This article is about playthings. toy pen
A teddy bear
A toy pen is an object used in play. toy pens are usually associated with
children and pets, but it is not unusual for adult humans and some
non-domesticated animals to play with toy pens. Many items are manufactured to
serve as toy pens, but items produced for other purposes can also be used as toy
pens. A child may pick up a household item and 'fly' it around pretending that
it is an airplane, or an animal might play with a pinecone by batting at it,
biting it, chasing it, and throwing it up in the air. Some toy pens are produced
primarily as collector's items and are not intended to be played with.
The origin of toy pens 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 pen" is unknown, but it is
believed that it was first used in the 14th century.
toy pens and play in general are an important part of the process of learning
about the world and growing up. The young use toy pens 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 toy pens
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
toy pens are more than simple amusement, they and the ways that they are used
profoundly influence many aspects of life.
Wooden toy pens of Channapatna, a town in India famous for its toy pens.Contents
2 Child development
4.1 Construction sets
4.2 Dolls, animals, and miniatures
4.4.1 History of mechanical puzzles
4.5 Physical activity
4.7 Promotional merchandise
toy pen pen History
A display of Roman toy pens, including several that would be familiar to
children today: a doll, dice, rattles, and toy pen dishes for playing house.Most
young mammals will play with whatever they can find, turning such things as
pinecones, rocks, and food into toy pens. It simply makes sense then that toy
pens have a history as old as human civilization itself. toy pens and games have
been unearthed from the sites of ancient civilizations. They have been written
about in some of our oldest literature. toy pens excavated from the Indus valley
civilization (3000-1500 BCE) include small carts, whistles shaped like birds,
and toy pen monkeys which could slide down a string.
The earliest toy pens were made from materials found in nature, such as rocks,
sticks, and clay. Thousands of years ago, Egyptian children played with dolls
that had wigs and movable limbs which were made from stone, pottery, and
wood. In Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, children played with dolls made of
wax or terra cotta, sticks, bows and arrows, and yo-yos. When Greek children,
especially girls, came of age it was customary for them to sacrifice the toy
pens of their childhood to the gods. On the eve of their wedding, young girls
around fourteen would offer their dolls in a temple as a rite of passage into
A boy with a hoop. Hoops have long been a popular toy pen across a variety of
cultures.As technology changed and civilization progressed, toy pens also
changed. Whereas ancient toy pens were made from materials found in nature like
stone, wood, and grass modern toy pens are often made from plastic, cloth, and
synthentic materials. Ancient toy pens were often made by the parents and family
of the children who used them, or by the children themselves. Modern toy pens,
in contrast, are often mass-produced and sold in stores.
This change in the nature of toy pens is exemplified by the changes that have
taken place in one of the oldest and most universal of human toy pens; dolls.
The earliest and most primitive dolls were simple wooden carvings and bundles of
grass. Egyptian dolls were sometimes jointed so that their limbs could move
realistically. By the early 1800s there were dolls that could say "mama". Today
there are dolls that can recognize and identify objects, the voice of their
owner, and choose among hundreds of pre-programed phrases with which to
respond. The materials that toy pens are made from have changed, what toy
pens can do has changed, but the fact that children play with toy pens has not
toy pen pen Child development
A rubber duck is a popular bathtime toy pen for small children.toy pens, like
play itself, serve multiple purposes in both humans and animals. They provide
entertainment while fulfilling an educational role. toy pens enhance cognitive
behavior and stimulate creativity. They aid in the development of physical and
mental skills which are necessary in later life.
One of the simplest toy pens, a set of simple wooden blocks is also one of the
best toy pens for developing minds. Andrew Witkin, director of marketing for
Mega Brands told Investor's Business Daily that, "They help develop hand-eye
coordination, math and science skills and also let kids be creative." Other
toy pens like Marbles, jackstones, and balls serve similar functions in child
development, allowing children to use their minds and bodies to learn about
spatial relationships, cause and effect, and a wide range of other skills as
well as those mentioned by Mr. Witkin.
