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Some History of Toys

Children have played with toys since ancient times. Archaeologists have discovered toys shaped like animals in dig sites at the Indus Valley located in India. Individuals have lived at this location since the Bronze Age.

Toys were often created to mimic items used by adults. Museums have displays of small bows and arrows, miniatureancient-toy-figures carts, tiny play dishes and other items. The most common toys found from the past are dolls.

Many children played with dolls made from clay, wood and stone. Some of the dolls are only rough representations of babies, children or adults. However, very complex dolls with jointed limbs have been discovered. It is evident that parents in the past realized the benefits of children playing with toys.

The Purpose of Play

Playing with toys helps children to learn. The brain of youngsters develops from cognitive learning. Children learn from their experiences while using the senses of sight, hearing, smelling and touching.

In addition, play assists children with understanding the interaction of people. Youngsters learn how to socialize as they play with toys. The abilities of decision-making, problem solving, reasoning and language increase due to play behavior. Toys also assist with physical development.

Eye-hand coordination usually develops faster when a child stacks blocks, throws and catches a ball, rolls marbles and sculpts clay. The brain uses the sense of touch to learn about texture and shapes. Learning to solve problems begins when a child works on a wood, cardboard or plastic puzzle.

Physical Play

The use of toys while engaging in physical activity is popular all over the world. Balls have been used in various games for centuries. There are simple activities such as throwing and catching a ball. Most cultures also have games that include a ball being hit by an object.

The object used fogirl playing skipping roper hitting the ball can be a wooden stick, paddle or others. Using a ball in rolling games is also common. A ball may be used to knock down larger items. Flat discs are also used for tossing games.

Using a rope for jumping and skipping is found in many cultures too. Physical activity while playing assists children in developing balance and muscle strength. The use of toys in these games teaches children how to socialize with others.

Dolls

Children all over the world love playing with dolls. The ancient Egyptians made this toy for their children. Wooden dolls have been found at Egyptian archaeology sites. Clothing was also created for these dolls. Traditionally only girls have played with dolls. However, in some cultures boys also play with dolls.

Representations of animals are also very common. These have become known as stuffed animals. There is a wide variety of stuffed animals. Most children own several stuffed animals. Action figures are also representations of the human body.

These are frequently made to represent popular characters from comic books, television and movies. Adults often keep the dolls, action figures and stuffed animals from their childhood. Many adults continue to collect these items throughout their lifetimes.

Ride On Toys

Toys that children can ride have also provided a lot of joy. Miniature horses made of wood were often created for play. A toy horse might be pulled on a platform, or it could rock on a curved device.

ride on toys rocking horse boyThese were created so that a child could mimic the actions of an adult riding on a horse. Parents often made other riding toys that looked like carts, coaches, tractors, wagons and other transportation devices.

Today these items are made of plastic or metal. They may move by using pedals or with power from rechargeable batteries. Modern riding toys frequently feature a special character from cartoons.

Children all over the world own bicycles of many styles and sizes. Younger children can ride a tricycle instead. Riding toys can offer a creative way for children to exercise.

Puzzles

Various puzzles have been used for play for hundreds of years. Puzzles can be made of wood, plastic, metal, cardboard and other materials. The most common variety of this toy is a jigsaw puzzle. This type of toy is usually on cardboard. Images of buildings, maps, animals, scenery and other objects are randomly cut in various shapes.

The shapes interlock to recreate the image. Solving a puzzle is educational and fun. It develops problem solving skills and lateral thinking. Interlocking the puzzle pieces increases eye-hand coordination too.

There are also complex puzzles that are made in a multidimensional format. They may be square, rectangular, round and other shapes. Multidimensional puzzles have shapes that must be interlocked correctly. There are also sliding puzzles that have pieces that are moved to make a picture or design.

Modeling Toys

Mimicking adult behavior is a fun activity for children. Modeling toys include play kitchens, construction sets, doctor’s kits, racetracks, miniature trains, beauty parlor sets and others.

These toys are all designed for children to pretend they are adults. Pretend or imaginary play is an important part of children’s brain development. Youngsters can imagine that they are adults while using these childproof toys.

Children learn how to socialize while playing with modeling toys. These activities are enjoyable for children. Children learn how to cooperate, and negotiate with each other while pretending to be adults.

Childcare centers, preschools and kindergartens often use modeling toys as an integral part of their teaching curriculum.

Board Games

Parents should find opportunities to interact with their children. An enjoyable way to spend time with kids is by playing board games. Siblings of various ages can also use these toys together. This type of toy has existed for many years.

Many cultures have games similar to checkers or chess. These games were traditionally created with wooden shapes and designs. Today board games are made of plastic, cardboard, metal and other materials.

Board games can be simple or complex. These games usually involve taking turns while selecting informational cards and moving game pieces. Board games can be created purely for fun. Educational board games are also available. Many board games also involve memorizing trivia.

Modern Toys

Children frequently request battery operated and electronic toys. Toys using batteries may have moving parts. They are often in the shape of robots or figures. Educational games can also be battery operated.

Older children can safely play with these items without constant supervision. These toys are usually interactive while children play with them. A battery-powered toy often has lights or makes sounds. Electronic toys are similar to battery-powered toys.

Electronic toys are plugged in a wall socket. These toys require adult supervision because of the dangers of electric currents. Most children today own electronic or battery operated toys.

The Reasons Children Receive Toys

Children often receive toys as gifts for various holidays or special occasion. Holidays include Christmas, Easter, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and others. Stores offer a wide selection of toys for all age groups and interests. Relatives and friends of children wrap toy gifts in colorful paper and attach ribbons.

Children enjoy unwrapping their presents. Many children also receive toys as birthday presents. These presents are also given by friends and relatives. Birthday parties are quite common too.

At these events, guests celebrate the child’s birthday with games, food, socializing and gifts.