A Toy Time Machine: A journey through the decades of playtime fun

Jun 7, 2023Educational Toys, Ride-on Toys, Soft Toys

Children’s imaginations are incredible. Toys play an important role in enhancing creativity, ideas and letting those young imaginations run free. It’s not just about expensive toys and adhering to the latest trends, there really is something for everyone, from traditional toys, such as toy cars, or dolls through to educational toys such as puzzles and books, through to simple everyday items such as cardboard boxes and cups.

Whilst the toys children play with continue to evolve with the time, one thing always remains the same – The joy they bring!

Boys playing in the woods

A Long Legacy of Toys

The earliest-known written historical mention of toys dates back to 500 bc. Since then, the toys we know and love have continued to evolve, playing an ever-important role in a child’s development, and acting as a close companion during the worst and best of times. Even during darker times such as World War II, children were able to distract themselves by playing with cards, candy land, and checkers.

With such a fascinating history, we thought we’d hop aboard the toy time machine and take a look at the marked history of toys through the times. Let’s go back to a time to when cardboard boxes were more entertaining than an iPad and take a nostalgic look back through the ages to where it all began…


earliest toys

So, what are the earliest toys?

Before technology started to develop, toys were made from all things natural! Natural materials such as rocks, sticks and clay were some of the best ways to create toys. We might have more flashy toys and computer games now, but kids will always enjoy getting stuck-in amongst nature with only their imagination to entertain them.

And believe it or not, it’s suggested that the world’s oldest toy is actually a stick! You likely remember from your own childhood a time when you could find endless things to do with a simple stick. From magic wands and majorette batons to fishing poles and lightsabre’s – if you can imagine it then you can have fun with it!


girl playing with doll


Whilst children can find the fun in almost any item when combined with their imagination, a firm favourite for generations has been the doll.

Dolls have been a huge part of the history of toys, dating as far back as around 8000 BC, when they played a significant role in Japanese culture. Did you know that dolls were originally used as lucky charms and religious icons before they were ever children’s toys?

Much later in the timeline came along the iconic Barbie doll which most of us can probably remember owning growing up. Officially debuting in the 1950s, it is suggested that across the world nearly 100 Barbie dolls are sold every minute!

It’s very clear that dolls have and most likely will continue to have an enormous impact on nearly everyone’s childhoods…

boy with teddy bear

A Trusty Teddy Bear

No matter how flashy a brand-new toy might be, children will always have a special place in their heart for a teddy bear… or ten! And while Build-A-Bears might be the craze right now, your average cuddly teddy bears date back to 1902 where they were first designed by Richard Steiff. Following this, in 1903 toy store owner Morris Michtom advertised two stuffed toys as teddy bears in the window of his shop, and the rest is history!

At Beehive Toys we have a wide selection of cuddly comforts for your children to snuggle up with for a snooze. You can check out our selection of cuddly toys here!


On Yer Bike

We also have bicycles! Have you started teaching your child to ride a bike yet? Or are you anxiously waiting for the time to come around? Well, with Beehive Toys’ bikes and trikes, you can teach them how to ride a bike safely and in style! Our bikes are all designed to encourage walking, coordination, balance, and motor skills in your children.

Though we’ve had plenty of time to perfect ours! As you might expect, the original bike existed long before ours ever did! In fact, the first bicycle was invented by German inventor Karl von Drais. In 1817, he invented the “Swiftwalker”, a machine with no pedals and a simple wooden beam frame.

So, the evolution of toys is forever-growing, and this is just the beginning! At Beehive Toys we provide toys that look good, keep little ones entertained and importantly, can stand the test of time.

If you have a baby shower coming up, a little one on the way or already have one running around, we have what you need! With a vast variety of soft and wooden toys, bikes, and trikes, you can get the perfect treat for your little ones today!

For more information visit our website.