I was surprised to read that a speaking doll came before alphabet blocks..I thought some of these things came much later.
1817: The kaleidoscope was patented by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish scientist, who saw the potential for a popular children's toy.
1823: The first speaking doll is invented by Johann Maelzel. The extent of the doll's talking ability was the word "Maman" if the left arm of the doll was raised to shoulder height, and "Papa" if the right arm was raised.
1825: The first dolls with moving eyes appear. A wire, which was attached to the eyelids (inside the doll), exited the doll at the waist, so that the user could pull the wire and operate the eyes as needed.
1843: "The Mansion of Happiness" board game is created by Anne Abbot as a means to teach children the value of moral choices.
1879: Alphabet Blocks make their first appearance, and help generations of children to learn their ABC's
I know the Ingall's were poor most of the time, but there was a dearth of toys at their home. When you think about it, Mary never really had a doll or toy, Laura had Charlotte and a glass doll at one time, Carrie a rag doll. I never saw blocks or the rocking horse Charles made for them with Mr. Edwards before the blizzard. I know Laura had marbles, but you never saw a ball or homemade toys. I know in the books, I remember them making things. They stayed busy, but I thought Pa might have made a few things....but then their house would look like mine and too much clutter is not good!