|Day in the Life|
|Cooking & Cleaning|
|Heating & Lighting|
Families were large in Victorian times and the homes of poor working families were small and often overcrowded. Children worked in the fields and factories to bring in extra money. At home there were lots of chores to do. Boys ran errands, chopped wood for the fire and helped in the garden. Girls were expected to help their mothers, especially on washing day, and look after the younger children. Sometimes they were kept home from school to help.
There was little money for clothes and shoes. Some children went barefoot and the younger ones wore ill-fitting "hand-me-downs". Even in wealthy families boys wore dresses until they were "breeched" (put into trousers) at the age of about 5.
For children in working families there was little time for playing and toys were home made. Games such as marbles, hopscotch, skipping and whip and top were played in the street.
Life was quite different if you grew up in a wealthy home. There were no chores to do and children spent most of their time in the nursery, where they were brought up by a nanny. There were toys to play with, such as dolls and a dolls' house, a rocking horse, a wooden Noah's ark and toy soldiers. Parents were strict and children were expected to be seen and not heard.