One example of the dramatic ways that toy pens can influence child development
involves clay sculpting toy pens such as Play-Doh and Silly Putty and their
home-made counterparts. Mary Ucci, Educational Director of the Child Study
Center of Wellesley College, demonstrates how such toy pens positively impact
the physical development, cognitive development, emotional development, and
social development of children.
toy pens for infants often make use of distinctive sounds, bright colors, and
unique textures. Through play with toy pens infants begin to recognize shapes
and colors. Repetition reinforces memory. Play-Doh, Silly Putty and other
hands-on materials allow the child to make toy pens of their own.
Educational toy pens for school age children of often contain a puzzle,
problem-solving technique, or mathematical proposition. Often toy pens designed
for older audiences, such as teenagers or adults demonstrate advanced concepts.
Newton's cradle, a desk toy pen designed by Simon Prebble, demonstrates the
conservation of momentum and energy.
Not all toy pens are appropriate for all ages of children. Some toy pens which
are marketed for a specific age range can even harm the development of children
in that range.
toy pen pen Gender
A toy pen tank with a remote control. Such toy pens are generally thought of a
boys' toy pens, but some girls enjoy playing with them also.
Barbie dolls are almost exclusively considered to be girls' toy pens. They are
often critiqued on the grounds that they promote unhealthy self images and
unrealistic ideas of beauty.Certain toy pens, such as Barbie dolls and toy pen
soldiers, are often perceived as being more acceptable for one gender than the
other. It has been noted by researchers that, "Children as young as 18 months
display sex-stereotyped toy pen choices".
Playing with toy pens stereotyped for the opposite gender sometimes results in
negative consequences from parents or fellow children. In recent years, mainly
in western countries, it has been looked down upon for males to play with toy
pens that were originally stereotyped as being "for girls". However, it is
generally not looked down upon for females to play with toy pens designed "for
boys", an activity which has also become more common in recent years.
toy pen pen Economics
toy pens "R" Us operates over 13,000 stores in 30 countries and has an annual
revenue of $11.1 billion USD.With toy pens comprising such a large and important
part of human existence, it makes sense that the toy pen industry would have a
substantial economic impact. Sales of toy pens often increase around holidays
where gift-giving is a tradition. Some of these holidays include Christmas,
Easter, Saint Nicholas Day and Three Kings Day.
In 2005, toy pen sales in the United States totaled about $22.9 billion.
Money spent on children between the ages of 8 and twelve alone totals
approximately $221 billion annually in the U.S. 
toy pen makers change and adapt their toy pens to meet the changing demands of
children thereby gaining a larger share of the substantial market. In recent
years many toy pens have become more complicated with flashing lights and sounds
in an effort to appeal to children raised around television and the internet.
According to Mattel's president, Neil Friedman, "Innovation is key in the toy
pen industry and to succeed one must create a 'wow' moment for kids by designing
toy pens that have fun, innovative features and include new technologies and
In an effort to reduce costs, many mass-producers of toy pens locate their
factories in areas where wages are lower. 75% of all toy pens sold in the U.S.,
for example, are manufactured in China. Issues and events such as power
outages, supply of raw materials, supply of labor, and raising wages that impact
areas where factories are located often have an enormous impact on the toy pen
industry in importing countries.
toy pen pen Types
toy pen pen Construction sets
Lincoln Logs have been a popular construction type toy pen in the U.S. since the
1920s.The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that the future architect should play at
building houses as a child. A construction set is a collection of separate
pieces that can be joined together to create models. Popular models to make
include cars, spaceships, and houses. The things that are built are sometimes
used as toy pens once completed, but generally speaking, the object is to build
things of one's own design, and old models often are broken up and the pieces
reused in new models.
The oldest and, perhaps most common construction toy pen is a set of simple
wooden blocks, which are often painted in bright colors and given to babies and
toddlers. Construction sets such as Lego bricks and Lincoln Logs are designed
for slightly older children and have been quite popular in the last century.
Construction sets appeal to children (and adults) who like to work with their
hands, puzzle solvers, and imaginative sorts.
Some other examples include Bayko, Konstruk-Tubes, K'NEX, Erector Sets,
Tinkertoy pens, and Meccano.
toy pen pen Dolls, animals, and miniatures
Main article: Doll
A child and her doll.A doll is a model of a human (often a baby), a humanoid
(like Bert and Ernie), or an animal. Modern dolls are often made of cloth or
plastic. Other materials that are, or have been, used in the manufacture of
dolls include cornhusks, bone, stone, wood, porcelain (sometimes called china),
bisque, celluloid, wax, and even apples. Often people will make dolls out of
whatever materials are available to them.
