In early America, childhood was often a serious time,
a preparation for the adult world, and most toys, books
and games were designed to acquaint children with everyday
household tasks or teach them moral lessons.
Although a few wealthy families purchased expensive,
imported European toys, most American children depended
in family members to make wooden folk toys for their
play-time. Most of these American folk toys handmade in
early America are still in use today.
Want to know more about how children played in times
past? Check our new book offerings...
#301 JACOB'S LADDER~ Historical folk toy , popular since the days of colonial America. Also known as 'tumbling blocks,' the Jacob's Ladder was also known as a 'Sunday toy,' as it was one of only a few toys that children were permitted to play with on Sundays. #301-C ~ Smaller, colorful version.
#302 BUZZ SAW~ One of the most popular America folk toys of all time. Simply center the wooden disk, wind up the strings, alternately relax and tighten the tension and watch the Buzz Saw twirl. The Buzz Saw was also known to be a 'Sunday toy'.
#303 COLORFUL CUP & BALL TOSS TOY~ Classic toss toy dating back to ancient Greece. This historical toy was popular throughout the time of the settlement of the New World colonies and is mentioned in many periodicals of the time.
#304 NATURAL CUP & BALL~ Natural-finished version of this classic toss-toy. Most historical societies and museums prefer the natural version of this amusement, as it is more historically authentic. Always a favorite in gift shops.
#305 SLINGSHOT~ Favorite 'catapult' American folk toy that has been a favorite for centuries and was certainly very popular in the mountainous regions of the United States. Packaged with target for safe play.
#307 CHILDREN'S EARLY AMERICAN TOOL SET~ Popular toy set for boys. Features a wooden mallet, chisel, saw, 6" ruler, cedar pencil and cloth carrying bag. Relive those pioneer construction days with this appealing tool set!
#306 CLIMBING BEAR~ One of the most colorful of all American folk toys. Besides fascinating children for over two centuries, the Climbing Bear was also used to teach children how
to milk a cow. Crafted from native American hardwoods.
#311 BULL ROARER~ Traditional ' whirling whizzer. ' Swing the paddle overhead in a circular motion and listen as it makes the sound of an angry bull or the wind. Includes history and instructions.
#312 YO-YO~ Colonial and Victorian children alike enjoyed this popular American pastime. Available in natural finish. Includes basic instructions and directions for several yo-yo tricks.
#313 LITTLE FISH TOSS TOY~ Traditional early American toss toy that was common, both among the Native Americans and the early inhabitants of Alaska. Try to swing the fish in the air and catch it on the rod!
#314 EARLY AMERICAN HATCHET~ Solid wooden children's hatchet with rounded edges for safe play. Packaged with history card, relating the history of the hatchet in early American life.
#315 WHIP TOP~ Traditional early American toy. Spin the top and keep it going with the whipping rod! History and instructions included. The Whip Top was used extensively in colonial America.
#317-B COLORFUL SPINNING TOPS~ Individually packaged, colorful, lathe-turned and balanced spinning tops. Each history card includes top history and several spinning top games.
#319-A SIGNAL WHISTLE~ Early American children were known to play with signal whistles, often imitating the battle action of war or reenacting life on a sailing ship. This high-pitched, shrill whistle is packaged with a detailed whistle signal card; good for hours of creative play.
#320 HARDWOOD SPINNING TOP~ Popular early American spinning top. Simply wind the cord around the top and toss it toward the ground, release the string, and watch it spin. This model features a rustic natural finish. Includes instructions for several spinning top games.
#321 THAUMATROPE~ Nineteenth-century optical device. Upside-down images are printed on both sides of the disc. Twirl back and forth and the images will appear to be a 'moving picture.'
#322 SPOOL TRACTOR~ An early 20th -century self-propelled American folk toy, powered by a rubber band. Simply wind the toy up, set it on the floor and watch it move! Fascinating for children of all ages.
#324 SMOKEGRINDER~ Our Smokegrinder, also known as an Indian pump drill, is a traditional Appalachian folk toy and is used to demonstrate the 'back and forth' flywheel principle of primitive pump drills. Includes complete directions for use and history.
#320-B COLORFUL HARDWOOD TOP ~ Play the historical game of "Chipstones" as well as other traditional top games with our assortment of red and blue hardwood tops. Includes complete instructions.
#325 PADDLEBALL~ The paddleball was a direct descendant of the colonial Hornbook, Battledore & Shuttlecock game. Our newest model of an old favorite featuring a sturdy wooden paddle and strong elastic cord attached to a colorful rubber ball.
#330 #331 SPINNING FINGER TOPS~ Natural-finish spinning tops, sold loose with history card and directions for two finger tops games. Available in two quantities--
#330-- 1 unit of 24 and #331--1 unit of 72
(Includes display card).
#319-B REVOLUTIONARY WAR SIGNAL WHISTLE~ During the Revolutionary War, signal whistles played an important role in signaling commands to the sharpshooters of the Continental Army. Our signal whistle package includes typical battlefield whistle signals and history.
#332 FOUR-NOTE TRAIN WHISTLE~ All-time traditional American whistle. Includes well-known short and long train whistle patterns. Approximately 7 1/2" long.
Amazing clarity of sound.
#336 LADY ANNE'S CAROSELLO RING-TOSS TOY~ Delightful ring-toss toy that dates back to the early Renaissance! Toss the ribboned ring in the air and try to catch it on the rod. Includes the complete history of this fascinating toy.
#338 'JIM DANCER' SPOOL TOP~ One of the best known early American finger tops, handmade from wooden sewing spools. Individually packaged with history and game card.
Available in rustic, natural finish.
American History Pioneer Folk Toys, Games, Crafts, and Music from Homestead Folk Toys in the Historical Village of Nashville, Indiana
A Homestead site. Site designed and hosted by Homestead Folk Toys.
Product images and designs Homestead Folk Toys and their respective owners. All rights reserved.
#339 'SPRING' WHISTLE~ Small single-note whistle that can be heard for quite some distance. A 'woodland' trill can also be mastered by opening and closing the hole at the end of the whistle. Packaged with history and direction card.
#340 TOY SAILBOAT KIT~ Homemade toy sailboats were one of the most popular toys in early America. Now you can re-create this nostalgic toy with this easy-to-assemble kit. Finished size is
7' 3/4 " by 5' 1/2 ".
#341 FOREST SPINNING TOPS~
Rustic Tops cut and crafted from native tree limbs.
Information on tree rings included.
#342~ TOY PADDLEBOAT KIT~ Easy to assemble American Folk Toy. Complete assembly directions and history included. Measures 6 1/2" x 2 1/2".
#344~ BALERO~ Traditional catch-and-toss toy.
Swing the ball in an arc to catch it on the end of the peg or in either cup.