If you ever had the opportunity to take a peek into every child's bedroom in North America, you would undoubtedly discover one thing they all have in common: at least one stuffed animal resides there - perhaps a big plush toy. Regardless of its size, however, you can count on the fact that every child has some kind of plush toy, whether it's been mass manufactured or hand made.
Long before the sophisticated civilizations of the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, children had already created lives that were rich with play. An abundance of toys as well as illustrations have been uncovered that prove this to be true. Some of the things discovered have been items such as rattles, dolls, animals, balls, hoops, kites, rocking horses, boats, miniature furniture, and wheeled pull-along toys. Any of what has been found that was able to survive, was made of clay, bone, metal, or stone, while drawings show still other toys that were made of wood, leather, and cloth.
Evidence has shown that toys were being exported as early as 1000 BCE around the Mediterranean by Phoenician merchants. In the Old Testament, references to children's play abound; there are descriptions of children's street play in the Book of Zechariah which says and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. In Jerusalem, archeologists have uncovered whistles, toy rattles, cooking utensils, animals, and furniture, which is believed to have come from 1050 BCE the time of David.
It was not uncommon for newborns to receive gifts at ceremonies that took place between the seventh and tenth day after the child had been born. In March and April, in Greece, Greek children anxiously awaited the arrival of The Anthesterien Festival. On the second day of the festival, the parents gave children gifts which consisted of small jugs called oinochoes there were decorations on them of children's games. When birthdays arrived, they were also given toys as presents. To celebrate Christs' birth, The Three Wise Men brought gifts and now as far as the toy industry is concerned, Christmas is a major part of their most profitable selling seasons. At the major religious festivals of Hindus, Muslims, and Jews Diwali, Ede, and Hanukkah - toys are also given.
No matter how a child comes by a big plush toy, the joy it will bring them will be limitless. They will enjoy countless hours of play with what they will quickly discover to be their new best friend. Whether or not children lived centuries ago or they live today, their toys all share something in common: the need to have fun and play. What is used to make them and how they are made are the only differences.