennies for a week’s work).


·         When did children start work?

Many children started work at the age of 5, the same age as children start school today. They went to work as soon as they were big enough. Even a tiny child could feed chickens. Older brothers and sisters took small children to work, perhaps to a factory at the end of the street. Other children worked at home, doing jobs such as washing, sewing, sticking labels on bottles or making brushes.


victorian style chimney sweep, a child chimney sweep,  hulton pic 05/09/2003



·         What was a Victorian classroom like?

There were maps and perhaps pictures on the wall. There would be a globe for geography lessons, and an abacus to help with sums. Children sat in rows and the teacher sat at a desk facing the class. At the start of the Victorian age, most teachers were men, but later many women trained as teachers.

Children wrote on slates with chalk. They wiped the slate clean, by spitting on it and rubbing with their coat sleeve or their finger! Slates could be used over and over. For writing on paper, children used a pen with a metal nib, dipped into an ink well.


·         How were children punished?

Discipline in schools was often strict. Children were beaten for even minor wrongdoings, with a cane, on the hand or bottom. A teacher could also punish a child by making them stand in the corner wearing a ‘dunce’s cap’. Another, very boring, punishment was writing ‘lines’. This meant writing out the same sentence (such as ‘Schooldays are the happiest days of my life’ 100 times or more.

images·         Toys in poor homes

Most Victorian toys were made of wood, paper or metal. There were no plastic toys. Poor children usually played with home-made toys. A clothes peg might be turned into a doll, and a lump of wood become a toy boat. A piece of rope could be used for skipping, and rags stuffed with sawdust might become a ball or an animal to cuddle. As a treat, families sometimes bought cheap factory-made toys from a ‘penny stall’ in the market.


CHALLENGE: How is your life different to a Victorian child’s?

48 thoughts on “Year 2 Comparing life in the Victorian days to today

  1. 1. The difference between the (Victorian times) past and now is that people in Victorian time make children do work but now children go to school.

    2. The really big difference is that now teachers do not hit children to discipline them but then they surely did in the past.

    3. Then in the past people did not have that many ornaments but now we have so many you can’t even imagine.

    4. In present time, people don’t have petrifying wars but then they had startling wars which could be really treacherous.

    5. In the past children had really boring toys made out of wood but now toys are being modernised as we have all electronic gadgets to play with.

    6. In Victorian times People were very underprivileged but now people have enough money to live their life happily.

  2. my life is different from a Victorian life because when they went to school they had there own desks where in these days in primary school we work as a team on tables . it also is different because in Victorian times they would be punished in school for making mistakes like being whipped with a cane but in these days you would be told do to do it again by the teacher . Another thing is that they didn’t have cars and they had to ride in an horse and carriage everywhere but only rich people would have fancy horses and carriage. They had toys made from wood but we have toys that are good quality and is made from good materials. They also would be punished for making severe mistakes like being executed but we wouldn’t have such a severe punishment because we would be dealt with the Victorian times they were very poor because they didn’t have much money or safe jobs to do and in our days some of us our rich and some are not. in Victorian times there would be children working from the age of five and they would do unsafe jobs like working in the mines however in these days we would not be working from the age of five but 18 and would be doing safer Victorian times they didn’t have much clothes and wore ripped clothes but we have nice fashionable clothes.

  3. 1. In the victorian days toys were made out of wood, but now toys can be made out of anything sensible.

    2.In the victorian days children got hit but now children don’t get hit

    3.In the victoian days people did dangerous jobs now they don’t

  4. My life is very different to a Victorian child. During the Victorian era, children were punished by strict teachers even when they do minor wrongs. The classrooms had seats, desks and chalkboards and teachers used to hit the children with a cane. Nowadays, we go to modern schools which have ICT equipments, touch screen whiteboards, carpet, colourful tables and chairs. If we are naughty, we go on the traffic light or behaviour books which is a bit strict compared to the Victorian days. So schools now are more organised, modern and beautiful.
    In the Victorian days, kids above 5 had to work 10 hours when they had holidays to earn money for their living. But nowadays kids are not allowed until they are adults. So compared with the Victorian era, children now live happier, easier and better life than the olden days were children used to live a harsh and cruel.
    Toys were made of metal or wood and most of them were home made. Parents used to buy cheap presents for their children from a penny stall, but nowdays the toys are very different because people buy them from toy shops which are sometimes expensive. Toys now are mostly made of plastic and they are basically electric and electronic. So nowadays, children are much luckier because they have better and more modern toys than the Victorians.
    I would like to live like a Victorian because life during that time was more difficult to live than now.

  5. My life is different because I do not have to work like children did in the Victorian times. They worked because people were poor and could not afford things or even food.
    They were paid pennies for their work.

    Children would get hit or made to stand in the corner when they got punished.

  6. A teacher could also punish a child by making them stand in the corner wearing a dance cap.Another very boring punishment was writing line.

    In Victorian classroom,children wrote on slates with chalk.

  7. Life in Victorians is different to our life. The victorians had to use a chalk board however we use electronic boards. They were very poor because they had so much less stuff that we have now.When they used to go to school they had a dunce’s cap. That is when you are naughty or if you spoke in your lesson or even if you got some mistakes. You would be sended in the corner and you would have to wear the dunce cap. Also the headmaster will have a rope/stick and slap you on your back.Most people are poor ,that could not afford to buy that many stuff or go to school often. Them people would want to help there families by going to work in a factory . They would do all sots of different stuff, be a slave and clean other peoples chimeny. Or make some pots and stuff. Most boys started when they were at the age of 5. Some people stayed home and cleaned and sewing or sticking labeld on bottels.They had no shoes or anything. Some people were not poor but could not give the money. If you look at us now we have so much more stuff then them. We have uniform and they did not and we had shoes.

  8. What was a Victorian class room like
    There were maps and perhaps lots of cool pictures also children wrote on slates they had no rubbers to rub out they had to spit on the slates and rub with there coats

  9. Q1) My life is different of Victorian children because I wouldn’t get hit when I am in trouble,when we are 5 we go to reception school,we don’t have wooden toys,our family is not cruel and if we be really silly we wouldn’t write school is great,school is great.

  10. In Victorian days children were working at the age of 5.
    There were maps and perhaps pictures on the wall
    Children were punished
    Most Victorian toys were made of wood paper metal

  11. you don’t have to work in 2016 but in the victorian days you have to work 6 out of 7 days. when you are in the victorian and you don’t pay your bills you go to prison and in 2016 you don’t have to go to prison.

  12. Because we have clean and they had dusty factories.
    Because we have really clean houses and they had dusty,bad houses.
    They had old,ugly toys and we have clean,beautiful toys.

  13. 1Meny Victoria children were poor and worked to help there families.
    2 My life is difrent from the Victorian days because l don’t go wo

  14. We have different toys.
    We don’t get hit on are hands.
    We don’t have to spit on are cote wipe the wipe bord.😍😍😈😈💄💄💋💋👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩👯👯💃💅🏼🐬🐈🐕🌸


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