What Toys Did Kids Play With in Ancient Greece?

What Toys Did Kids Play With in Ancient Greece?

When we think of ancient Greece, we often imagine grand temples, philosophers, and epic myths. But what about the children?

What did they play with in those distant times? It turns out that despite the lack of modern technology, ancient Greek children had a variety of toys that entertained and educated them. Let’s take a closer look at some popular toys from this fascinating period.

Dolls and Figurines

Dolls were a favorite among girls in ancient Greece. These dolls were typically made of clay or wood and were simple in design.

They often had moveable limbs and painted features. Some dolls even had jointed arms and legs. Girls would dress these dolls in miniature clothing made from fabric or animal skins.

Figurines were also popular toys for both boys and girls. These small statues represented gods, goddesses, heroes, and animals. Children would use their imagination to create stories and adventures with these figurines.

Balls and Knucklebones

Ancient Greek children loved playing with balls. These balls were usually made of leather or stuffed animal bladders. Boys would play games like catch or ball bouncing competitions.

Knucklebones, also known as astragali, were small bones from the ankles of sheep or goats. Children played various games using these bones as dice or markers.

Kites and Spinning Tops

Kites were popular toys for outdoor play in ancient Greece. Made from lightweight materials such as fabric or feathers stretched over a wooden frame, children would fly them high in the sky on windy days.

Spinning tops were another favorite toy among ancient Greek children. They were made of wood or clay and had a pointed tip. Children would spin them by pulling a string, and the top would whirl around on its pointed end.

Board Games

Ancient Greeks also enjoyed playing board games. One popular game was called “Petteia,” similar to modern-day chess. Players strategically moved pieces across the board to capture their opponent’s pieces.

Another well-known board game was “Kottabos,” which involved tossing wine dregs into a Target cup. This game required skill and accuracy.


Ancient Greek children may not have had access to the high-tech toys we have today, but their playtime was filled with creativity and imagination. From dolls and figurines to balls and kites, these ancient toys offered entertainment, education, and an opportunity for social interaction. Next time you imagine ancient Greece, don’t forget to picture the smiling faces of children playing with their beloved toys.