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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.

Some of our Latest Toys

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Paddington


Have you seen "Paddington"? I did last Tuesday and loved him. Its an endearing tale of the adventures of the young bear's journey from Darkest Peru to London, and his  love for Marmalade sandwiches.

The animation of Paddington is unbelievable, I was total convinced by his adorable facial  expressions and polite mannerisms. Its worth a watch if your in a christmasy cuddly mood.
Paddington is quite an interesting character.The story in itself brings up the issues of immigration. I was reading an article that reviews the film from an immigration lawyers point of view. This bear has this idealized vision of London to be a friendly, welcoming and polite place. When in fact he finds it is the opposite. Dose this bring up a prospective of how London is viewed from an outsider?
However this story does have a happy ending, and that's what I like to see. If I saw this little bear at a station I would definitely take him home. If you fancy having a bear in the house, you can buy him from the Toyday website. But remember to look after him well and feed him lots of Marmalade sandwiches!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

If you like all things British and hand made, then you will love Cornish Whispers

http://www.cornishwhispers.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=60


If you like all things British, and hand made crafts like us, then you will love our new Cornish Whispers business.

Who is Cornish Whispers?

With a passion for all things hand made, and a love of Cornwall, Husband and Wife team Adam & Emily decided to start their own business where everything will be designed and made in Cornwall, and thus Cornish Whispers was born.

Adam's background in carpentry tends to favour wood as his material of choice, although he also likes to play with acrylics, cardboard, leather, ceramics and glass and likes to mix traditional and rustic designs with a modern style.  Emily's addiction to beads and jewellery making was getting quite out of hand, and after running out of family members to make for, we had to find some new customers to appreciate her jewellery, all one-off unique designs. Both like to help each other and get involved with the design of every Cornish Whispers make.

http://www.cornishwhispers.co.uk

What we make

Our  new website features a small but growing range of Cornish Whispers gifts, most of which can be personalised with special dates, names and places, which are perfect for wedding presents, Christening gifts, unique Christmas or birthday presents, or perfect for treating yourself to a finishing touch for your home.

http://www.cornishwhispers.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=58

http://www.cornishwhispers.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=56
 http://www.cornishwhispers.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=50

We're still in our infancy and finding our feet, but we know what we like, and with the help of feedback from our growing facebook fans, we are developing our own style and range of Cornish designed and made products.

Bespoke Assignments

We are also happy to undertake bespoke projects and will be happy to work with you on creating a product. Whether you would like some unusual wedding invitations or party favours, or an exclusive product line for your shop, we can take your idea's and help you to make them into a reality. Please contact us if you are interested in commissioning us to make something for you.

Support Us

Please take a look at our work in progress and we look forward to hearing from you on our facebook page, and our all new website is now launched: www.cornishwhispers.co.uk

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Lady Bird Infestation


In my room I have hundreds of ladybirds clustered round the top of my window. At fist I was excited because ladybirds are cute. But pretty soon this excitement turned to terror as I found out they were evil ladybirds!

The Harlequin ladybird retreats inside this time of year to get away from the cold. They are slightly bigger and more orange than the ladybirds we know and love. They have come over from south America and are eating their English cousins!  How scary!

The native ladybird is more hardy and can stand the outside cold. Good for them!



http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/party-time/dressing-up/girl-s-ladybird-fancy-dress-costume/prod_4528.html#toy








The lady bird costume we have here at Toyday is the good one....not the evil one... Because its red with black dots and for 4-6 year old, so its for little ones.

 Maybe if you wore it, the bad ones would think that you were a giant good ladybird and run away?

But remember to watch out for your cousins!.... they could try to eat you.



To end on a positive note: these new bad ladybirds don't like the smell of menthol, so if you keep you room minty fresh you should be fine.

Good luck to you all!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Tricks and Treats at Toyday

It's almost that spooky time of year again and we have some great things to help make yourself, your children and your home as frightening as possible this Halloween!

If you're looking from some halloween tricks, treats and dress up items, pop down to our Totnes shop.


Trick your friends into thinking their finger will be chopped of with one of our Finger Choppers.

If you're decorating the front of your house this year, then the glow in the dark Skeleton Sticker is perfect for your window. 

