How did toys and games change during World War One and the early part of the 20th century?

War changed children's lives - and their toys too. A toy cupboard in 1910 might have held a wooden hoop, a spinning top with a whip to make it whirl round, a skipping rope, a bag of glass marbles, a leather football, a rag doll or some painted toy soldiers and board games such as snakes and ladders or the new game of blow football.

By 1914, people could buy Christmas crackers decorated with Dreadnoughts (British battleships). Shops offered toy machine guns and a board game about sinking German submarines, called 'Kill Kiel'.

Teddy bears had been a new craze in the early 1900s. The German toymaker Richard Steiff made the finest bears of all but when war broke out, German teddies became unthinkable. British toymakers rushed to make patriotic British bears instead.

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