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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Looe's Making Waves Music Festival

With September just around the corner Looe is preparing for one of its biggest events this year, a musical extravaganza, and it promises to be an exciting experience and something to remember for anyone who will be in Looe at the time.

The festival is set for 23rd , 24th and 25th September and there will be 3 soundstages;
on West Looe Quay will be a marquee with a Cornish traditional feel, The Rose Garden Marquee, East Looe with an easy listening ambiance, and the beach and seafront with an al fresco rock, pop, punk vibe.

During the day music will be concentrated on the 3 soundstages then local pubs, restaurants and cafes will take over in the evening to maximise the benefits to the local economy.

Headlining will be from the Jam, The Blockheads and Ade Edmondson (of Young Ones, Bottom and Dance for Comic Relief fame) and the Bad Shepherds, plus 40 other local bands, dancers and performers.

Also on these 3 days there will also be a host of workshops, street entertainment and dance performances and the weekend starts with a procession from East Looe to West Looe where everyone is invited to ‘make some noise’ to welcome a giant pasty being paraded around the streets. This is going to be a big pasty!

I am sure all the children and adults are going to want to join in with making some noise on that day and we have a range of musical instruments to help from a lovely metal drum complete with a carrying strap, to tambourines and whistles.

So if you are intending to be here for any of these days I hope you enjoy the music as it is sure to be truly brilliant and Looe will be filled with fun so do join in.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Best toys for a 1 year old girl

Buying a gift is hard enough but with one year olds you also have to make sure it's safe as well as all the other worries like do they have it already? and will they like it? Here is my list of our top five favourite toys for 1 year old girls that take all that worry away for you:

1. Baby Xylophone - £11.99
This chunky wooden xylophone has four lovely tones meaning she can bash away without causing ear ache.

2. Sweet Pea Snuggle Pod - £11.99
An incredibly soft baby dolly that slips into her peapod bed. Cuddly and cute.

3. Eco Phone - No batteries required - £12.99
Telephone calls when this little girl grows up are going to cost enough without having to spend on batteries for her toy telephone when she's only one. This genius phone is charged simply by shaking it and then it lights up and beeps when the buttons are pressed.

4. Rainbow Spinning Top - £12.99
A traditional metal spinning top decorated with bright colours that merge together as it spins. Once you get it spinning fast enough a humming noise is produced.

5. Baby Walker with Blocks -£49.99
A great way to help them start walking as they push this trolley around the house. Inevitably all there favourite toys will get taking for a ride.

Stocking stuffer ideas:

Wooden ABC Blocks - £4.99

Plastic Bath Boat - £1.00 each

Tinkle Tonk - £4.99

Friday, 19 August 2011

Looe and Shark Fishing

Just around the corner from Toyday in Looe is the headquarters of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain which I walk past every day on my way to and from work.

Outside against their wall they keep a blackboard with an up to date count of the sharks that have been caught from Looe so far this season and it stands at 297.

Nowadays with conservation in mind the sharks are caught, their measurements are taken and weight estimated and then released back into the sea.

This is so different to when I was a young boy and growing up in Looe. Each morning men, and women who I thought were really brave would climb into the fishing boats and leave the harbour and steam for a couple hours out to sea stopping to catch some fresh mackerel for bait on the way.

The boats would fly the red SACGB flag to show they were off shark fishing for the day. Me and my friend Bob, both of us aged about ten, would stand on the Banjo Pier in the evening to watch them come back in and for each blue flag flying under the red one they had caught a small shark, but for each blue flag flying above the red flag then they had caught a big shark and were bringing it back to be weighed.

We would run down the quay to the fish market as the boats were landing and hauling the sharks up on to the quay. The sharks would of been over the qualifying weight of 75lbs and this would allow the fisherman to become a member of the SACGB. To Bob and me these sharks were a terrifying sight and it was amazing that we were allowed to touch them and poke them while they just lay there.

This is before the days of the 'Jaws' films so we hadn't really even seen a shark and certainly not had the chance to touch one and if we were really brave one of us would put his hand in its mouth and touch his teeth, but quickly. Even though sadly the sharks were dead they still had a menacing look in their eye and there were often screams when someone thought one of them had moved!

