Throughout the ages, toys have existed in many different forms. But every civilization has had one common bond -- a toy's ability to deliver joy and relaxation! You'll be surprised by some of the things you discover about your favorite playtime pasttimes in this very collection. One toy you know and love used to be used as a weapon!
The materials that a doll is made of tell the story of how long dolls have been around, which is to say, since the dawn of time. In ancient civilizations, dolls used to be made from clay, wood, twine, rock, bone and paper. In modern times, dolls were made of china, rubber and, most recently and most popularly, plastic.
Hula hoops have been popular for many years but their exact origin is unknown. In the past, they have been made from willow, rattan, grapevines and grasses, all because they are flexible and lightweight. Now hula hoops are made mostly from hollow plastic and measure, on average, 28 inches. There are people who "hoop," as it's called, for a living and to lose weight.
Just like a model train set, a model car is a replica of a car, built to scale. From cheaper Matchbox cars to more expensive, larger models, modern cars have gotten more intricate, detailed and collectible over the years. The practice of making model cars developed in the 1940's in America.
The first model train sets, called "carpet railways," became popular in England in the 1840's. Electric train sets were developed around the turn of the 20th century, in the 1900s. Train sets include locomotives, train cars, switches and all sorts of scenery and are built to scale from real train models.
Even though this toy might seem old-fashioned and primitive to you, paddle ball is still played in Hasidic Jewish and Amish communities around the world, because those cultures prohibit newer toys like video games. It is simply made from a rubber ball attached to a wooden paddle by elastic string. The point of the game is to hit the ball as many times as possible.
A teddy bear is a stuffed bear that was actually named for American President Theodore Roosevelt, whose nickname was "Teddy," in 1902. Bears were around long before that, of course, but they didn't yet have the name that made them famous. The name comes from Teddy's refusal to kill a bear during a Mississippi hunting trip.
Water guns used to be made of metal and rubber. Nowadays, water guns are mostly made out of plastic that comes in bright, visible colors. This is actually on purpose. It might be a pain to walk around with such an obvious water gun when you're trying to prank your friends, but it's the law. Water guns can't look anything like real guns, otherwise you get in trouble.
The earliest yo-yo dates back to 500 B.C., when the toy was made out of two terra cotta clay disks. It is pictured on a Greek vase and features a boy playing with it. The yo-yo was actually a weapon in the Philippines for over 400 years. Modern yo-yos in America became popular during the 1920's and remain popular today.