Child's Play

About the program

During this program students will learn about what life was like for the Wentworth family and their servants at Vaucluse House in the 1860s.

Working as history detectives, they will investigate the bedrooms, kitchen, drawing room, scullery, and kitchen garden for clues that help them understand how a grand mansion functioned in the 1860s.

As well as exploring the house and estate, students will participate in a range of activities, to get 'hands-on' with the past.

These include:

  • doing the washing by hand in the service courtyard
  • completing tasks in the kitchen – such as polishing cutlery, grinding spices and churning butter
  • planting a bean seed in the kitchen garden (which they take home), and
  • sampling children's clothes from the 1860s in the family nursery

By the end of the program, your students will be able to explain how the Wentworth family lived and contrast that experience to how the servants lived.

Importantly, as they see how all the jobs were done without the benefits of running water or an electricity supply, students will also be able to make comparisons to how they live today.

To cater for large groups, the program also includes a teacher-led component that includes:

  • a walk to the estate's waterfall
  • a chance to visit the horse stables
  • opportunities to play 19th-century games, such as croquet, skittles, cup and ball, quoits, and hoop and stick.

You can prepare your group for a visit to Vaucluse House with an 'Excursion Introduction' listed under Resources. These introductions are suitable for teachers of children with ASD in integrated classrooms.

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030

Vaucluse House

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030
  • Restaurant
Cost (GST free)
From $165 for up to 15 students

See page details for the full cost scale


1 hour 30 minutes presenter led program followed by 1 hour 30 minutes teacher supervised game playing

Session offered
Monday to Friday
Maximum students
45 per session
Supervision ratios

The supervision ratio is 1:10 for primary groups and 1:15 for secondary groups. Teachers and parents attend free of charge at these ratios. One carer per student with special needs will be admitted free of charge

Additional visitor costs

Each additional visitor will be charged at the concession rate of $12.

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Students doing laundry in the courtyard.

Now and Then

As students are guided through the property, they discover that the household lived without the benefits of running water, bathrooms, electricity, appliances or paved roads