Discovery Boxes are museum collections-based learning resources for use in the classroom to enrich your curriculum-based teaching. They include replica archival material, photos, videos and a variety of activities for pupils to do as a class, in groups and as individuals. Many boxes also include real and replica objects.

We have built key areas of the curriculum into these resources so that schools can introduce aspects of history, local history and art into their classroom learning with ease, and importantly, fun! Each Discovery Box covers a specific theme, and within it, a number of curriculum markers.

About this Discovery Box

Our Jobs and Domestic Life Discovery Box focuses on how people lived and worked in the past and how this differs to ways of life today. The four activities include looking at artworks, photographs and objects to learn about how people in places like Salford lived in the past. The main activity is a Victorian washday session where the children will have all the resources to try out washing clothes from scratch like a Victorian.

This discovery box covers a number of both KS1 and KS2 history and RSE curriculum markers. Three activities are designed for delivery in the classroom, and one for outside spaces.

This box contains the following objects:

  • Dolly tubs
  • Rugs
  • Rug beaters
  • Wash boards
  • Socks
  • Possers
  • Carbolic Soap
  • Graters
  • Yoyos
  • Jacobs ladders
  • Acrobatic Monkeys
  • Cup and Balls
  • Clog
  • Apron
  • Donkey stone

Curriculum Links


  • Pupils will develop an awareness of the past using common words and phrases relating to the passage of time. They will identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.

KS1 and KS2

  • Pupils will form an understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends and create their own accounts including written narratives and analyses.
  • Pupils will consider emotions, both of people from the past and how this impacts their own, thus opening the doors to conversations around empathy and wellbeing
  • Pupils will spend time outdoors, contributing to physical and mental wellbeing

Make an Enquiry

Please submit your enquiry by emailing the Learning Team at

Please include as many details as possible, including:

  • School name and postcode
  • Contact number and email
  • Which session/Discovery Box you are enquiring about
  • Information about year group, number of pupils and any other relevant information
  • When you would like to visit or book
  • Any other questions you may have

Once you have booked, we will send you a confirmation letter via email.

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How Do Discovery Boxes Work?

Discovery Boxes are collected from and returned to Salford Museum and Art Gallery. The loan lasts for a half term, and costs £50 per box.

The contents of each box varies – please look at the specific box you would like to borrow for a list of contents. All resources include photographs and hands-on learning resources, as well as practical activities for the classroom and outside. Further supporting material for teachers, including resource-specific videos, downloads and activities, will be made available at the start of the loan period via our SeeSaw online school platform.

To find out more and make a booking, please complete the Enquiry form on this page!