Make your very own Zombie monster! This kits includes four different colours of modelling clay in green, red, white and black. Reuse the clay or leave him to air dry for 24 hours.
four different colours of modelling clay in green, red, white and black to allow you to make a scary zombie. Reuse the clay or leave him to air dry for 24 hours. - See more at: http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/creative-toys/craft-kits/build-your-own-zombie/prod_6219.html#toy
four different colours of modelling clay in green, red, white and black to allow you to make a scary zombie. Reuse the clay or leave him to air dry for 24 hours. - See more at: http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/creative-toys/craft-kits/build-your-own-zombie/prod_6219.html#toy

We have some super scary masks, including, dracula, frankenstein, bats and cats!  If you're planning on going all out this year the self adhesive fake wounds set is great for creating realistic and gory looking injuries.

Halloween happens to fall on a Friday this year, so for most people there is no work or school the next morning, which gives you even more reason to celebrate! 

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Did you know about the new cinema in Totnes?

Okay well it's a not so new. The Romoney cinema located where the library used to be behind Harberton Arts, originally opened in 1946.  It showed films on Thursday nights for a traveling cinema. Then became full time, seating 161 movie fans and showing the greats until October 1964 when it closed. Now all these years later there are plans to re open it for the people of Totnes to enjoy.


Last week they opened  the space so people could come and share ideas and visions on how the cinema should be. When I went in there, the space looked incredible! So different from what it was before. Loads of people had given their ideas on what films they wanted to see, what food they want to eat and what they wanted from the space. The notice board was stuffed with suggestions and words of encouragement.

It's a great idea and I am very excited to see how it works out. Personally I would like to see them supporting local film makers and showing interdependent shorts before the feature instead of adverts. This would provide a chance for people to share their work with local people. Having your film screened is such an amazing feeling.

I really hope this works and the community supports this project. Going to the cinema is such a fantastic and social experience when it is full of people all laughing and crying together.
Its so much more exciting than sitting at home watching a film on your own. Films bring people together and let them share experience and emotions.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Nadine's time at Toyday

Hello, my name is Nadine. I'm 18 years old and from Germany. It's my third week in Totnes and I have just two weeks left.

The first week i went to the Totnes Language School and there we talked about our favorite games in the primary school. I told the group about a game where two people get a rope around their legs and a third one skip.
Then I got the chance to work in the Toyday shop. I went around the shop and saw the game: French Skipping. It's about 10 years ago that I played it... but maybe I should try it again one time.
 

Another toy I remember is a goki puzzle. My grandparents have a lot of these and I played with them when I was about 5 years old. I liked it a lot and Toyday sell some of the puzzles in their shop. You have 20 cubes and could make 6 pictures. So you decide which one and then start to find the right pieces.


I remembered here my time when I was young and I think the time where we played together with other children was better than the time with the mobile phones. Kids should play without their phones and enjoy the time.
I never had some technical games when I was younger and I miss the time to meet friends without being on the phone the whole time.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Traditional vs Technical


What makes a good toy?
Narrative?
Interaction?
The ability to promote imagination?
The amount of flashing lights and noises it makes?
The way it keeps the child entertained and focused for hours?

Its interesting to think about. "Techno toys" in the form of apps etc have become very popular recently, the world is changing as technology becomes increasingly clever and advanced. However has the way children think changed?

I remember having a Tamagotchi. Just like the one pictured. There was something so exciting about them they could go round to their friends for tea! and they died if you didn't look after them properly. They even pooped. Great! I wish I still had it, because now they are worth a small fortune. They kicked off the screen based games that are so popular today.
http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/dolls-plush/puppets/knitted-finger-puppet/prod_4387.html#toy
But then you start to ask. Does this encourage children to use their imaginations less? The same amount of fun could still be had with a normal doll, teddy or puppet. They can also go round their friends for tea or go flying or skiing or dancing. They can do far more than a Tamagotchi can. Your imagination is your limit! Its interesting to think how something so simple has more perpetual than something so complex. The traditional toys have a more reel, practical feel to them.

http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/creative-toys/make-your-own-monster-puppet/prod_4789.html#toy
But then of course you are relying on the child sense of creativity and energy in keeping that up. It can be tiring! However creativity is something that should be promoted in children. Its such a good quality in life to be able to make the best of something. Our imagination can be our savoir sometimes.

The finger puppets and make your own monsters can be found on the Toyday Website.





Saturday, 27 September 2014

I am an animator.

