Toys & Hobbies

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A toy is an item that is used primarily by children though may also be marketed to adults under certain circumstances. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life experiences. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can also be used. For instance, a small child may fold an ordinary piece of paper into an airplane shape and "fly it." Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment, virtual reality, and the smart toy. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors' 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 are mainly made for children. The oldest known doll toy is thought to be 4,000 years old. Handicraft is the "traditional" main sector of the crafts, it is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. Usually the term is applied to traditional means of making goods. The individual artisanship of the items is a paramount criterion, such items often have cultural and/or religious significance. Items made by mass production or machines are not handicraft goods. Handicraft goods are made with craft production processes. The beginning of crafts in areas like the Ottoman Empire involved the governing bodies requiring members of the city who were skilled at creating goods to open shops in the center of town. These people slowly stopped acting as subsistence farmers (who created goods in their own homes to trade with neighbors) and began to represent what we think of a "craftsman" today. In recent years, crafts and craftspeople have slowly been gaining momentum as a subject of academic study. Stephanie Bunn was an artist before she became an anthropologist, and she went on to develop an academic interest on the process of craft - arguing that what happens to an object before it becomes a 'product' is an area worthy of study Playing with toys is an important part of growing up and learning about the world around to come. Younger children use toys to discover their identity, help with cognition, learn cause and effect, explore relationships, become stronger physically, and practice skills needed in adulthood. Adults on occasion use toys to form and strengthen social bonds, teach, help in therapy, and to remember and reinforce lessons from their youth.