Once upon a time, we , the busy bees at Homestead Folk Toys,
    were originally known as "Toy Elves".  That  was  in   our  early
    days,  when  we   formed  our  business  around  the Swiss-Alps
    cottage  industry  concept  of  toy-making  and were known for
    our special Christmas-package  grouping of toys.

         Through the following years, we began to focus more and more  
    on  researching  and  developing  authentic  American  folk toys,
    and thus was born Homestead Folk Toys, Games and Crafts.

        These days, we simply call ourselves researchers, craftsmen
    and  women,   web  designers,  publishers,  fabric   specalists,
    woodworkers and, in general, jacks of many trades.

       We exhibit our product line both  regionally and nationally
  at professionally-recognized trade  shows , such  as the ones 
   pictured here,  including   the  Museum  Store Association's
    expositions which are held in major market areas
   both regionally and all across the United States.
  Exhibiting at these shows gives  us our   greatest
  opportunity to talk to the museum buyers in person
  and get very important feedback on our product

        In the past, we have also demonstrated many of
  our more popular folk toys at invitation-only fairs
  and even in school classrooms.    

       One of the greatest joys in our business life is to
  see historical folk toys being used by today's children.
  Here, we see two children enjoying the game of Graces
  on a rainy day, inside the classroom.  We have always
  believed that  kids of all ages (including adults) should
  have the opportunity to experience these delightful 

                                                                  One of our joys here at Homestead Folk Instruments is
                                                           crafting inexpensive harps and other musical instruments for                                                                        beginning musicians all across the country.  These instruments
                                                           are entirely of our own design, and are, therefore, exclusive
                                                           to us.
                                                                  We invite you to check back from time to time as we add
                                                           add to our online scrapbook.



A much milder pastime popular with young ladies was the Game of Graces,
which traces its origins to 1830. Designed to make girls more graceful, the game involved 
two players, each with two wooden dowels. The players--using rods--tossed a 9-inch
diameter hoop back and forth, while presumably making an effort not to look like a klutz.
After catching the hoop, a player let it slide down her rods, crossing them in an X shape,
before tossing the hoop back to her companion. The first player to catch the
hoop 10 times won. By the late 20th century, the Game of Graces had dwindled,
though an outfit in Nashville, Ind., called Homestead Toys still sells a set of
hoops and rods for those who want to give the game a try.

    A repository of dead hobbies, Homestead also sells a kit to play Quoits,
a horseshoe-like tabletop game that involves a wooden peg and rings.
Quoits dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, and there are mentions of
the game in Britain from the 14th century onward.

   Pronounced K-waits, this game is the forerunner to horseshoes. Its origins stretch back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. There is evidence of quoits being played in England as long ago as 1833. It spread to America, where quoits clubs formed. Still played in some parts of the British Isles and the U.S

    Fivestones, another traditional game, is an early American wooden folk version of jacks.

Scrap Book
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.
Made in USA
American History Pioneer Folk Toys, Games, Crafts, and Music from Homestead Folk Toys in the Historical Village of Nashville, Indiana
Trade Show
Homestead Folk Toys Booth
Toy Elves
Girls Playing Graces
Return Home
Return to Top
Toy Elves
crafting a Harp
Homestead Site Map
Site Map
See story on our Toys in Forbes Magazine
In Pictures: Hobbies Long Gone
  Read the full story by Susan Adams