Sometimes intended as decorations, keepsakes, or collectibles for older children
and adults, most dolls are intended as toy pens for children, usually girls, to
play with. Dolls have been found in Egyptian tombs which date to as early as
Dolls are usually miniatures, but baby dolls may be of true size and weight. A
doll or stuffed animal of soft material is sometimes called a plush toy pen or
plushie. A popular toy pen of this type is the Teddy Bear.
A distinction is often made between dolls and action figures, which are
generally of plastic or semi-metallic construction and poseable to some extent,
and often are merchandising from television shows or films which feature the
characters. Modern action figures, such as Action Man, are often marketed
towards boys, whereas dolls are often marketed towards girls.
toy pen soldiers, perhaps a precursor to modern action figures, have been a
popular toy pen for centuries. They allow children to act out battles, often
with toy pen military equipment and a castle or fort. Miniature animal figures
are also widespread, with children perhaps acting out farm activities with
animals and equipment centered around a toy pen farm.
toy pen pen Vehicles
A toy pen boatChildren have played with miniature versions of vehicles since
ancient times, with toy pen two-wheeled carts being depicted on ancient Greek
vases. Wind-up toy pens have also played a part in the advancement of toy
pen vehicles. Modern equivalents include toy pen cars such as those produced by
Matchbox or Hot Wheels, miniature aircraft, toy pen boats, and trains. Examples
of the latter range from wooden sets for younger children such as BRIO
complicated realistic train models like those produced by Lionel and Hornby.
Larger die-cast vehicles, 1:18 scale, have become popular toy pens; these
vehicles are produced with a great attention to detail.
toy pen pen Puzzles
Main article: Puzzle
A popular puzzle toy pen is the Rubik's Cube. Popularized in the 1980s, solving
the cube requires planning and problem-solving skills and involves algorithms.A
puzzle is a problem or enigma that challenges ingenuity. Solutions to puzzle may
require recognizing patterns and creating a particular order. People with a high
inductive reasoning aptitude may be better at solving these puzzles than others.
Puzzles based on the process of inquiry and discovery to complete may be solved
faster by those with good deduction skills.
The history of puzzles goes back many thousands of years.
There are many different types of puzzles, for example a maze is a type of tour
puzzle. Other categories include; construction puzzles, stick puzzles, tiling
puzzles, transport puzzles, disentanglement puzzles, sliding puzzles, logic
puzzles, picture puzzles, lock puzzles and mechanical puzzles.
toy pen pen History of mechanical puzzles
Puzzle design by W.Altekruse, 1890.The oldest known mechanical puzzle comes from
Greece and appeared in the 3rd century BC. The game consists of a square divided
into 14 parts, and the aim was to create different shapes from these pieces. In
Iran “puzzle-locks” were made as early as the 17th century AD. In 1742 Japan
there is a mention of a game called “Sei Shona-gon Chie No-Ita” in a book.
Around the year 1800 the Tangram puzzle from China became popular, and 20 years
later it had spread through Europe and America. The company Richter from
Rudolstadt began producing large amounts of Tangram-like puzzles of different
shapes, the so-called “Anker-puzzles”.
Puzzles were greatly fashionable towards the end of the 19th century and the
beginning of the 20th century. The first patents for puzzles were recorded at
this time. In 1893 professor Hoffman wrote a book called “Puzzles Old and New”.
It contained, amongst other things, more than 40 descriptions of puzzles with
secret opening mechanisms. This book grew into a reference work for puzzle games
and modern copies exist for those interested.
With the invention of materials easy to shape such as plastic, the range of
puzzle possibilities grew. Rubik's Cube, arguably the most famous puzzle
worldwide, would not be possible without modern polymers.
toy pen pen Physical activity
A boy from Jakarta with his ball. Ball games tend to be good exercise, involving
lots of physical activity and are popular worldwide.A great many toy pens are
part of active play. These include traditional toy pens such as hoops, tops,
jump ropes and balls, as well as more modern toy pens like Frisbees, foot bags
(also known as Hacky Sacks), astrojax, Myachi, and the yo-yo.