Those days are gone now and probably rightly so and conservation will help to keep the sharks for the future but if you want some of the fun that we experienced then try our Shark Attack game and see if you can get your fingers out of the Sharks mouth before he bites you.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Best toys for a 1 year old boy

Shopping for a gift for a 1 year old seems to be especially easy in our shop. When children turn 1 there is suddenly loads of fun wooden toys that are suitable for them. Narrowing it down to what he'll love the best is the challenge. Below is a list of the top gifts for a one year old boy:

1. Wooden Hammer and Balls - £14.99
Hammering these balls and catching them as they come out the mouse hole seems to be irresistible fun, especially for boys who love to hammer things. Although we also sell the more traditional hammer and pegs this wooden toy is definitely more popular.

2. Rolling Shape Sorter - £9.99A wooden shape sorter that little ones can use to not only sort the shapes but also have fun rolling and shaking. We've not had this item in stock very long but it's value for money has given it instant popularity.

3. Ride on Aeroplane - £79.99
When little boys come into the shop this is an item they go straight to. If you've got a bigger budget this heavy duty metal aeroplane is sure to impress.

4. Wooden London Bus - £11.99
Distinctly British this chunky wooden bus will be great to push around the carpet and start off their vehicle collection.

5. Colourful Wooden Blocks - £10.99
Little boys love to build towers but what they love even more than that is knocking them down again. This chunky set of wooden bricks may not look exciting to you and me but to a one year old boy it will provide hours of entertainment.
Hopefully that has given you a few idea's of what gift to buy and here are a few stocking stuffer ideas as well:

Santa Bouncy Ball - £1.99 Wooden Maracas - £4.50 Plastic Cups - £8.99

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Peppa Pig & George at Woodlands Theme Park

I know with Totnes Carnival starting on Monday there are lots of things to do with the kids next week. If you're looking for other options then on Wednesday 16th August at Woodlands Theme Park, Peppa Pig & George will be there throughout the day.

Our Peppa Pig range here at Toyday is always popular with the little ones so why not take them to see their favourite TV characters and enjoy the other rides and attractions at the Park.

Showing at various intervals throughout the day from 11.00 until 4.00.

This is a free event included in the admission charge to Woodlands Park.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Alice in Wonderland Themed Odd Object

Can you spot our object? I've narrowed it down for you by only taking a picture of one section of the window. It will be much harder for those trying to spot it from the entire window. The competition ends on the 27th of August so come up before then if you want to have a peek.

Adam has spent ages making us lovely wooden boxes to display stock in the shop which you can see in the other picture. Everyone seems to love them and customers keep wanting to buy them but unfortunately we don't have enough to let them. Each box has been waxed and printed with our giant Toyday ink stamp which makes them look really traditional to fit in with our theme. We also have some new wooden half barrels to go outside with stock in. There is no protection from the elements so the contents have to be rain proof but they are great for our summer stock like balls, buckets and Frisbees.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Looe events in August

We have a lot of events happening in and around Looe throughout the month of August and with such a variety of things to do I am sure there must be something here for everyone to enjoy.

11th Snorkel Safari Looe area
12th Beach Day at the Childrens Centre Looe Childrens Centre
12th New Orleans Jazz & Supper Evening St Martins Church Hall, Looe
14th–20th Fowey Royal Regatta Fowey
14th Family Woods Watch Walk Kilminorth Woods, Looe
14th Burraton Male Voice Choir Riverside Church, West Looe
16th&17th British Fireworks Championships Plymouth Hoe
17th Looe Life at Low Tide West Looe River
17th Polperro Fishermens Choir in concert Polperro Quayside
18th Red Arrows at Fowey Fowey
19th Pirates & Princesses Looe Childrens Centre
20th Killer-The Jerry Lee Lewis Story Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross
21st Antique Fair Millenium House, Pensilva
21st Looe Lions Duck Race Looe Bridge & river
21st–26th Redwing Sailing Championships Looe Bay
21st Canoryon Lowen Choir Riverside Church, West Looe
21st Free Food Foraging Monkey Sanctuary
23rd Pirates of Penzance by Illyria Theatre Co Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross
24th Polperro Fishermens Choir in concert Looe Seafront
24th Marine Mammal Rescue Demo Looe Beach
27th–29th Morval Vintage Rally Nomansland, nr Looe
27th Polperro Fishermens Choir in concert Trewether fete, Lostwithiel
27th Saturday Night at the Movies Adrenalin Quarry, Menheniot
28th Pelynt Male Voice Choir Riverside Church, West Looe
28th The Enchanted Garden Monkey Sanctuary
29th Smite World Championships St Neot
31st Polperro Fishermens Choir in concert Polperro Quayside

I did look at this list and wondered what I would like to take part in and being a beach lover and enjoying anything to do with the sea such as Kayaking and surfing then it would have to be the Snorkeling and the low tide walk. I have done a little bit of snorkeling and found it quite a weird experience but really enjoyed it and will persevere with it.

