Greek native Sophia Pavlaki resides in Belgium where she is the producer and executive producer of Greektoys, a project aimed at promoting the Greek culture to children via ancient Hellenic toys. The educational project known as The Greektoys children’s revolution® also involves creating the animated series “Greektoys,” writing articles and research related to ancient Hellenic toys, writing music and creating the 3D-virtual museum where models of ancient Hellenic toys are exhibited.

Archaeologists have uncovered all sorts of toys at sites in areas previously part og the ancient Hellenic territory. Many of the toys that ancient Hellenic children enjoyed were similar to toys of today. They played with rattles (platagi), tops (stromvos), hoops and pull toys as well as figurines in the shapes of animals (athyrma). The yo-yo, or something close to it, may have been created in ancient Hellas. It was made out of two terra cotta discs and was simply called a disc.

Like today, there were also toys meant just for girls and others meant just for boys. Boys often played with toy chariots and girls usually played with dolls. Some dolls from ancient Hellas even had moving arms and legs. Some dolls were made from ivory and glass but most were made from terra cotta. Interestingly enough, some were even made with human hair, others were made of rags, clay or wax. Some had holes in the top of their heads for a string that led up to a disk that could be held and moved to make the puppet dance.

Three toys from ancient Hellas are the main characters of the series. Valios is a little horse-toy made of clay, Lilly is a rattle and Filon is a baby’s milk bottle in a pig shape. Our little friends live adventures and travel in other countries where they meet toys of other civilizations.

Using the ancient relics has been a hit as children are able to lose themselves in a land of make-believe in the video series as well as with a free e-book available here. Pavlaki explained on the website that:

"We use the games because it is something familiar and instantly recognizable for children, used as a link from antiquity to the present day. It is a bridge to introduce children to the culture of antiquity. So we believe that starting with the games interest will wake them and will make it easier to reach all the other elements of cultural heritage."

For more information about Greektoys and to watch their videos see Also check out the video below to see for yourself how children’s toys from antiquity are still serving an important educational purpose today.

I adore this initiative! I think it's a brilliant way to introduce kids to ancient Hellenic culture in a way that shows that more than 2000+ years later, very little has changed. It's brilliant.