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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

Sunday, 31 July 2011

A Few New Arrivals of Old Favourite Games

The game I get asked for most in the Totnes is Bananagrams. Which is a banana shapped case filled with letter tiles that you use to play a word game. I've never played it myself but given how many people ask for it I should probably give it a go as it must be good. When I found the distributor for Bananagrams I had to make an order and so we now have this game in stock as well as other games that they also supply.

Hugely popular already is Lexicon which despite having been around since the 1930's is the first time we have ever stocked the game. In fact even though we have an original vintage version in our loft we have never played it.

One game that has just arrived with this delivery that I do remember playing is Pass the Pigs. Basically you throw the pigs like dice and score points on how they land. Each position that they land in has a hilarious name such as pig out, makin' bacon or snouter.

Lastly but for this Cornish girl by no means least we have a Cornwall Edition of Monopoly. Looe Monkey Sanctuary is even on it along with lots of other local attractions. The most expensive place to purchase on the board is the Eden Project but I think I'd much rather buy the Ginsters pasty factory. I'm definitely going to be having fun with this board game!!

All of these games are now in stock in both our Looe and Totnes Shops as well as online.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Totnes & District Agricultural Show

Totnes show is over 90 years old and is set to attract thousands of visitors for this years traditional day of fun!

This year they will of course be the popular Home & Handicrafts marquee, Craft Tent and a large Trade Stands section. New to the show will be the Acoustic Music Stage, featuring great local music and a four-mile Cross Country Bike Race with prizes up for grabs! For the food lovers there's a demonstration kitchen where local chefs will be showing off their skills.

The main attraction this year is Squibbfreestyle - a Devon-based company who specialise in motorcycle stunt displays. The UK's number 1 FMX rider and three times British Champion, Jamie Squibb, will be there to show off his adrenaline pumped stunts.

This year's Show will be held at Great Court Farm on Sunday 31st July 2011.

Gates open to the public at 8.30am

FREE Park & Ride operating from SHDC Follaton House and KEVICC Lower School Car Parks.

With the weather set to stay sunny this weekend -this is sure to be a great day out!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

How to Play Boules

Boules has always been a very popular game in France and Italy being played in village squares and open spaces but has become an increasingly played game here in the UK for several years. Although it is kind of related to the more traditional game of Bowls which is considered to be played by the more mature person on flat greens, Boules can be seen played by all ages and has the advantage that it can be played on uneven surfaces.

Traditional Boules are made of steel and there are usually 6 in a set and included with them is a small wooden ball, or Jack as it is called, made of wood.

Teams are made of two or three players, with the boules being divided between them. A line or circle can be drawn as a standing point and one player tosses the wooden Jack several metres away. Each team then takes turns throwing their Boule as close as possible to the Jack, or if the opposing team has a closer Boule, then a player can try to hit that Boule to remove it and place his closer.

When all the Boules have been played the winning team can score one point for each of their Boules closer to the Jack then their opponents. The game continues until the agreed number of points has been made by the teams before the start for a winning score.

In Toyday we also sell the plastic water filled Boules set which are very popular for families to play on the beach here in Looe and not being so heavy as the metal Boules and more child friendly.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who were killed in Norway on Friday

Part of me wanted to stay in my bubble and not write about the terrible killings in Norway but to not acknowledge the events of Friday would be to do the victims a great disservice.

No one could have predicted that Anders Behring Breivik would go on a killing rampage on Utoya island on that day killing so many. The death of a young person is always hard to comprehend, their futures cut short in a tragic waste of human life so why did this man feel the need to kill so many? How can he justify this kind of loss? He holds extreme right views and maybe this was a protest against his government of some sort but these young people were innocent people that he shot at indiscriminately.

As a parent I can only imagine what the families are going through as there worst nightmare has become a reality. The survivors of these ordeal will be haunted by this forever.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

South Devon Crab Festival

Toyday have recently started to sell crabbing equipment and it's proving extremely popular, especially in our Looe shop, which is the perfect place for crabbing! Crabbing is a great pass time for sitting on the harbour in the sun - all you need is a bucket, a crab line, some bait and a net!

There is a Crab Festival being held all over South Devon from 1st - 7th August in many different crabbing hot spots and includes crabbing competitions, events, tasting and beach events to be enjoyed by all the family this summer.
The confirmed events can be seen below:

The finale of South Devons Crab Festival, which takes place on Sunday 7th August aims to have the most people eating South Devon crab at one time on Dartmouth's South Embankment.

Tickets are £15 for an adult and £7.50 for children. Click here to book tickets. Come along and enjoy these fun filled events!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Carnival time in Looe

This week sees the start of the school holidays around the country and already Looe is getting busy although the weather has not been very kind. Sunday 24th July is the start of the annual Looe Carnival and here is a list of events happening in and around the town.

