It spins! It sleeps! It flips! It turns! It’s the amazing yo-yo! So many people have busted a few moves with a yo-yo, or at least tried to, sometime in their lives. It’s seems that it’s been a toy that’s been around forever. But, of course, it is a man-made object, therefore it must have an inventor, time, and place it came from. Now I will speak on the history of the yo-yo.

You will discover aspects about it’s origins, all the way up to becoming one of the world’s most popular toys. Although you might see this study and research as pointless, you will be amazed at the immense history this simply stringed gadget has. Being a toy created in the ancient era, the yo-yo is one of the world’s oldest toys, second only to the doll. Some people believe that the yo-yo was developed in ancient China. But, the oldest surviving yo-yo dates back to 500 BC, and is Greek. Proof of this, a Greek vase from the BC period shows a young boy playing with his yo-yo. Among other materials that could have been used to make these ancient toys, (such as wood, metal, and stone) historians have found that many were made of terra-cotta.

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Terra-cotta is a fragile, clay-like material. A yo-yo made of this material would break easily. Many of these were found on temple sights.

Thus, archaeologists believe that Greek children gave their toy to the gods as a coming of age offering, rather than using it during their afternoon playtime. In Africa, images of young people yo-yoing adorn the walls of ancient Egyptian temples. A wooden box found in India depicted a scene of a girl playing with a yo-yo. On a more serious note, hunters in the Philippines used a yo-yo like device to hunt animals from the treetops.

In some cases, the yo-yo was thought to have been used as a weapon during skirmishes between the local tribes. Through time, the yo-yo survived and shifted from nation to nation, lasting through culture changes, wars, shifts of power, and many other historical ha…