Most anthropologists seem to agree that children’s toys have always had an educational element to them.

The education is usually gender specific (no surprise here) – weapons and tools for the boys and dolls and cooking implements for the girls, whatever era we’re looking at.

Boys learn knapping whilst girls learn weaving.

Paddle dolls, highly stylised sexualised figures made of flat wood, were found in Egyptian tombs (2040–1750 BC). They were usually painted with a geometric pattern of lines and dots. Some have hair and jewellery.

Egyptian horse and rider pull toys made of wood and clay.

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