Sunday 24th July: At West Waylands, an all day boot sale incorporating a Vintage and Classic transport parade and a Countryside Hawking Birds of Prey display.

Monday 25th July: Carnival Royalty choosing followed by the Traditional Floral Dance at 7.30 in the evening starting on West Looe Square.

Tuesday 26th July: Adults and children's Fun Run from West Looe Quay through the woods.

Wednesday 27th July: Children's Sand Modelling Competition on East Looe beach.

Thursday 28th July: Polperro Fisherman's Choir in Concert at the Lifeboat Station in the evening.

Friday 29th July: A day of Traditional Beach Entertainment on East Looe Beach for children.

Saturday 30th July: The Grand Carnival Procession to take place. Judging at 6pm prompt at Marine Drive Hannafore with the parade leaving at 7pm heading for East Looe.

Unfortunately I wasn't in Looe for the raft race a couple weeks ago but I understand Looe was absolutely packed so if you were in the town that day then you will know how much effort was put into making it a great day for spectators and I am sure that everyone involved in the Carnival week will be just as enthusiastic ( I just peeped at the forecast for next week and it looks good!). So do come down and take part or just enjoy it.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Playground Crazes - Old and New

I think I mentioned before that Diabolos have been a popular playground craze of late, with lots of children being able to perform impressive tricks. Quite a useful skill to have if you want to join the circus although I dare say a skill that will be forgotten by most. I certainly can't remember all the different friendship bracelet patterns we used to create sat in the corner of the play ground.

It was a lovely idea to make something to give to a friend although I remember being a little reluctant to give mine away after spending hours making them. We would all have bracelets up our arms, including the dreaded 'shag bands'. There is a lot of disgust surrounding these colourful rubbery bracelets mainly due to the name but we were wearing them from 11 and we never followed the meaning (although we knew what they were supposed to mean) we just wanted to collect as many as possible. I still have a couple of clear rubber bracelets from those days that used to contain water and glitter but alas the water has long since evaporated.

I remember the boys equivalent must have item was football cards and then later on Pogs. I was given a Pog by a boy to start my collection and used it in battles to collect more. They were basically just little round disks which came in different designs. This paved the way for so many more fads to come like Pokemon cards and Bayblades. Sadly I'm too old to have enjoyed those.

More recently we've seen crazy bones come and go. Yo yo's became popular again and then not so much. Now Moshi Monster cards are all the rage. If I was a child of today I would definitely be collecting Moshi Monster cards as they are not just useless bits of card but you can actually use them to interact online.

As a traditional toy shop we don't tend to go with the fashions but we are sometimes lucky enough that classic toys such as diabolos and yo yo's become the latest playground craze. We couldn't ignore the wishes of our nieces and nephews this time though and we do actually stock moshi monster cards while the craze lasts.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Tweedy Push Along Review

Push alongs are great for encouraging Children to walk and improve their balance. This cute and colourful Tweedy push along flaps his wings as you push him along. The handle features a nicely rounded end so the child can hold onto the stick a bit easier. The stick can be detached from Tweedy for easy storage.

I bought this for my Nephew as a Christmas present and the product definitely lived up to it's expectations! At first he did just try to carry it around, but once he knew how to use it, not only did it encourage him to walk better, but he also found the flapping of the birds wings highly amusing and it was funny to watch him push it around from room to room! The only negative with him playing with it so much is that it will begin to look worn quite noticeably on the wheels. This fairly simple and reasonably priced toy is perfect for helping young ones with their spatial thinking, hand and eye coordination and balance.

Pro’s and Cons

- Great for encouraging walking and improving balance
- Colourful
- Suitable for boys and girls
- Sturdy

- Doesn't come in a box

How Much Is It? - At £11.99 this is very reasonable and about the average price of a push along toy. There’s a whole range of these colourful push alongs available from www.toyday.co.uk, including a Penguin, Dragon and Pelican, which range in price from £11.99 to £13.99.

In Short
A summary of the following:
Price - £11.99
Value for Money – 8/10
Enjoyment Rating – 8.5/10
Recommended Age – 1 – 3 Years
Recommended Sex - Both
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

Friday, 15 July 2011

Top ten garden toys and games

After spending the light summer evenings out in the garden this week, attending to the vegetables, and helping Blake with his "creature hunts" for snails and wriggly worms, I'm feeling inspired to write a toyday top ten list of  toys and games that can be played in the garden, and perfect for enjoying outdoors.
1. Children's Watering Cans

2. Plastic Boules Set

3. Small Buckets and Spades
4. Rubber Band Powered Aeroplane
5. Fishing Nets

6. Bug Box with Magnifier

7. Wooden Quoits Game

8. Leather Football

9. Garden Croquet Set
10. Compass

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How to Play Uno

I first came across this card game many years ago while I was staying with my relatives in the Netherlands and I got well and truly hooked on it and we often found ourselves playing Uno into the early hours. There seemed to be a different attitude when it came to card games and board games then in this country and many nights we would visit friends, of friends would just drop in, and we would all sit around the table and plays games.

