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Welcome to toys-toys-toys.co.uk, the official toyday blog where you will find craft projects to make, local news from our shops, toy reviews, interesting toy facts, games and other toy news.

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Friday, 27 March 2009

Free paper toys - Craft toys to make with your children

From the workshop of the talented Marilyn Scott-Waters, comes the toymaker website. Marilyn shares our passion for spending time with your children and making things together.


This doesn't have to be expensive, and you don't need to be a master carpenter either, as these wonderfully illustrated toys are made entirely from paper. All you will need to get started, is a printer, some scissors, some glue and a little dash of creativity, along with mummy or daddy to help.

Once you enter the site, there are activities for girls and boys to choose from, including themed projects for Easter or Halloween.




Athough many of these toys are beautifully illustrated, you may prefer toys that you can colour in yourself - We'll there is a section for that too, so get out your paints, crayons, coloured pencils or felt tip pens and get colouring in with the selection of colouring in projects.


If you are looking for something more educational, then you will find a range of mathematical toys to make, or something a little more scientific like the whirley copters or the paper windmill.

There's also lots of paper toys to make that move, like the traditional button spinners or you can make your own paddle steamboat, or even a paper sailing boat which you can try on the water. One of my favourites, is the marble mouse and the bunny bowling game, where you can add a marble or two to your finished animal, which allows them to roll around on the table.


If your like me, and you have lots of nik-naks lying about, then you can sit down with your child and make your own themed box or basket to keep them in. They could also make great presents when filled with a treat to give to someone special.


You can also subscribe to the toymakers toy-list, and receive secret download links for new crafts, such as the fairy thimble theatre.



Well, I think that this is one of the best craft / project sites on the web, which is why I felt compelled to add it here, and I'm sure you will agree. I hope you have fun making some of the toys.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Get FREE Traditional Toys from Toyday with Trialpay

For those of you that haven't heard about trialpay yet, it is a service that allows you to get products and services (In this case - Toys) for free. OK, so nothing in life is free, so what's the catch? - Well, it's more about an exchange of values....

How does Trialpay work?
Customers pay for their product by sending flowers from FTD, buying clothes from the Gap, subscribing to Netflix or choosing from thousands of other offers. TrialPay uses money from the advertiser (FTD, Gap or Netflix in this example) to pay for the products, which is then given to the customer for free.

With TrialPay’s Get It Free model, everyone wins: online sellers make new sales, advertisers acquire new customers and shoppers get a free product.

Trialpay Increases conversion rates for businesses
Trialpay has mainly been popular in the software industry, increasing conversion rates phenominally by upgrading customers from a free trial to the full product by signing up for an advertisers offer. Since then, trialpay has grown to a fully blown checkout system, which can be integrated seamlessly to most existing websites or e-commerce shopping carts.

TrialPay increases conversion rates and earns significant additional revenue from existing marketing initiatives. Just plug the TrialPay payment option into your site wherever customers can download or purchase your product. Many sellers feature the TrialPay "Get It Free" button next to the "Buy" button from product pages, marketing campaigns, e-mail promotions and anywhere else they want to increase conversion rates.

Register with trialpay today and increase your conversion rates

TrialPay Referral Program

Add Trialpay to your Website
Increase your conversion rates and start accepting payments from Trial pay. Register today.

TrialPay Referral Program

Trialpay is coming to Toyday soon
As soon as we have it implemented, you'll be able to get our great traditional and classic toys for free. Updates will be posted here, or just look out for the "get it for free" buttons on our website.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Craft Idea's To Try with Blake

Blake is approaching 16 months old now and is into everything. Here is a couple of craft ideas I'm going to try with him:

Homemade Finger Paint Recipe

Ingredients:
Sugar
Cornflour
Cold water
Food colouring

Stir four tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup of cornflour together; add two cups of cold water, and heat over a medium heat until the mixture is thick. Then split the mixture and add different coloured food colouring or food colour paste. When it's cold your ready to paint!

