Welcome to Toy Land
A Globe Full of Toys
In a world of hoverboards, fidget spinners, and Playstation 5s, toys have taken on many forms over the years to keep millions of kids (okay, and grown-ups) happy and entertained. But have you ever wondered what kids in other parts of the world are playing with? Whether they’re simple or complex, toys around the world have more in common than you might think. As you explore, see if you can find any toys that remind you of your favorites—or anything new you’d like to try.
Ask About Today
Which toys from today’s videos are similar to some of the toys you’re familiar with? In what ways?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Play in Japan
We’re starting our journey exploring toys around the world by watching kids play with a few of the traditional toys of Japan. Can you tell how to use them at first sight?
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Check out these kids around the world photographed with their most beloved toys. Do any of these look familiar to you?
Meet the Diablo
The diablo is a yoyo-like toy that originated in China many thousands of years ago, making it one of the oldest toys in the world! Although it’s a toy, being able to do tricks with it has made it a hit at circus shows, in movies, competitions, and even at your local playground. Watch this diablo world champion as he shows us how a simple toy has turned him into an icon.
The Meaning of Maria Dolls
In Mexico, Maria dolls have a bigger impact than just being a cute companion. The makers of these dolls are indigenous women who make them by hand in order to make a living for their families. Learn how Maria dolls have become a treasured gift for doll collectors from all over.
The People of Playmobil
While LEGOS may be older, a German toy called Playmobil created a lane of its own and became one of the famous toy bricks’ biggest competitors. One thing that set Playmobil apart was that while LEGO focused on construction, Playmobil featured realistic toy people—from knights and pirates to families of diverse backgrounds—who were sold together with accessories. They eventually became one of the most-sold toys in history and even appeared as one of the earliest surprises in a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
Your Own Yo-yo
Okay, so it’s not a diablo, but a yo-yo comes close enough. In fact, yo-yos are far older and have been found on cave art and even a greek vase painting from 440 BC! You can make one with simple household products. Can you get the “hang” of it?
Beary Good Drawing
No matter where you are, a teddy bear is one of the most recognizable toys in the world. Join Hads and her dad as they guide you through drawing your very own.
Toy Scavenger Hunt
Team up with a sibling for this one, or ask a caregiver for help setting it up. The “hider” should collect some favorite toys and hide them all throughout the house. Give the “seeker” clues and let them hunt around until they’ve found everything on their list.
Try a reverse version too: Choose some toys you’d like to donate to other children this holiday season, and hide them around your home for your grown-ups to find.
Be kind: Ask before you start taking away anyone's treasured toys!