Rarely would a television be put on and the children were as involved as the adults in whatever game we would play and it does seem as we have all become used to sitting down in the evening and putting the 'telly' on which often ends conversation and stimulation.

There are variations of the game but a normal deck consists of four suits, wild cards and word cards which have directions to follow, making a total of 108 cards and can be played with up to ten players. With a dealer chosen, each player is dealt 7 cards with the remainder of the pack, called the draw pile, placed face down in the middle of the table. The top card of the draw pile is turned over and forms the discard pile. Play commences with the player to the dealers left and goes clockwise.

At your turn place one of your cards face up on to the discard pile, matching the one there, either by colour, number, wording, or be a wild card. If you are unable to do this then you must take a card from the draw pile. If you can play this card then do so otherwise play goes to the next person. If at your turn you play a wild card then you may change the suit. If you place a draw four card on the discard pile you may also change suit. You must follow the instructions on word cards placed on the pile by the player proceeding you, which could be miss a turn or pick up cards.

One final and amusing point, you must say 'Uno' when you have just the one card left and if you forget and another player catches you then you must take 2 cards off the draw pile as a forfeit.
The idea of this game is to get rid of all you cards and then score points for what cards your opponents are left holding with usually a score of 500 to be named the winner with how to score information included in the pack.

A great fun way to spend an evening with family and friends.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Summer Fun with Totnes Carnival and Woodlands Theme Park

It's nearly time for the kids to break up from school for the summer, which can often leave you wondering how are you going to keep them busy and entertained for 6 weeks. Below are a few suggestions:

This year the fantastic Totnes Carnival week is set to to run from 14th to 21st August. They have yet again planned a week full of fun and exciting events, which appeal to all ages.

Events include a Bingo Evening, Baby Show, Fishing Competition and Teddy Bears Picnic. Not forgetting the challenging but fun Odd Object competition, which Toyday will be taking part in, so make sure you head on up to see if you can guess what doesn't quite fit in our window display this year. Keep checking the blog for more information on the events!

Woodlands Family Theme Park is running events daily during the Summer Holidays. If the rides and attractions aren't enough to keep the little ones busy, they have entertainers performing.

23rd July – Richie the Award Winning Street Performer
24th July – Emazdad the Magician & Balloon Modeller
25th July – Ben the Master Juggler
26th July – Emazdad the Magician & Balloon Modeller
27th July – Ben the Master Juggler
28th July – Richie the Award Winning Street Performer
29th July – Spangles the Clown
30th July – Emazdad the Magician & Balloon Modeller
31st July – Spangles the Clown

This summer has plenty of fun events lined up for some great family days out!

Friday, 8 July 2011

When a toy is not just a toy

Here at Toyday, our main business is selling toys, as toys, to play with, and entertain or amuse oneself. However, sometimes our toys are purchased for other such purposes, and today, I felt compelled to list some of them.

Cat Deterrent
a.k.a. The Water Pistol

Perfect for keeping cats under control, a water pistol is a must. Whether you are keeping strays off of the garden, or trying house-train your cat, many of our water pistols are sold for keeping their pets under control.

Crow / Bird Scarer
a.k.a. Wooden Football Rattle

Great to keep the birds away from freshly sown seeds in the garden, the clacking noise generated from this wooden football rattle should do a great job of keeping the birds away!

Restaurant Menu
a.k.a. Framed slate and pencil

You may have eaten out recently and been presented with the dessert menu or specials chalked up on on of our slate blackboards. They are far more environment friendly than paper too.
Party Jelly Moulds
a.k.a. Castle Bucket and Mould Set

Kids will love a fantasy world made entirely out of jelly! The only limit to your jelly kingdom is the size of your bucket. The accompanying moulds make perfect seahorses, shells and crabs to live in the wobbly jelly world.
Hand Exercising Ball
a.k.a. Moody Face Stress Ball

Many people that have suffered strokes or similar ilnesses find that these moody face stress balls are a perfect way to help build up muscles again in their hands. Their tension is just right for gently squeezing and releasing again for hand exercises.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Tale of Treasure Hunting and Rice Rewards

A couple of weeks ago I was in a local supermarket in the magazine aisle trying to find something interesting to browse through while my partner tried on some clothes. Usually I find a fishing one but there weren't any there but I noticed a 'Metal Detectorist' magazine. Now I have always been a fan of the TV programme 'Time Team' and many years ago I bought an old C-Scope metal detector at a boot sale for around a tenner if I remember correctly, with thoughts of finding some long buried treasure of unimaginable value and as I didn't seem to have any luck whatsoever with the lottery this seemed to be the answer!

