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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

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Final Christmas Shopping

This year has been our busiest year ever and yet our smoothest. Every Christmas we make improvments to our systems and I think that helps but I think the main reason it all went so well was due to the brilliant temporary staff we had. A big thank you has to go out to every one who helped us get all the Christmas orders out in time.

The only ones left are the really last minute shoppers who are having there orders sent by next day delivery to get it there on time. If you too are doing a spot of last minute shopping online remember to get your orders in to us before midday tomorrow. You can even have it gift wrap and delivered to the recipient.

It is also our last late night shopping night tonight in Totnes which is sure to be extra lively with lots of stalls and entertainment going on in the street. Someone has just wandered into the shop with some delicious smelling mulled cider to keep him warm.

We will be open here in Totnes on Christmas eve as well so if you've forgotten something just pop up.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas Approaching

Well Christmas is now less than three weeks away and as usual I have hardly done a thing yet regarding presents let alone thinking about a turkey or what food to get in for the unexpected guests! I expect most of you have got the main presents now but if you are looking for the little stocking fillers then have a look at these and all under £5 and there is also our range of Christmas traditional toys. Why do the days in December seem to go so fast whilst January and February seem twice as long, probably because we are all waiting for the long hot summer to arrive and if its anything like last year it will be a very long wait. I took the photo of the boat last night on my way home. Its always decorated with lights each year and does look brilliant. Has a definite feel of Christmas when you walk past it with all the lights in the background. On December 17th there is the torchlight procession around the streets of Looe starting at various points in the town with carols and also I believe maybe mince pies etc. An evening not to be missed and hopefully the rain will hold off although lately each day around 3pm the rain starts.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Be prepared....

It pays to be prepared when it comes to your Christmas shopping.

We are only 1 week into December and we're already sold out of fabric hobby horses and penguin races until after Christmas, to name just a couple. Anything that is popular is sure to sell out way before Christmas. So people please heed my warning, if you really want something to give as a gift this Christmas buy it now!!!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Cyber Monday 2009 - Set to be the busiest day for Christmas shopping online

It feels like Christmas orders have really started to come in thick and fast, but we are not at the peak yet! - “Cyber Monday”, the busiest online shopping day which falls on the first Monday of December each year, is rapidly approaching. This is the peak sales point for all online retailers and we're all getting geared up for many and large orders.
Online Christmas shopping this year is set to hit an all time high with 86% of the UK population expected to shop online. This is up 8% from the previous year.
71% of shoppers are expected to do half or more of their shopping online this Christmas which bodes well not just for us, but for many other e-commerce sites.

Where and when do people do most of their Christmas shopping?
It may not come as much of a surprise that shoppers spend a significant amount of time searching for products while at work. While this may not be good for bosses, e-commerce sites are hit hard during work hours as offices start (unofficially) winding down in the build up to the festive season. Some reports show that at this time of year, shoppers may spend up to 3 hours a week looking for Christmas presents while at work!

Online Shopping – Consumer Confidence
Other emerging Christmas online shopping facts show that online shoppers have constant, if not growing security concerns. Shoppers will hesitate or stop their online shopping if they have any security concerns. In the UK the most confident demographic are 35-44 year olds who do not have any security concerns and the report by VeriSign also shows that UK shoppers are some of the most confident in Europe. Other UK stats to emerge are that the Scottish are the most concerned at 30%, the Irish least at 17% while the UK national average is 22%.
You may have noticed that we have implemented Mcafee security on our site, where they perform a daily check on our site and report if they find any vulnerabilities, and we use Sagepay (formerly Protx) to handle our credit card and Payapal payments through their secure servers so you can be safe in the knowledge that your transactions at Toyday are in safe hands.

If you are ever uncertain about the securtiy when shopping online, then you should check the following on their website; whether the website has full company information, clear delivery and terms and conditions. Equally, you can also investigate that website’s online reputation in terms of searching for reviews and customer feedback. You can also protect yourself by shopping with a credit card, so your payments are protected by your credit card company.

Happy Christmas shopping! - Now, get back to work...

