There are all types of artefacts and role play clothes available to help bring the past alive and to make history an even more interesting and exciting topic for young children
A historical period will seem far more real to children if they are encouraged to dress the part and act accordingly.
Hope Education stocks a selection of outfits including an Egyptian costume with a blue collar with gold trim and a white bodice measuring 104 cm, priced pound;19.99. A pharaonic crown comes decorated with hieroglyphics and a cobra and is elasticated to accommodate different sizes, priced pound;18.95.
Hope's Anglo Saxon leather shoe kit contains a pair of leather shoes with twine and bone needles to sew together; one shoe is supplied already sewn, priced pound;19.99.
The TTS History in Evidence catalogue contains several authentic outfits: a galabaya - a traditional Egyptian shift - made in cotton and in child's size is priced pound;14.75. A child's size velour fez is priced pound;4.15. Leather slippers displaying images of Queen Nefertiti, in child's size, are priced pound;3.74. These are part of the company's Fair Trade scheme which filters money back into local rural and urban co-operatives.
The catalogue also contains a classical Greek woman's costume made from pure wool and cotton which comes with notes, priced pound;40. A classical Greek man's costume represents an Ionian Chiton (tunic) with a chlamydon for draping over the arm. Made from wool and cotton and with notes included, priced pound;35.
A Saxon man's outfit includes tunic, leggings, belt and hat and is cut to fit a wide age range, priced pound;41.60. A Saxon woman's outfit includes a longer tunic, plus a veil and belt, priced pound;40.
There's a touch of opulence in the TTSTudor costumes shown on our cover. The Henry VIII costume is based on a painting dated 1536 and costs pound;63.65. The Tudor man's costume is pound;58 plus hat, pound;7. The woman's outfit has a gown with under-skirt and farthingale and headdress, price pound;69.50.
Props and artefacts
The PortaDig from New Projects Forum is described by the makers as 'the hands on History experience' and it is designed to replace or enhance visits to local digs where children probably wouldn't be able to 'touch' anyway. The PortaDig module is meant to be a realistic representation of an archaeological excavation with multiple levels, post hole, trench and various moulded features and can be used either at ground level or on a raised base for wheelchair access. The module is large enough to permit small groups of children to work together but small enough to be comfortably used in the classroom. The PortaDig costs pound;45.
NES Arnold's Victorian Schoolday Set includes a resource and activity book containing all the information necessary to hold a school day with historically accurate teaching material and advice on appropriate behaviour; photocopiable source material, copybooks, 12 facsimile dip pens with a porcelain ink pot, two school text books, six slates and pencils and teachers'notes, priced pound;55.95.
An Ancient Greece artefacts pack from the same catalogue contains a Greek wax tablet and stylus, a wall plaque depicting Achilles dressing the wound of his friend Patrocle, two theatrical masks, a typical oil lamp, a set of coins and teacher's notes, priced pound;46.95.
In the TTS catalogue there is a Light Through Time pack which contains over 30 objects, including a Roman oil lamp, hourly candles, fibre optics and a 24-page teaching ideas book, priced pound;45.
Also from TTS comes the golden funeral mask of Tutankhamun measuring 24 cm high, priced pound;23.
The TTS Victorian washday range includes a sycamore peg dolly measuring 91 cm. This item would be used to plunge in to the clothes in the washtub and spin the dirt from them, replicating the action of current washing machines. Priced pound;43.50. The wooden laundry tongs have a galvanised steel spring and measure 38 cm long, priced pound;5.95. The carpet beater is a willow tool measuring 75 cm and may encourage some energetic role play, priced pound;4.95.
Hope's Tudor trinkets pack consists of a leather purse in which you will find a coin from each reign of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I; reproductions of a Tudor rose supporters badge and a Tudor key and Tudor thimble bearing the rose and an inscription, priced pound;12.50.
Articles of Antiquity Ltd, Resource House, Kay Street, Bury, Lancashire BL9 6BU (0161 763 6232, fax 0161 763 5366).
Hope Education, Orb Mill, Huddersfield Road, Oldham, Lancashire OL4 2ST (0161 633 6611, fax 0161 633 3431).
NES Arnold Ltd, Ludlow Hill Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 6HD (0115 9717700, fax 0500 410420).
New Projects Forum, Merle Wood, Letchworth, Hertfordshire SG6 3NF (01462 684200, fax 01462 670130).
TTS, Monk Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 7RL (0800 318686, fax 0800 137525).