Yo-yos. They’re toys. You’ve probably seen some kid playing with one, or maybe you’ve played with one yourself, but what’s the deal with them? Where did they come from? How long have they been around? Who plays with them anymore? I’m going to attempt to answer these questions in a somewhat entertaining manner, and hopefully you’ll learn something about yo-yos that you didn’t know before reading this article. Let’s go!
Yo-yos have been around for a long time. How long? Well, at least twenty-five hundred years. In Stephen G. Miller’s book Ancient Greek Athletics he writes that the yo-yo was a popular toy in ancient Greece, and yo-yos were most commonly made from wood, bronze, or terra-cotta. The vase painting seen above, ca. 440 BC, depicts a Greek boy playing with a yo-yo. As old as the Greek records are, it’s believed that the yo-yo may have originated even earlier in China. Dude, that’s pretty old.