Toys and games;History

24th April 1998 at 01:00
Toys were made by craftsmen as early as 1300. Popular medieval toys included lead and tin rattles; metal knights on horse-back; "Airfix"-style furniture, stamped on a metal sheet which you bent into shape; dolls which were called poppets or puppets; hobby-horses; hand- and footballs made from animals' bladders; spinning tops; quoits (heavy metal hoops thrown to land on, or near to, wooden pegs); and cocksteles and balls - a cockstele was a stick to throw at a cockerel in the cruel sport of burying the bird in the ground and aiming sticks or arrows at its head.

By 1475 hunting was popular and bows and arrows were highly prized by children.

Board games were well-developed and included chess and backgammon. Also popular were running, archery, snowballing, blind-man's buff, bowls, nutting, birds' nesting and cockfighting.

Tennis emerged in the 15th century and was first played by hitting a ball against a wall.

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