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Exploring The World Of Playthings

Mar 2, 2008
Most often, toys are linked with children or pets, but these days, adult humans or even non-domesticated animals have learned to play with their own toys. Most mammals in their younger years play around with whatever it is that they find. Otherwise different things are turned into playthings such as rocks, pinecones and food. In most cases, toy items are manufactured for the purpose of playing. There are some toys, though, that are primarily produced as collectibles or collector's items, which, ironically, should not be used for playing.

How toys began entails a long, prehistoric narration. It may be logical to say that toys actually have a lengthy history of existence; perhaps as old as the civilization of humans themselves. What have been uncovered from ancient civilization cities are ancient people's versions of games and toys. In fact, these prehistoric collections have been reported in ancient documentation that can be found in the oldest forms of literature. There were excavated toys from the civilization in the Indus Valley in 3000 to 1500 BCE which included whistles appearing like the shape of birds, toy monkeys that slide down a string and little carts.

Centuries back, dolls representing animals, tools, infants and soldiers have been used, as evidenced by past and present archaeological findings. Where "toy" originated as an English word is not known yet, but historians believe that toys bearing similarities to what the present world has were first used during the 14th century.

For children in general, toys form an integral part of the learning process about growing up and gaining wisdom about the world. Young kids use and play with toys, which enable their bodies to grow stronger and healthier and their minds to learn effect and cause. Playthings also help little kids in their discovery and subsequently, assertion of their own identity. Playing with toys also becomes a way for children to practice their several skills in preparation for adulthood and in exploring personal relationships.

A set of blocks, considered as among the simplest and most basic toys of the current generation, is one outstanding toy that is used to develop even the youngest of minds. As these simple toys help effectuate hand-and-eye coordination, they also help build up kids' skills in the fields of science and mathematics. Playing with sets of wooden blocks also stirs the creative juices in little kids' mentality. Similarly, other simple toys like jackstones, marbles and balls, among many others, aid in child development. Generally, these toys allow children to use their bodies and intellect to learn about the world and their role in its existence.

Human adults also play with toys, although quite differently. This allows them to teach, reinforce and remember lessons during their youth, and strengthen and form even more their social bonds. Adults who play with toys consider their time spent as exercise provided to their bodies and their minds, allowing them to explore relationships with other individuals, decorate their homes, or practice certain game or playing skills.

More than simple amusement, plain fun or symbolizing innocence of being kids, toys represent people's ways of life. Significantly, their uses mirror the weighty influence they have made in life's most important aspects.
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