The word “toy” is a word without origin. This could be because the concept of a toy is something that is as old as the first mammal. Most young mammals have a habit of looking for objects to amuse themselves or objects to play with. This is the same with human babies. Because of this trait, many people believe that toys are as old as the first civilizations. There is actually proof of this since toys, in fact have been found in archaeological digs or excavation sites of ancient civilizations.
The oldest toy made for the purpose of being a toy is a doll or a figurine. Often in the shape of an animal or in human form, these toys were carved or made from wood. Some other materials known for ancient doll making are sticks, terracota or wax. These ancient dolls were easy to make, and were often made by the parents or relatives of the child or by the children themselves. They could be as simple as a single piece of wood carved into a shape, or as complicated as a human form with movable joints and wigs for hair like they had in ancient Egypt. Apart from dolls, other old toys that have been found are whistles, carts, and toys that could move along a string.
As civilizations developed, so did their toys. These objects of play began becoming more complex, either by purpose or by material. The making of dolls and figurines went from wood carvings to being made out of glass or porcelain. They were also enhanced by clothes. Other toys evolved as well. Carts and whistles were made by malleable metals, and some toys developed simple spring mechanisms. Toys began being made by persons outside of the child’s family, and they were produced for sale. Toy making became an art.
Almost as soon as new materials were developed, toy makers began using these materials to make various toys. Rubber and plastics were used. More toys, such as balls were invented. The more toys were produced, the more they became popular among children. Soon, the manner in which these toys were used began evolving and sports or games were formed. The toy revolution forged forward and toys began becoming mass produced. Now, machines made the toys, and they could be made faster, which meant more children were given access to all these toys.
In modern society toys are still often sold in stores, only now the stores are large and specialized towards children. Toys can be segregated in terms of their benefits to the child, in terms of the gender of the child, or through other means. Some toys are battery operated, some toys need to be plugged in. Some toys are made for educational purposes, others for developmental ones. Some toys need computer chips or programs to work. No matter what it is, today’s toy is a smart toy.
Another new twist modern society has developed is that not only children play with toys. Nowadays some adults develop a lifelong interest in toys. Either for collection purposes, or simply because they enjoy toys, many adults buy toys for their own pleasure. Sometimes this toy buying is driven by nostalgia. Whatever the reason is, and no matter how much it evolves, one thing remains the same, and that is that human beings love toys.