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Winter is here

Well what a change in the weather since I last wrote on here. Last night brought gales and high seas and this morning the beach was looking bleak as the first of the winter storms was on us. At least the sea didn't get into the shop this time, but am always prepared. Most of the shops were putting storm boards and sandbags against their doors as I was walking through the streets last night on my way home. I had a nice surprise today when my granddaughter and grandson popped into the shop to say hi.
It was interesting to see what toys they would play with while they were in here and it also gives me ideas for their Christmas stockings. My 5 year old granddaughter made straight for the dressing up cats and spent most of her time here changing their clothes and playing with them in the dolls house that is on display. My 3 year old grandson was soon playing with the marble runs and that is probably the most popular toy in the shop. He really liked the pedal cars, especially the Fire Engine, boys and their toys! Maybe next year.
Well that's a couple presents sorted for this year.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Boy's Toys

Finding the right present for someone is never always easy. Below are five suggestions (under £10) that could help keep a boy happy and entertained this Christmas.

Blow Football Game £5.99

Army Troopers - set of 32 plastic figures £4.99

Vehicle Puzzle £9.99

Glow in the Dark Marble Run £6.99

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Half Term in Looe

I decided to take the ferry to work this morning from West Looe across the river to East Looe instead of walking around via the bridge. Such a relaxing way to start the day even though it only takes a few minutes but at just 40p its something that you must do while you are here. Ferrymen have been going to and fro the harbour for as long as I can remember and are as much a part of Looe as the pasties and ice-cream. Many of the the fishing boats are heading out to sea today taking the ever optimistic fisherman out in the hope of catching a big one. Some will be going to the reefs, some to deep water marks such as the Eddystone Lighthouse and others just having a couple hours fun catching mackerel. If you enjoy anything to do with the sea and boating than you can find it in Looe. They may not be as big but can be great fun for the children so why not check out our range of boats. Its also the start of the half term here this weekend and I know that most of the holiday parks around Looe are full this week and no doubt there will be a few Christmas presents being bought, so if you are looking for more traditional toys then pop into Toyday and I am sure you will find some great ideas.

Friday, 23 October 2009

10 Top Ten Christmas Toys 2009

Traditional and classic toys really are set to be as popular as ever this Christmas. Here's the top ten best sellers in the lead up to Christmas 2009.

Rubber Band Aeroplane
10. Rubber Band Plane

Bag of Plastic Farm Animals
9. Bag of Farm Animals
Cardboard Kaleidoscope
8. Kaleidoscope
Rainbow Humming Top
7. Rainbow Spinning Top
Ball with Rattle
6. Soft Babies Jingling Ball
Spud Gun
5. Metal Spud Gun
Fun Snaps
4. Fun Snap Bangers
Wooden Letter Train
3. Wooden Letter Train
Playful Penguin Race
2. Penguin Race Game

and at number 1 this year...
Worry Dolls
1. Guatamalan Worry Dolls.

And as a result of the worry dolls success, we have a new worry dolls line due in before Christmas, which include larger worry dolls for lifes bigger worries, and they come in a brightly coloured woven bag to keep them in.

Of course, this is early days and some of our other toys might creep up the list, although It will take some serious competition to knock out the top 3.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A Glorious Day in Looe

Well its another glorious day here in Looe and the town is still buzzing with visitors making the most of the weather that we should of had in the summer. I have a 15 minute walk along the harbour and riverside from where I park my car to get to the shop and it was a pleasure wandering along to the sights and sounds of boats and seagulls this morning. It just doesn't seem like going to work.
Its quite amusing having customers coming into the shop wearing shorts and flip flops buying stocking fillers and picking out toys to buy for Christmas presents whilst at the same time buying items from our range of beach toys and then heading for a day on the seafront.
Everyone that has come in seems to be enjoying themselves here in Looe and I always have time to answer their questions about best beach, cafe, coastal walk, fishing spot etc.
At the end of this month the schools are on half term and during the week I hope to have Kay in the shop again doing hair braiding for the children, and some adults wanted it done last time as well. Great for parties, so if you are holidaying around here or maybe not been to Looe for a while then do try to make a visit and pop in and see us at Toyday in Buller Street.

Monday, 12 October 2009

What A 2 Year Old Boy Would choose

It's not often most children can be let loose in a shop to play with what ever their hearts desire. Blake is one lucky boy to be able to do it, no holds barred. So what did he choose.....

