Choosing the perfect gift for your loved ones around Christmas can be a task fraught with many challenges, turning even the most aggressive Christmas lover into a Grinch. Always popular for children are toys that are educational but fun. Many cute and educational toys are often themed around the popular culture of the day, such as Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig. Pictured here are some educational toys from the Canterbury College Collection which strongly reflect the aesthetic sensibility of their time.
Puzzles featuring domestic images, a black and white domino set, and a set of wooden geometric blocks make up this collection, which are thought to have been used by either the Psychology or the Education Departments. The toys could have been used to assess children’s hand-eye coordination, simple motor skills or balancing. Generally, these tests might be aimed at very young age groups and would require that the child look for patterns or identify like shapes as a form of early mathematical learning.
The geometric blocks above are part of an educational game known as a tangram which originated in China. Children would look at a simple picture and try to recreate it using the shapes, or could just create an image of their own. The booklets which accompany the toys include instructions on how to perform these tests.
Treasures like this are slowly making their way out of departments and being lost to the University, taking their stories with them. Please contact us if you know of any items that you think might fit the criteria for the new stage of the Canterbury College survey project, or which illuminate the history of UC in any way. We would love to capture their stories before it’s too late.
Have a very Happy Holiday season from your grateful Collection Technicians Meredith and Kieran. We look forward to hearing from you all in the New Year.
Find out more about the Canterbury College Collection online here>
Contact the Canterbury College Survey Team here>