Toys have been an important part of childhood since early civilization and while children today are much different than those thousands of years ago, many of their favorite toys are similar to those that have been around for centuries. As long ago as the ancient Greek and Roman empires, children are known to have played with dolls, horses, and chariots. The earliest toys discovered by archaeologists were all made of wood.- toys for kids
Wooden toys continued to be a common part of childhood for thousands of years. By the 1700’s, German toymakers began to craft a variety of toys from wood to sell to the general public. Salesmen would travel around Europe to market the popular wooden toys, taking advance orders for special occasions and often for custom made wooden toys. Almost life-like dolls and animals were becoming favorite playthings for children all over Europe.
Over the next century, toymakers became more elaborate and detailed with their wooden creations. Wooden miniatures like dollhouses and theaters became popular during the 19th century, as well as wooden toy soldiers. Many wooden toys, like the classic Jack in a box, were hand painted with bright, vivid colors. Wooden trains, along with their wooden tracks, were one of the best selling toys during this time period.
By the end of World War II, a number of new materials had been introduced to the manufacturing industry including still popular plastic. The production of wooden toys steadily declined as more and more toymakers opted for cheaper and more modern materials. Plastic toys were much easier for mass production and were more affordable to families with children.
Today, wooden toys are rarely seen on the shelves of traditional toy stores but the charm and appeal of these childhood classics has kept a number of wooden toy manufacturers in business. A variety of wooden toys can be purchased online, from miniature appliances to small novelty gifts and games.
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