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Toys

A toy is an item that is used in play, especially one designed for such use. It is mainly intended for use by children, though may also be marketed to adults under certain circumstances. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can also be used. For instance, a small child may fold an ordinary piece of paper into an airplane shape and "fly it". Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors' items and are intended for display only.

The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century. Toys are mainly made for children. The oldest known doll toy is thought to be 4,000 years old.

Playing with toys is considered to be important when it comes to growing up and learning about the world around us. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults on occasion use toys to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, help in therapy, and to remember and reinforce lessons from their youth.

Quotations

"Toys are important parts of our past and can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. The act of children's play with toys embodies the values set forth by the adults of their community seen through a child's perspective. Playing with toys can also help a child grow up and learn about the world around them. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults."
- North Lincoln County Historical Museum

"The best toys are often the simplest ones -- like blocks -- because they allow children to be creative and spontaneous."
- Vicki Panaccione

"Children play with whatever they can find, such as sticks and rocks, but the golden age of toy development was at the turn of the 20th century. Wages were rising steadily in the Western world, allowing even working-class families to afford toys for their children. Industrial techniques of precision engineering and mass production made it possible to meet this rising demand. Intellectual emphasis was also increasingly being placed on the importance of a wholesome and happy childhood for the future development of children"
- North Lincoln County Historical Museum


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