Play is an integral part of every childhood. It is essential for child’s development and for learning life skills. Play is how children learn to have fun, to socialize, to think, to solve problems and to work. Play connects children with their imagination, their environment, and the people around them. Toys are tools children use in play. It impacts the learning and development in children. Toys of value enhance a child’s natural ability to engage in imaginative and meaningful play. Toys vary across country, culture, and families.
Toys can be categorized into various groups, depending on the part of the child it helps to stimulate like Sensory Toys, Communicative Toys, Cognitive Toys and Physical toys. Here we will discuss the classic toys of India. We have divided the toys into these four broad categories.
Indian Toys are made of various kinds of material like wood, cloth, bamboo, metal, paper, plastic, clay, rubber, coir, papier-mâché, shells etc. Lacquered wooden toys from Channapatna village in Karnataka, Kondapalli in Andhra Pradesh, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Sawantawadi in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra are well known all over the world. Intricately carved walnut wood toys of Kashmir are in demand worldwide. Stuffed hanging cloth toys in vibrant colors are made in many parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Bamboo toys are primarily made in Assam, Tripura and parts of West Bengal. Shell toys from Puri in Orissa, and Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu catch the attention of every passerby. Toys made out coconut shells are popular in Kerala. Clay toys from Bihar, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu, coir toys of Orissa, papier mache toys of Kashmir, and metal toys of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh are popular countrywide. Indian Toys are known for its craft value and the rich culture it represents. Ironically, nowadays low cost materials like plastics are used in the manufacturing toys. Plastic toys are available easily in both urban and rural India and are more affordable.
To conclude, toys are vital part of every childhood. Playing with toys help children learn about the world around them in a much better way. Toys nurtures healthy overall growth in children.