First off he went straight to the balls. What is it about boys and football? Once they've all been thrown out of their basket and boxes. He's on the move again and oh yes typical boy straight to the cars. He played with some pull back diecast tractors sending them off across the shop.

Blake found a guitar and had a couple of strums before he spotted the Jack in a Box. He loves jack in the boxes and is a pro at turning the handle. He doesn't call it a Jack in a Box though, he call's it a 'Boo' because that's the best bit for him, when the lid pops up and he gets to shout "BOO".

He then found his other favourite toy, the marble run, and pulled it down to endlessly put the marbles back up the top to watch them roll down the track.

With play time over we grabbed a balloon and the Jack in a Box and headed back to the office.

Toyday Voucher Codes

Toydays Voucher codes and e-coupons.

At Toyday, we believe in offering the best value toys, combined with excellent good old fashioned customer service. We also offer savings in the form of online voucher codes, free delivery and e-coupons from time to time, however - WE DO NOT OFFER OUR COUPONS ON VOUCHER COUPON WEBSITES.

You will never find an official toyday coupon posted on a voucher website. Toyday voucher codes are only issued via email to our opted - in subscribers, and occasionally packed with an order.

Why don't we publish website voucher coupons?
Some coupon voucher websites will entice our customers through their websites, on the promise of a coupon, saying - click here to reveal code for example, when they don't have one to offer. They just want you to "click through" their site, so that they can earn a referral commission. We don't feel that that is good honest business, and we would rather save our loyal customers money than give it away to dishonest coupon websites.

So, you would like to keep informed of our special offers and coupon codes, then visit our website at www.toyday.co.uk and enter your email address in the special offers box on the bottom right to subscribe to our mailing list and be kept up to date with our current offers.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Toydays Tin Toys reach TV fame

Coming soon to your TV screens is a Christmas special of Kirsties Home Made Homes, that features a lovely character filled house in Devon, where Kirstie Allsop transforms her house with home made crafts using reclaimed and restored second hand furniture and curious hand made objects, where she will get hands on having a go at making things herself to fill her home.

To be aired on December 1st, is a Christmas special, which will feature Kirstie helping some children making teddy bears in the childrens room of her house. If you look very carefully, you will see some of our tin toys decorating the room, which will include our festive wind up tin father christmas, a wooden snowman wobbler, and a few clockwork tin trains and cars.

This isn't the first time our toys have been on the telly. Soon you will see our wooden flapping seagull and a wind up submarine due to be shown in a little boys room on ITV's 60 minute makeover.

Do keep a look out for them and let us know if you manage to spot them.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

A Traditional Christmas!

I know it may seem early, but with summer almost over, here at Toyday it's time to start preparing for Christmas.
The great news is that Traditional toys are meant to be a popular choice this year! According to retail-weekly.com parents "want to buy from a brand they trust and get something that is guaranteed to do what it says on the tin. That’s why all these classic names are doing so well.”
So why not start preparing early and check out some of the things predicted to be popular this Christmas.

Rubik's Cube

Snakes and Ladders

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Dough Heads!

I'm sure you're all familiar with the classic Mr Potato Head. Well, we have just got in a great creative set that follows the same concept, but is just that little bit more exciting!
They go by the name of Dough Heads and are a great way to create your own funny faces out of modelling dough.
This kit comes with 4 pots of Dough, 1 Hair Maker and over 25 exciting accessories including hats, shoes, eyes, ears and mouths to help you make your very own unique dough head characters!

Guaranteed to provide hours of fun!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Totnes Carnival Week Comes to an End

It's the last day of the carnival on Sunday so you still have 2 more days to try and guess our odd object.

The grand Procession is tomorrow and judging will be at 4.45pm at Follaton House. If the children's fancy dress procession is anything to go by it should be a fun day. The children were all looking very cute on Thursday with one little boy dressed as an indian sat on a sheepskin rug.

Come to Toyday Totnes tomorrow to get a free balloon with every purchase in celebration of the carnival!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Totnes Carnival Week!

