M&S Biscuit Tins

Discussion and activity ideas

This page suggests ways in which old and new images can be used with different subjects, as prompts for discussion and extension activities.

You can also download two PPT presentations - one containing all the images in this resource, and one featuring a simple interactive game of matching the font to the correct biscuit tin.

KS2/3 Art & Design

  • What do you think makes a good design? How important is the design of something like a biscuit tin in increasing sales of the product?
  • What age of customer do you think M&S is appealing to with the designs for its 2011 or Custard Cream tins? Why might these designs appeal to particular age groups, and are they the same for both tins? 
  • Choose your favourite biscuit and design a tin for it in the style of a particular decade. 
  • Different fonts are fashionable at different times - find ones that were fashionable in the 1920s and the 1960s.
  • Design a 'scary' font and a 'happy' font.

KS2/3 Design & Technology

  • What health and safety issues would you have think about when producing tins for food?
  • This M&S tin is in the shape of a book and it's quite hard to see where the lid is. A customer even made a model tram out of a very unusually shaped M&S biscuit tin! (see related links below). Design a container for sweets in the shape a toy. You can choose what type of toy, but you must show the type and number of sweets you are designing it for. 
  • Make a collection in your class of unusual tins or containers.

KS2/3 Food Technology

  • Choose a favourite biscuit and find out what ingredients are used to make them. What nutritional value do they have? 
  • Bake some biscuits yourself and ask your class to 'rate' them nutritionally. Think about what ingredients you could use to improve their nutrition rating. 


  • How has the food we eat changed over the last 50 years?
  • What kinds of food are good for our health and which ones are not?
  • Make a list of all the things you love eating and then compare those with your answers to the question above. Do they match?
  • We all like to eat some things that are not good for us, but which of these phrases best describes what we should be doing - eat as much as we can, eat a balanced diet, eat pizzas all the time, eat only cooked foods.

KS2 Citizenship

  • If we only ate food that could be grown or produced in the UK, what would our diet be like?
  • What are some of the issues involved in buying food that is not produced in this country?
  • Biscuits are made for different reasons, sometimes even for special occasions. What different occasions might biscuits be made for? For example, the Yorkshire tradition of funeral cakes.
Nutritional - providing the necessary materials (in food) to support healthy life

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