Fun & Games: A Collection of Children's Materials from 1740 to Present Day

Blue background with images of Mickey Mouse doll, world map puzzle, paper doll cut outs, and black panther comics, with the exhibit title Fun & Games.

So many children’s materials are thought to be just fun and games. While this is true to a greater degree today, historically books, games, and activities created for children were meant to act as a way to teach morals and skills that they would need as adults. In this exhibit, older materials are clearly exploring ideas of education and morality, while more modern items tend to be more lighthearted and playful. The idea of what was appropriate for children shifted at the turn of the 20th century, and these materials reflect the ideas on either side of that shift.

View a Virtual Reality Tour of this exhibit, as it was displayed in the Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room.

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