The Toys Portal

19th century illustration of a child playing with a toy horse and cart

A toy or plaything is an object that is used primarily to provide entertainment. Simple examples include toy blocks, board games, and dolls. Toys are often designed for use by children, although many are designed specifically for adults and pets. Toys can provide utilitarian benefits, including physical exercise, cultural awareness, or academic education. Additionally, utilitarian objects, especially those which are no longer needed for their original purpose, can be used as toys. Examples include children building a fort with empty cereal boxes and tissue paper spools, or a toddler playing with a broken TV remote control. The term "toy" can also be used to refer to utilitarian objects purchased for enjoyment rather than need, or for expensive necessities for which a large fraction of the cost represents its ability to provide enjoyment to the owner, such as luxury cars, high-end motorcycles, gaming computers, and flagship smartphones.

Playing with toys can be an enjoyable way of training young children for life experiences. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment and smart toys. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors' items and are intended for display only. (Full article...)

The Game of Cootie is a children's game for two to four players. The object is to be the first to build a three-dimensional bug-like object called a cootie. The game was invented by William H. Schaper in 1948. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association included Cootie on its "Century of Toys List" of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century. A "Cootie" statue was exhibited in Robbinsdale in 2018. (Full article...)
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Lego bricks encourage learning through play.
Lego bricks encourage learning through play.
Credit: Alan Chia

A construction set is a set of standardized pieces that allow for the construction of a variety of different models. The pieces avoid the lead time of manufacturing custom pieces, and of requiring special training or design time to construct complex systems.

Did you know...

Did you know?
  • ...that the travels of a shipment of 29,000 Friendly Floatees bath toys lost overboard in the Pacific in 1992 have been used to model the world's ocean currents?

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Toys categories
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Types:DollVehiclePuzzleTeddy bear

Industry:American Specialty Toy Retailing AssociationBirmingham toy industryInternational Union of Allied Novelty and Production WorkersKiddicraftPlay valueToy safetyToy storeToyeticWooden toymaking in the Ore Mountains

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