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TOYS

A toy is an object that is designed to be played with. Toys are entertaining and often educational. There are traditional toys—such as dolls, balls, and kites—and high-tech toys—such as electronic robots, remote-controlled cars, and game consoles.

WHY DO WE PLAY WITH TOYS?

Toys are fun tools for learning, and help a child to understand life and the world. Children can learn to share by having a tea party with a teddy bear, or use their imagination to transform a doll into a superhero in a fantastic adventure. Adults also enjoy toys, often because they have a hobby, such as collecting model trains or flying kites.

WHAT ARE THE OLDEST TOYS?

One of the oldest toys is the spinning top. The first tops were natural objects like shells and acorns. These later developed into clay tops like those discovered in the ancient city of Ur in Mesopotamia. Village squares in 18th-century England often featured giant tops that were played with for physical exercise. Yo-yos existed in ancient Egypt and in ancient Greece, where they were believed to bring protection from the gods.

SPINNING TOP

The most common top today has a mechanical plunger. Simple tops, spun between the fingers, require more skill to set off.

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