Play is a desire engrained in every child, and children throughout history, all over the world have always created, and played with toys. Toys were often inspired by the things that children saw in the world around them. Spinning tops have been played with since ancient times, often made using things found in nature, such as acorns and seashells. The spinning top as we know it today was created in the 1960s by the Duncan Toy Company. They were first made of wood, then later plastic. The Duncan Toy Company founded the National Spin Top Competition, held at Disneyland in California each year from 1963-1964, until unfortunately the company went bankrupt.
The Duncan Toy Company is most famous for Return Tops (also known as ‘Yo-Yos’). It is thought that Return Tops originated in either China, Greece, or the Philippines. Different paintings and records show that important people like Napoleon and King Louis XVII of France even played with Return Tops! The Canadian Yo-Yo Association holds competitions across the country each year for lovers of the classic toy.
Dolls are another toy that have been made in every shape and style, and out of just about every material! Yarn Dolls were a popular toy in pioneer communities during the Victorian Era. They were very easy to make and the materials were readily available. Although simple in design, they could be dressed up with hair, ribbons, bows, clothes and more! As we know, dolls are still an incredibly popular toy today.
Come make your own version of a classic toy at the Galt Museum and Archives on Tuesday, August 30th from 1-4pm at the final Summer Family Fun Program of the 2016 season. Admission fees apply, which include supplies and access to exhibits. Adults to attend with children. Registration not required.