My main passion in life is animation. This is what I will go on to study at Kingston University after my gap year. I like to experiment with different techniques and materials using anything that's movable and interesting. Some of my favorite medians to animate with are charcoal, paint, paper and sand.

I have had various commissions, one where I have worked with a poet called Jack Dean who went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer with his show Threnody For The Sky Children. My animations went along side the poetry and it was a very affective combination. Poetry and animation work well together because the images created are constantly moving and evolving.

In the shop I have been making little animations that show a certain product in use. Last week I played with the My Little Pony Dress-up Mug. Changing her outfits with the reusable stickers that come with the mug.

Today I experimented with Fun Dough. Seeing what shapes and textures I could make. What I love about animation is the freedom to do what ever you like. The dough moved easily into so many different shapes but wouldn't stay because it is so soft. This created a constantly evolving figure that changed from being a dolphin to a face in a couple of frames. It sometimes feels like the median I'm using has a mind of its own and decides itself what shape it wants to go to next and I am merely there to be an assistant to the material.

 I know it sounds a bit crazy. This relationship between the animator and the animation is something I explored a lot in my foundation degree. I find it very interesting how objects have their own characters, and this really comes apparent when you start to animate them.

My animations that I have made in the shop will be on the Toyday website soon. Keep an eye out for them!


Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Joy of a Den is in the Building of it


You can make a den or hide out from just about anything. Above is a den we made with Blake using pallets and an old garden gate. The garden has grown up around it now making it look more attractive. He didn't want a shop brought Wendy house which was fine with us. He has set his den up as his laboratory, full of his 'potions'. A child's imagination seems to come alive in a den.


We were lucky enough to get enough snow to make this cool snow den. It took all day but it was worth it when at the end we lit a few candles inside and sat in it with some hot chocolate and cookies.


It's great that parks seem to have cottoned on to how much children love dens and you will often find one of these living willow dens in playgrounds now.

http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=5730 

We sell a colour your own castle for £25 made from card that you simply slot together and then colour. Its great fun making a den together and this set really gets them involved. Then they can get dressed up and role play from there very own fort.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

What is it about Rag Dolls that makes them so special?

http://www.toyday.co.uk/shop/dolls-plush/dolls/butterfly-rag-doll-with-skirt-and-cardigan/prod_5662.html#toy
Out of all the toys in the shop I feel I'm most drawn to the Rag Dolls. Hand made in England they have very unique and adorable feel to them. As you walk into the shop they are all sitting right in front of you arm in arm with all there friends. I picked one up to change her label and I became attached to her, shes so soft and cuddly I didn't want to put her down when I had finished.

Dolls are one of the oldest toys going back to 2000 BC where evidence has been found in Egyptian tombs where families were buried with their most treasured processions including dolls made from rags, wood, clay and bone. This shows that dolls have played an important role in peoples lives for thousands of years

What makes a good toy is the attachment the child has to it. Originally, as the name suggests, Rag dolls were made by Mothers for their children out of old pieces of cloth and material and sowed together to create a doll. So simple yet so lovely. It's amazing to think that a child can become so attached to a piece of old cloth, but that's the magic of imagination. This attachment becomes so strong that the child can not go anywhere without the doll, I remember having a teddy that I would take everywhere with me because she made me feel safe, and was a great friend, we could share secrets that nobody else would know.


I think this kind of connection can only be made with a soft toy. The rag dolls have such a comforting feel to them, its that gentle cuddly quality to them that makes them special. I think this is such an important part of childhood.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Keeping a Toddler Entertained on a Plane

We're planning our next holiday and one thing that puts me off going too far is the thought of having to keep our toddler happy. Our 7 year old will be easy, he won't be any more bored than me with movies, books and an ipad but an 18 month old is a whole different level of stress.

I took him on a short bus ride the other day and the first thing he did was start screaming. In the comfort of our own home this is easy to deal with but a full melt down on public transport with the disapproving looks and tuts of the person in front is extremely stressful.

I know I'm not alone as I've had other mum's, dad's and grandparents sharing there concerns in our shop and asking me for suggestions of little light toys they can take with them. Ideally they want something the child hasn't seen before and a great idea is to wrap them and give them spread over the journey. Nothing noisy, messy or that involves running round. Here is what I would choose:

Magic Drawing Board
Wooden Clockwork Animal


Wooly Willie
Muddle Farm Magnetic Book

Colour Your Own Stickers

Pack of 4 Tubs of Playdoh
Clockwork Fishing Game

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