Totnes Carnival Week features a range of traditional events, and kicks off on Monday 10th August 2009. All through the week the ‘Odd Object Competition’ will take place with odd objects being tactfully placed in most of the shop windows, which we are taking part in! So why not come and visit us and join in the "Spirit of Carnival" Simply pay £1 and try to name all the odd objects and possibly win yourself a prize!! (Forms on sale at the Totnes Information Centre and Paper works)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Giovanni and Antoine : 2 weeks of fun!

Here Antoine and Giovanni, French and Italian. We worked together in the Toyday shop for 2 weeks.
Two weeks of fun, it’s was a very pleasurable. We thank Adam and Emily who accepted us in their shop and were very patient with us. And also Jenny for her help and patients.
In the shop we did many things: took a picture of the toys, worked at the computer, translated the website, stamped letters, sold toys and many other things.
We are very happy to have worked in this shop. This is our last day and we know the shop and its people will miss us.
Our experience in Totnes was very good because we met a lot of nice people and we have improved our mind and English.

Thank you very much and good luck!


The new european union.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Something to get you thinking...

New in at Toyday is the great ultimate thinkers puzzle "The Bedlam Cube". It is said to be the most addictive and mind-boggling game in history, with 19,186 solutions to discover,it's bound to keep you thinking for months, maybe even years!

Consisting of 13 polycubic pieces, the aim is to assemble all the pieces to create a 4 x 4 x 4 cube. Sounds easy? Well why not put your patience and planning skills to the test and challenge yourself to beat the official world record time of 8.77 seconds!

From our retro range of toys and games.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rain rain go away come again another day

Well our beautiful summer has turned into a wet one! Don't worry though I hear the sun will be coming back before the summer is over but in the mean time I thought I would share some rainy day ideas for the School Holidays that don't involve a DS or wii or whatever your little ones poisen is.

Board games - there is no better way to pass the time cooped up in a tiny caravan with the rain beating down then playing a good old traitional family game. We stock a large range of games with some available in travel versions. The newest addition is travel shut the box. A pack of cards is an essential travel companion because even if your off abroad you still never know what the weather will do.

Get Creative - My rainy days as a child were often spent with a colouring in book and some felt tips. For some great craft idea's take a look at our website

Read - The book is always better than the movie and with so many to choose from there really is no excuse not to get into one.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

New Travel Shut the Box!

One of our popular traditional games is the fantastic Shut the box, which is played by simply rolling two dice and flipping down the amount the total rolled is equal to!

Here at Toyday we now have a travel size version of this game, which is perfect for passing time on long journeys and can easily be popped into your pocket or bag!

Requiring skill and focus, this Travel Shut the Box is a great way for children to improve their maths skills!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Carnivals are coming

Looe Carnival week kicks off on the 30th of July with fun and games going on all week. The program has yet to be arranged but it's sure to be another good one. We'll be giving out balloons to the children so get down to the Looe shop all that week.

In totnes the festivities begin on the 10th of August with a Dance fiesta, every one is invited! We'll be taking part in the odd object competition again so take a peek in our window and see if you can spot it. The main event, the carnival procession, is on August 16th.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Childs Toy Guitar

With the festival season finally here, inevitably adults and children all over the world will be sitting in fields strumming their guitars!

The infamous Glastonbury festival took place last weekend, which allows children under 12 free admittance and even has it's own "Kidz field". With many acts able to showcase their talents to a younger audience, undoubtedly, children will leave the festival wanting to get involved in music themselves.

So why not give them a kick start with Toyday's fantastic Toy guitar - perfect for small hands to hold and play. This is a great way for children to learn the basic chords and take the first steps to headlining festivals worldwide!

Here are some more of our popular musical instruments:
- Harmonica
- Metal Drum
- Plastic Kazoo
- Tambourine

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Toyday Empty Basket Bug Fixed

We recently had reported issues from customers that were unable to add our toys to their baskets, or having their shopping baskets disappear altogether when shopping on our site. (How the online world is so different to our tangible world!)

Well, without getting too technical, I'm glad to announce that this problem should now be fixed. For those of you that wish to know, the problem was due to a bit of programming logic that tried to work out if the user was a real human, or a search engine spider, and stopped the session if it thought that a search engine had got caught up in the shopping basket. Unfortunately, due to the more advanced and complex browsers and their various toolbars, our shopping cart was causing havoc with actual buyers carts because it was unable to tell the difference between a computer and a human!

