TOY (an adaptation of Du. tuig, tools, implements, stuff, speltuig, playthings, i.e. stuff to play with, spelen, to play), a child's plaything, also a trifle, a worthless, petty ornament, a gew-gaw, a bauble. Children's toys and playthings survive from the most remote periods of man's life on the earth, though many so-called diminutive objects made and used by primitive man, sometimes classified as playthings, may have been workmen's models, votive offerings or sepulchral objects. A large number of wooden, earthenware, stone or metal dolls remain with which the children of ancient Egypt once played; thus in the British Museum collection there is a flat painted wooden doll with strings of mud-beads representing the hair, a bronze woman doll bearing a pot on her head, an earthenware doll carrying and nursing a child; some have movable jointed arms. There are also many toy animals, such as a painted wooden calf, a porcelain elephant with a rider; this once had movable legs,which have disappeared. Balls are found made of leather stuffed with hair, chopped straw and other material, and also of blue porcelain or papyrus. Jointed dolls, moved by strings, were evidently favourite playthings of the Greek and Roman children, and small modelsof furniture, chairs, tables, sets of jugs painted with scenes of children's life survive from both Greek and Roman times. Balls, tops, rattles and the implements of numerous games, still favourites in all countries and every age, remain to show how little the amusements of children have changed.
See also DOLL; TOP; PLAY; and for the history of toys, with their varying yet unchanging fashions, see H. R. d'Allemagne, Hisloire des Jouets, and F. N. Jackson, Toys of other Days (1908).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)