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Play is an essential component of physical, cognitive, and social development, and the toys and games children use have a developmental influence. In order to adequately foster children’s growth, it is vital that they engage with toys encouraging the highest quality play. This research analyzes texts about play activities and objects in Ancient Greece and Rome, where play was considered instrumental in educating the young about their future roles. In addition, this research examines modern studies about children’s play, involving the lenses of gender and psychological play theories. It also compares the differences in developmental benefits of toys between genders and across time, determining if there is a gender gap aided by a difference in quality between “girl’s” and “boy’s” toys and activities. These findings relate to the historical gender disparity in our society, and emphasize the importance of utilizing toys that are equally capable of supporting the successful growth of every child.



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The Significance of Toys and Games on Ancient Mediterranean and Modern Gender, Societal Values and Human Development