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The Enduring Spinning Tops and their Benefits


The Enduring Spinning Tops and their Benefits

There is one timeless toy that is shared across generations, continents and races is the classic toy that you probably enjoyed playing with as a kid and now your child is enjoying playing with it. You guessed it, it is the spinning top! You probably must have spent hours playing with the spin tops and watched in fascination to see how long they would spin, the melange of colours on the top merge as one, whose top spins for the longest duration, and so much more!

No wonder spinning tops are a beloved toy for young and old children alike. Their origin is as fascinating as the toys themselves. There is archaeological evidence for spin tops in the Middle East, Turkey, Egypt, China, Greece, and Europe.  Did you know that there is evidence for clay tops dating back to over 6000 years back during 4000 BC in Iraq? There are texts and paintings in ancient times depicting these fascinating spinning tops.

The tops were made of different materials like ceramic and wood. The wooden tops were uncovered in the tomb of King Tut and this was in 1300 BC! In the legendary city of Troy, ceramic tops made with Terra Cotta were found during 3000 BC. Indigenous tribes from all across the world were found to make use of tops made out of seeds, nuts and even fruits!

Wood, clay and ceramic were some of the materials that went into making tops, but there are tops made from conch shells, gourds, nuts, bamboo, and stone. A unique-shaped, flat-sided top with four sides called the “teetotum” was used in Ancient Rome to play various games like “Put and Take”, for one. The popularity of the tops spread throughout Europe and was used for amusement and competitive games.

Another fascinating thing about these ancient tops is that they were given as offerings to Gods. In fact, people thought of these tops as so precious that they deemed them as stuff precious enough to take them along with them in their afterlife.
“Dreidel” is one of the most interesting forms of teetotum familiarized by the Jews in Germany during the 1500s. These are tops that are in favour with people even now. In India, Spin tops are called Lattu, Bongaram, Latim, Bongaralu Aata, Pambaram and they are enjoyed by people of all age groups. The modern tops are now made to spin for a very long time by reducing friction.

These toys are not just fun and coveted for their lovely craftsmanship, there are tons of benefits that children get from playing with them. Let’s look more into them in the next section. 

Benefits of Spinning Tops

Spinning Tops are great for children’s bodies and minds. They have a lot to offer to children and have both physical and emotional benefits.

Honing Fine Motor Skills

It is great to introduce spinning tops to children before they learn to write. At this stage, when they twirl spinning tops, it helps with coordination and to strengthen the muscles of the hands and fingers. It will help improve their grip which will further help with enhancing their writing skills.  When your toddler holds the spin top between their thumb finger and pointer finger and then releases the top, their grip and the way they hold/release the top to make it spin will help children perform other activities like holding a pencil, writing, holding a fork, etc.


Spinning a top, even for a few minutes, can help you de-stress. These can be carried in your pockets and clutches, and relax your muscles which are tensed and clenched when they are feeling stressed. If you are at a desk job, and you are sitting in front of your laptop for hours together, taking a break to twirl a spinning top can help you catch a breather and melt the tension and stress away.

hand spinning tops made of wood
Bumpy Rides Spinning Tops


When you take a break from whatever task you are performing to play with spinning tops for a while, it can help with sharpening your brain and making a breakthrough with the task you have at hand. Twirling the spinning top will keep you for a while away from the task you were hard at, which frees up your brain to problem solve, make decisions, and what not later on. It can help with increased concentration, productivity, and sharpen your focus.

Enhances Curiosity and Knowledge

The fascinating thing about spinning tops for kids is how long they keep spinning for minutes on end, defying gravity and the various colours merging into one fast motion as it twirls around till it comes to a stop. You can use this fun time to invoke your child’s curiosity about angular momentum and conversion of energy in the top into kinetic energy which results in motion, and finally, how the top defies gravity to keep spinning for several minutes.

When you have a basic understanding of how tops work, this fascinating toy can invoke children’s curiosity to learn about complex gyroscopic motions like aeroplanes and helicopters

At Bumpy Rides, we have a range of tops with different difficulty levels to keep your little ones fascinated and busy. There are short-stemmed spinning tops in gorgeous fruit themes and traditional themes like pots. A flick of the finger is all it takes to set the tops in motion and it helps to develop fine motor skills. We also have long-stemmed tops which require children to use both their hands to set it in motion. Additionally, we have long spindle tops that can be launched with the wooden launcher. 

All of these tops help develop individual play and group play. Kids can set timers to see how long these toys will spin, try to land the tops at a particular point, or attempt to keep the toy spinning within a certain space. Children can also enjoy spin-offs with their friends, siblings.

The spinning top is a simple toy. A silent toy. But it can be a source of wonder and joy. We hope that along with your kids, you discover the joy of these beautiful spinning tops!

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