It was a tough problem to crack, because it only affected a few people with different set ups, and we had to do a lot of detective work before we knew where to start. May I thank all of our frustrated customers that encountered this issue for taking the time to contact us and provide us with feedback, so we were able to delve deep and get to the root of the problem, so shopping with us should be a pleasure for everyone.

If you encounter any technical issues or bug reports with our site, please contact us at customerservice@toyday.co.uk with the details.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Going Limited

As of the 1st of July Toyday will be a limited company and we will now be known as Toyday Toy Shop Ltd. Adam and myself will become company directors with a 50% share each.It's a big step for us but is the next one!

This means lots of things to get sorted by the end of the month along with the VAT return being due. Plus we are moving house which is involving alot of DIY. This all means we are two very tired people.

The good thing about having all these deadlines apon us is that soon the dust will have settled and we can sit back and enjoy the sunshine in our new garden.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

My Work Experience at Toyday By Miriam

My name is Miriam, I’m 17 years old and I’m Italian.

For two weeks I’m having my first work experience at Toyday.

The shop is very nice: The people are polite and friendly in the shop.

During the day I do some jobs: I work with a computer and I print orders that the customers place, I serve the customers and I put stamps on the letters that are used to ship the goods to the customers.

Some days I tidy the shop, I put the goods on shelves and I put the price on the goods. One day I made an inventory.

In Toyday you can find traditional and classic toy but if you are a collector of small traditional toys, in Toyday you can find a large choice of toys.

I was astonished when on the first day I discovered that in the shop there are toys for every age and for every type of child, and there is a large choice of toys.

I think I’m very lucky to work at Toyday and I’m very happy to have my first work experience in this shop because I think that I’m learning the main things for working in a shop and improve my English. I would like to thank the customer and the staff of the shop that help me with kindness when I need something or I don’t understand the English language.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

New Supplier

We have discovered a new supplier of wooden toys and baby toys. The wooden toys have yet to be photographed before they can be added to the website but some new baby toys are up already.

We have a selection of new soft baby books that are great value.

Something I saw at a friends house, that Blake loved, is a mirror that roles along that they can chase which around 6 months is a great way to encorage them to crawl and I was quite pleased to find a version. We also get asked for keys for babies all the time, well now we have them!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Summers Finally Here

The sun has been shining down in Devon and Cornwall this week. Lots of families have been spending half term in the South West and both shops have been busy.

With the weather being so warm people have been spending their time in the garden and on the beach. We have a range of sturdy metal outdoor toys which will last through this summer and for many more to come. These are proving particually popular at the moment.

Heres a list of our Top 5 Best Selling Summer Toys:

  1. Wheel Barrow
  2. Kid's Garden Tools
  3. Jumbo Glider
  4. Metal Boules
  5. Glitter Skip Ball

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Back by popular Demand

Our large flower press is back and just in time for summer. Ever since our supplier discontinued the flower pressing kit we have been looking for one to replace it and now it's here.

We also have two new creative products; Spiral art which is a twist on the classic spirograph and Knit Art. There is a generation of Nannas out there looking for a knitting set with all they need to pass on the timeless craft of Knitting to their grandchildren just as there Grandma did for them. This kit helps ensure that a time honoured tradition doesn't die out.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Lower Postage Rates at Toyday Traditional & Classic Toys

Despite all the doom and gloom of the recession, and Royal Mail putting their prices up this month, we are pleased to announce that business is thriving here at Toyday and due to the volume of mail that we send, and by listening to feedback from our customers we have been able to lower our postage and packing prices for all parcels under the 500 gram weight threshold.

This now means instead of 2 packs of strechy animals and a bubble pipe costing £2.95 to send, we can now send it for just £1.95. We have decreased the cost to send all parcels under 250g to a flat rate of just £1.95, and reduced the rate of parcels up to 500g to just £2.95.

The free delivery offer has proved to be so popular, that we have decided to make the free delivery offer permanent on our site for all order over £50.

We hope to see you again soon, now our lower delivery costs have added even more value to our very reasonably priced range of traditional & classic toys.

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

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


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.

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