In Persia, the 16th century saw the birth of poker and the beginnings of the game can be traced to
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As with any game, there are certain rules of etiquette that should be learned in order to avoid offending other players. ...[Read more]


The Wonders Of Wood

Wooden toys have been the mainstay of children's fun for centuries. Archeological digs have resurrected wooden dolls with joints, horses carved of wood, toy chariots, and a crocodile that had a moving jaw. These toys dated back as far as 1100 BC.

Children of ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece played with wooden toys that were miniaturized versions of objects in use by adults of that time. Germany was the first country to produce wooden toys for resale. This began in the 16th century when the craftspeople in Germany started hiring sales staff.

These sales people traveled to every part of Europe selling these toys to the public. Many of the children of the royal families of Europe played with wooden toys that had been special ordered from Germany. These custom made wooden toys were often commemorative items for anniversaries or birthdays. Wooden toys of the 19th century were increasingly more elaborate. Some of these, for example, were huge, theaters and dollhouses, ornately decorated; jack-in-the-boxes and soldiers, all painted and decorated. Other popular wooden toys of that era were wooden trains built in a boxy style, with grooved tracks they could run around.

A successor to these wooden toy trains, The Swedish firm Brio is now one of the most expansive of the world's wooden toy manufacturers. Brio produces more than 3.5 million wooden cars, trucks and trains for toys of delighted children all over the globe. Brio actually surpasses the number of cars and trucks that Ford Motor Company manufactures in the United States.

Wooden toys aren't the rage they once were, as versatile and cheap plastic has replaced it in the toy world. LEGO and Barbie have replaced wooden trains and other toys in the homes of many. This doesn't mean there are no more wooden toys around, or that these companies don't have their followers and enthusiastic customers. They certainly do. While there are very few large toy manufacturers making a good profit in wooden toys, there are nevertheless hundreds of smaller companies that stay devoted to the crafting of these toys.

Some of these toys are elaborate and perhaps made to order, such as the beautifully ornate heirloom rocking horses that Family Tree Toys sells for $400 or more. Pelham's Puppets is another customize wooden toy firm, selling charming old world wooden puppets. Experts in early childhood education, such as Waldorf and Montessori professionals, have long touted wooden toys for children.

Wooden toys are more apt to encourage children to use their senses of feel and touch. Preschool and kindergarten classroom teachers have flocked to wooden toys and the stores that offer them, according to one long time founder of a store that offers wooden games and puzzles. She has noticed over the years that teachers of special needs students are especially interested in the teaching assistance that wooden toys offer these youngsters.

Dustin Cannon is owner of and writes on a variety of subjects. To learn more about this topic Dustin recommends you visit:


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