Homemade Playdough Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup plain flour
½ cup salt
1 cup water
2 tsps cream of tartar
1 tsp food colouring of choice

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and mix well over a low heat. Remove from the heat when it forms a moist dough. Kneed it until smooth. Then once it is cool you are ready to play. Pull out the rolling pin and cookie cutters and have some fun.

If you can't be bothered with all that effort try this:

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A British History of Toys

The concept of toys developed through a basic need to develop the skills children needed for life, much the same as kittens play fight to prepare themselves so did we. Therefore the early toys of the Dark Ages and Medieval period reflect what affected there lives such as war and hard labour. Mimicking adults and role play are not just fun but are developing the vital skills needed which back then was often life or death. This meant that children would mostly play with toy swords, weapons and tools.


As life progressed so did the toys and by 1632 toys were being sold at market. By the 1700's toy shops were opened selling toys made by local craftsmen. People had money to spend and if they were lucky enough could afford a toy made from wood or fabric. Those who didn't have the money had homemade toys. Suddenly with all the emerging new industries a child's education and happiness became important. Common toys were dolls and musical instruments such as toy drums.

In the 1760's the first toy soldiers were produced in lead and tin, however these did not become popular until the 1800's. By the Victorian period toys were being massed produced and became more affordable. The rise in middle classes and attitudes towards children meant a rise in the toy industry and along came new exciting toys. Victorian children could expect to play with marbles, tops, hoops and skipping ropes. The richer children could have dolls houses and rocking horses in their nursery's. From this era came the legendary Punch and Judy puppets. Many great classic toys arose that people still love and play with today.


Despite all the toys now available most children were poor and had very few toys. They usually played in the streets with what ever they could find.

The twentieth century saw Frank Hornby emerge to create mecanno in 1901 followed by toy cars and trains in 1907. In 1902 the ‘Teddy Bear’ was created when US President Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub whilst on a hunting trip.


In the 50's lego was created. Cinema and Tv began to influence the toys being created as it does today. Do any of these names spring to mind? Buck Rodgers, Andy Pandy, Bill and Ben, Turmpton, Magic Roundabout, this list goes on.



Since then many crazes have hit us such the unforgettable space hopper or rubiks cube. Many of these classic, retro and traditional toys are still with us in one form or another.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

History of the Classic Slinky Toy

The slinky, (or Springy as it's also known) has been a classic toy that truly has stood the test of time. Have you ever wondered about the history of the slinky and how it became one of the nations favourite toys?

The Slinky was created in 1943 by a naval engineer named Richard James, from Philadelphia. He was developing a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships, when a tension spring fell on the floor. He was fascinated by the way the spring kept moving after falling to the ground, and the metal slinky was born!

The next two years was spent developing the classic toy, and it proved an immediate hit, when 400 units were sold at a 90 minute demonstration at Gimbels department store, Pennsylvania in Christmas 1945.

The James Spring & Wire Company was formed soon after, with a working capital af just $500. Each metal springy is made with an astounding 80 feet of wire, and they are now made in Hollidayburg, Pennsylvania, still using the original machinery designed by Richard James.

Richard James left his family and joined a Bolivian religious cult around 1960, leaving the business to his wife and business partner Betty James, who was responsible for the memorable slinky jingle, and TV advertising campain, which you should be able to view below.



Buy the metal Slinky at Toyday.co.uk

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Paypal added as a payment option

When we started our business back in 2003, selling toys part-time on eBay, we used to accept paypal as our main method of payment. It is ideal for eBay addicts, and it is so much better than spending "real money", especially if you sell on eBay too.

Unfortunately, processing paypal payments was causing technical issues with our afilliate programs, and we sadly had to remove it.

We recently changed our merchant provider from Nochex to Protx (who I would thouroughly recommend to anyone serious about setting up an online shop) and they have the facility to take payments via Paypal, in addition to the regular credit and debit cards. This is also arranged neatly on the same payment screen, and so it is a seamless flow through the checkout process.

So, I am extremely pleased to announce that we can now accept Paypal as a payment method on the Toyday traditional and classic toys website.

(Now all I need to worry about is the accounts but that's a whole other story...)

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