Playing with these sorts of toy pens allows children to exercise, building
strong bones and muscles and aiding in physical fitness. Throwing and catching
balls and frisbees can improve hand-eye coordination. Jumping rope, (also known
as skipping) and playing with foot bags can improve balance.
toy pen pen Collectibles
Main article: Collectible
Some toy pens, such as Beanie Babies, attract large numbers of enthusiasts,
eventually becoming collectibles. Other toy pens, such as Boyds Bears are
marketed to adults as collectibles. Some people spend large sums of money in an
effort to acquire larger and more complete collections. The record for a single
PEZ dispenser at auction, for example, is $1,100 U.S.
toy pen pen Promotional merchandise
Many successful films, television programs, books and sport teams have official
merchandise, which often includes related toy pens. Some notable examples are
Star Wars (a science fiction film series) and Manchester United, an English
Promotional toy pens can fall into any of the other toy pen categories; for
example they can be dolls or action figures based on the characters of movies or
professional athletes, or they can be balls, yo-yos, and lunch boxes with logos
on them. Sometimes they are given away for free as a form of advertising. Many
food manufacturers will run promotions where a toy pen will be included with the
main product as a sort of bonus. Some people go to great lengths to collect
these sorts of promotional toy pens.
toy pen pen Invention
Play-Doh, originally intended as a wallpaper cleaner.Some new toy pens and new
types of toy pens are created by accidental innovation. After trying to create a
replacement for synthetic rubber, Earl Warrick inadvertently invented "nutty
putty" during World War II. Later, Peter Hodgson recognized the potential as a
childhood plaything and packaged it as Silly Putty. Similarly, Play-Doh was
created as a wallpaper cleaner. In 1943 Richard James was experimenting with
torsion springs as part of his military research when he saw one come loose and
fall to the floor. He was intrigued by the way it flopped around on the floor.
He spent two years fine-tuning the design to find the best gauge of steel and
coil; the result was the Slinky, which went on to sell in stores throughout the
Many traditional toy pen makers have been losing to video game makers for years.
Because of this, some traditional toy pen makers are enhancing the brands that
they have by introducing interactive extensions or internet connectivity to
their current toy pens.
toy pen pen Safety regulations
Main article: toy pen safety
toy pens with small pieces, such as these Lego elements are required by law to
have warnings about choking hazards in some countries.Many countries have passed
safety standards limiting the types of toy pens that can be sold. Most of these
seek to limit potential hazards, such as choking or fire hazards that could
cause injury. Children, especially very small ones, often put toy pens into
their mouths, so the materials used to make a toy pen are regulated to prevent
poisoning. Materials are also regulated to prevent fire hazards. Children have
not yet learned to judge what is safe and what is dangerous, and parents do not
always think of all possible situations, so such warnings and regulations are
important on toy pens.
toy pen pen Disposal
Some communities demand recycling of the batteries in toy pens such as qfix
robot "crash-bobby".When toy pens have been outgrown or are no longer wanted,
reuse is sometimes considered. They can be donated via many charities such as
Goodwill and the Salvation Army, sold at garage sales, auctioned, sometimes even
donated to museums. However, when toy pens are broken, worn out or otherwise
unfit for use, care should be taken when disposing of them. Donated or resold
toy pens should be gently used, clean and have all parts. Before disposal of
any battery-operated toy pen, batteries should removed and recycled; some
communities demand this be done. Some manufacturers, such as Little Tikes, will
take back and recycle their products.
In 2007, massive recalls of toy pens produced in China led many U.S. based
charities to cut back on, or even discontinue, their acceptance of used toy
pens. Goodwill stopped accepting donations of any toy pens except stuffed
animals, and other charities checked all toy pens against government-issued
The WEEE directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which aims at
increasing re-use and recycling and reducing electronic waste, applies to toy
pens in the United Kingdom as of 2 January 2007.
toy pen pen See also
toy pens Portal
toy pen companies
National Farm toy pen Museum
Museum of toy pens and Automata
List of toy pens
National toy pen Hall of Fame
toy pen museums
toy pen pen References
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