All over the world, toys have always been a joy and comfort to children. Although the toy industry is always creating new and increasingly complex toys, the fact is that kids get the most enjoyment out of simple toys that test their own creativity and engage their imagination or their physical abilities.
Think about it: what is one of the best selling toys of all times? Answer: the Hoola Hoop. It does not get much simpler than a plastic ring, but everyone knows how addictive it can be to learn to Hoola Hoop correctly.
Of course, the history of toys goes back much further in time. In fact, some of the oldest artifacts found in prehistoric sites are stone doll figures. It is easy to imagine how tens of thousands of years ago little girls would carry around their favorite figurines and play house as they help with the daily chores… not too different than today.
Educational toys have also been the most successful toys, as well as a big help to busy parents. In 4000BC the first board game was invented, an early version of checkers. Three thousand years later, the first kite was invented in China. These timeless toys and games remain so interesting because they test children’s meddle, not because they are flashy and attractive.
Today, parents know that the toys that are the most attractive to their children at first are also the ones that get abandoned in the lawn three hours later. The mark of a good toy is something that reflects back the child’s own curiosity, something that can grow with the skill level of the user.
Tapping the human imagination is the key to entertaining and teaching children. The best toys – from past to present – make use of this bottomless well of excitement.