Kids' toys played an important role from the ancient time. Small horse on wheels. The little horse on wheels was a very popular game in ancient Greece. Toys for children played an important role in ancient times. They helped children overcome difficulties, but also to have fun. The ancient Greeks believed that games played an important role in fostering a child. That is why the games were included in their training program.
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In ancient Greece there was a wide variety of games either individual or in groups with the use of objects or even without one. There is some information, from written sources, about their making, mainly from frescoes and vase presentations. Some of the games that are known up to now are, abariza (prisoner’s base), blindfold, statuettes, five-balls, hide-and-seek, dolls, rattle, little horse, etc.
One of the most common games for children who had grown up but they were not able to get out of the house and play with other children was the horse, the so-called “athyrma” (ancient Greek). “Athyrma” was an impressive earthen dark-shaped horse with geometric shapes on the wheels, which is fully preserved and dates back to 950-900 BC. The kids were playing with this horse, as they drag it with rope throughout the house.
Although, in the excavations several clay toys were found in animal form that had wheels, the game that all boys mostly liked, was a little waggonette on wheels that was usually drawn by their favorite dogs, and when the dogs were tired, the children would drag it themselves.
Clay was the main material used for the making of toys, as well as animal bones, wood, cloth or wax. Their creation was done in the workshops and most of the toys were hand-crafted by the clay-molder, while some times he would create a basic form on the roller and then added the details. In 500 BC the use of mold is becoming widespread. With this technique, the sculptor created the main part, then would fill it with damp clay, and when it dried, he removed the clay that had taken the form of the main part. Then he covered the toy with a white coat and baked it in the oven. Τhe toy was colored at the end.
Exhibits of clay horses can be seen at the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, the Archaeological Museum of Chania, the Archaeological Museum of Chalkida and the Archaeological Museum of Athens.
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