The Yo-Yo : A little toy with a big history

We recently acquired a selection of classic wooden yo-yos to add to our already charming baby section. We love the old world quality of these primitive toys that are still one of the worlds most popular play things. Here's a little history behind our new arrivals and what makes them so special.

The Yo-Yo in its simplest form is an object consisting of an axle connected to two disks, and a length of twine looped around the axle, similar to a slender spool. First made popular in the 1920s, yo-yoing remains a popular pastime of many generations and cultures. The earliest surviving yo-yo dates to 500 BCE and was made using terra cotta skin disks. Several Greek vase paintings show children playing yo-yo. Greek records from the period describe toys made out of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta (fired clay). The terra cotta disks were used to ceremonially offer the toys of youth to certain gods when a child came of age—discs of other materials were used for actual play. One of the most basic tricks is called the sleeper, where the yo-yo spins at the end of the string for a noticeable amount of time before returning to the hand. Many yo-yo tricks are done while the yo-yo is said to be sleeping. One of the most famous tricks on the yo-yo is "walk the dog". This is done by throwing a strong sleeper and allowing the yo-yo to roll across the floor, before tugging it back to the hand. Yo-Yo competitions take place all over the world, and this primitive toy still is extremely popular even today.

Swing by The Paris Market and give the gift of toy history to a little one in your life. If you're a grown up with a child-like spirit, well, we know you'll love these too!

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