So, what are toys really? Apart from generally being brightly colored objects, which sometimes move and run on batteries?
Toys are tools (not the kind of tools you purchase from a hardware store) educating children and training them for the life they will lead in society. For example: the abacus was invented to assist children with counting and numbers, and colored building blocks were (and still are) used to help enhance cognitive behavior, hand-eye coordination, and to stimulate creativity.
Babies are eager to learn about the world around them, wanting to experience every shape, color, texture, taste and sound. A favorite toy for babies is the rattle, whose sounds and coloring are used to stimulate babies’ senses. Toddlers can play with a wider variety of toys and as children reach pre-school age toys can really start integrating the learning of letters, numbers and language skills.
We understand how toys are used in present day, but what about in the past? Were toys used for the same educational purposes and integration into society?