A toy is any item that can be used for play. Toys are generally played with by children and pets. Playing with toys is often thought to be an enjoyable means of training the young for life in human society. Different materials are used to make toys enjoyable to both young and old. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can also be used. For instance, a small child may pick up a household item and "fly" it through the air as to pretend that it is an airplane. Another consideration is interactive digital entertainment. Some toys are produced primarily as collector's items and are intended for display only.
The origin of toys is prehistoric; dolls representing infants, animals, and soldiers, as well as representations of tools used by adults are readily found at archaeological sites. The origin of the word "toy" is unknown, but it is believed that it was first used in the 14th century.
Toys, and play in general, are important when it comes to growing up and learning about the world around us. The young use toys and play to discover their identity, help their bodies grow strong, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, and practice skills they will need as adults. Adults use toys and play to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, remember and reinforce lessons from their youth, discover their identity, exercise their minds and bodies, explore relationships, practice skills, and decorate their living spaces.
Famous quotes containing the word toy:
“In the great department store of life, baseball is the toy department.”
—Los Angeles Sportscaster. quoted in Independent Magazine (London, Sept. 28, 1991)
“Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“To my sick soul, as sins true nature is,
Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss.
So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)