I bought a few magazines on the subject and with new batteries I was ready to go. Through the summer I spend most of my days off on a beach somewhere and it seemed a great idea that after the crowds had gone home I would set up the detector and scour the beach for lost money, rings and all sorts of jewellery as I had seen a few other people with detectors do. A few days later we were on a beach on the North Coast, evening had come and the beach was almost empty. I switched on the detector, put on my headphones and with high hopes I started walking. Almost immediately it beeped, I dug a pit but nothing, took another step, beep, dug a pit and nothing.

Lesson number one, don't wear trainers with metal eyelets for the laces when metal detecting as every time you sweep the head past your foot it will beep! Lesson number two, if you wear a watch keep it away from the head if you are digging a hole and are sweeping the head over the hole for the same reason. That sorted I spent many hours on the beaches during summer evenings digging holes, some a couple feet deep and lost count of the nails, screws, bottle tops and other rusty objects I dug up but a few coins were found and sometimes enough to cover the car park or buy an ice cream but there was always the expectation of finding something valuable.

After a while and as with most new hobbies it was soon relegated to a cupboard at home and forgotten about for a few years until reading the magazine in the super market. A strange coincidence then happened when a couple days later a young couple came into Toyday asking if we sold metal detectors and I replied that unfortunately we didn't. They wanted to know where they could buy or hire one and not a children's one but a good one. I would of sent them to Plymouth but I was intrigued and they explained they were on holiday and staying at a local Forestry Commission Cabin just outside Looe with their parents. On the outside decking was a hot tub and a couple days earlier her mother had been in the tub and noticed her ring was missing and it had to of happened when she had been flicking some insects out of the water.

Panic set in and for 2 days they had searched the undergrowth between the cabin and a lake and even a couple of the maintenance men had helped but it couldn't be found with thoughts that it may of gone into the lake. I explained that I had a detector at home and if I could still get it to work I would call in to the cabins the next evening on the way home from work which I did. I didn't realise that the cabin was just feet away from the lake and the undergrowth had been trampled flat but after a coffee, we started searching. I found spoons, forks, and there were nails everywhere and it seemed hopeless but one beep was different and very faint and there under the trodden down nettles was the ring.

They were ecstatic and what had been a nightmare had become a celebration. The ring was bought forty years ago for an anniversary and as it was diamonds and emeralds the cost back then was over a thousand pounds. They explained that although insurance would of covered the monetary loss it was the sentimental loss which was the hardest to bear. I couldn't of been happier for them and refused any money but gratefully accepted a bottle of wine. The detector is now in the boot of the car ready for the next time we go to the beach!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

The History of Marbles

What is a marble?
A marble is a small spherical toy, commonly made from glass, but also made from clay, steel or precious stone.

Marbles are used for playing many different marble games, as well as their appeal to collectors due to their beautiful aesthetics. (they look pretty!)

When was the first marble ever made?

There are no recorded dates of when the first marbles were ever made. It appears that the earliest marbles found by archeologists were made of stone, which was discovered along with some small stone pillars buried in a child's grave in Egypt in about 4000 BC. Similar clay and stone marbles have been discovered in Pakistan and in Austrian caves inhabited by our palaeolithic ancestors. It is also assumed that people would have played games using stones and nuts before this time.
Interestingly, there are murals at the roman baths in Somerset showing children playing games with marbles.

Glass Marbles
Shakespeare's works contain references to the game of marbles, and coloured glass marbles are known to be made in as early as the fifteen century by glass workers at the end of their day to take home to their children.
A German glassblower invented marble scissors in 1846, a device for making glass marbles. 

Mass Production
Ceramic marble entered mass production in the 1870's. Glass marbles followed later in 1903 made by the  M.F. Christensen & Son Company in the USA.

How are Marbles Made?

Glass marbles are made by melting the glass in a furnace, and then poring the molten liquid out. Different coloured glass is then injected into the flowing glass if required, and then it is cut into small cylinders with shears. These are dropped into a very long machine that has a rotating corkscrew roller, so as the glass travels along it is rounded off and cools.

Classic Games involving Marbles
There are many traditional games you can play with marbles, and they also feature in some of our classic favourites such as Hungry Hippos, Mancala, Kerplunk Marble Runs and Solitaire.

Don't forget to take a look at our range of beautiful marbles and marble games.

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