Toys, Games, and Other Fun Stuff

pencil logo

Click on the links below to view lessons.

Play is the language spoken by children all over the world, and toys and games are often an important part of this universal communication. Some of the first toys include board games that were invented as early as 4,000 B.C. in Babylonia. There's evidence that Egyptians played with stone marbles around 3,000 B.C., and Chinese children flew kites 1,000 years later.little top

Around the middle of the 1800s, dolls were among the first toys to be mass-produced in the United States. However, having time to play with toys was unheard of in 19th Century America. Usually, children were helping their parents work on the farm or they did household chores. If they had free time, they played with other kids.

little toy groupIt wasn't until the late 1800s that playing with toys became a popular way to pass the time. In most cases, they were created by hand from whatever was available. Things like rope, rocks, and scraps of cloth and wood became the raw materials from which kids made their toys and games. Creating from such materials was a good thing, because it encouraged them to use their imaginations.

The process also helped teach skills. For example, creating dolls out of scrap material and wool taught girls how to sew, and boys learned woodworking skills by making things like pull toys and Noah's arks. Playing games became a popular pastime as well, and kids still enjoy many of the games that were invented in earlier days. box of chalk

It may be difficult for you to imagine life without your favorite toys or even picture books, paper, paint, and crayons, but there are still millions of children the world over who must create their own playthings from whatever they can find. Many of them live in very poor areas, and reusing materials to make their toys has become second nature to them.

Although you may have lots of commercially-made playthings, you can create your own toys and games by reusing and recycling scrap materials, too. By doing so, you'll learn to become more resourceful, and it will help stretch your imagination. While you're having fun and learning new skills, you'll also be helping to save precious landfill space and natural resources. Visit to see how children from around the world use everyday trash to make toys.

Most of the activities that are featured at The Imagination Factory and in Toys, Games, and Other Fun Stuff are linked to sites that will add to your understanding or enjoyment of the projects featured here. At the time this material was created, all links were functioning. However, URL addresses change from time to time. So if you find a link that no longer works, we recommend that you visit the Google Search Engine to update the addresses.

Make Sidewalk Chalk
Play Catch
Scoop a Ball
Make a Mancala Game
Create a Snow Globe
Build a Rod Puppet
Make a Candy Box Guitar
Make Maracas
Create a Folk Art Doll
Tell a Tale with a Tangram
Other Fun Stuff


© 2008 Marilyn J. Brackney

Text and images may not be copied
without permission of the author

return button
Return to Main Web Page

yellow number 2 pencil