Another very well known and followed event in Looe is the famous Duck Race which is taking place on Sunday August 21st where around 5000 ducks are floated down the Looe river from the Bridge to the lower ferry steps.

Throughout the year they have been selling the numbers on the ducks to raise money for charity and it a great spectacle watching them jostle and swim down the river with lots of cheering and shouting.

Maybe you would like to organise one of your own or if its just a duck for the bath then I think you will find all kinds of ducks you would like in our shops or on our site, from our Giant Duck to the very funny Creature Rubber Ducks.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Beat the Big Birthday Party Expense

Birthday parties have become big business with every child having to have a better party than their friends. You can hire anything; Party buses, bouncy castles and all sorts of children's entertainers. Easy for me to say with my love of all things traditional but do we really need to spend lots of money to give our children a good Birthday party?

I think the way to go is homemade. I've seen a great idea of making your own bunting out of old hankies. One way of doing this was to just fold them and knot them on to each other at the corners but if you wanted to make something more permanent that will last for future parties, you could sew them into triangles on to a long piece of ribbon. Do you remember paper chains? You can buy packs of gummy paper strips that you link into paper chains or if you have some old colourful paper handy, scissors and a glue stick you could have a go at doing your own.

With the decorations sorted, on to the food. We keep chickens so to not use up some of the eggs in our own cake would be crazy but if your baking skills arnt up to it you could be amazed what creations you can come up with using a shop brought Swiss roll and some ready to roll icing or melted chocolate. When I was little I would judge a cake purely on how many sweets it had on it so bag a load of penny sweets for decorating it. The lion cake pictured is something my sister came up with for my 3 year old nephews Birthday. He is a very lucky boy having a summer Birthday so he can have a party on the beach making it easy to keep them all entertained. Just give them one of our £2.50 bucket sets which they can take home instead of a party bag.

If you've ever been to pizza hut you'll know that a visit isn't complete without a go on the ice cream factory. Well you could do one so much better for your party. Fill a table with all things ice cream related for the children to top their own ice creams. All those sweets left over from making the cake, wafers, nuts, sauces, cream, flakes, marshmallows, anything that makes an ice cream extra fun. You could get the children to fill there own party bags in a similar manner. Get some paper bags, you can always find some on eBay, then fill jars and bowls with sweets and treats and let the kids go crazy. As long as you've got more than enough sweets to fill the size bags you've brought then there should be no arguments.

Younger children are easy, stick on a CD and they'll pretty much be up for any party game you throw at them. My favourite was the chocolate eating game.....

Get all the children to sit in a circle and go around the circle showing each one a card from a deck of cards. When a child gets a picture card they have to run to the middle of the circle put on a hat scarf and gloves and cut off a chunk of chocolate from a bar with a knife and fork and eat it all before the next child in the circle gets a picture card and runs up to take their place.

I've just finished wrapping layer upon layer on a pass the parcel for later. For older children you can always make this game more exciting with forfeits in between random layers. Going with a creative theme could be a good way to keep them entertained. You could buy a friendship bracelet kit and have everyone sat with there coloured threads sellotaped to a table making their own bracelets. You can buy extra threads from a craft shop if you have lots of children and you could get beads as well so they can make other things. This could then be there gift to take home instead of a party bag. If this is a bit girly we sell air drying clay that you could get creative with.

There are so many themes and possibilities for a Birthday Party that I'm going to have to stop writing or I'll be here all night but I really love the idea of getting creative instead of letting it get expensive.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Totnes Carnival Week 2011

Totnes Carnival Week kicks off Monday 15th August, with a week crammed full of events for all ages. Toyday will of course be taking part in the Odd Object Competition, which runs from 13th - 27th August, so come up to the shop and try and spot our odd object in the window. You can buy a form from paper works or tourist information and play along for just £1. There are great prizes and trophies to be won.

Other events that week

Monday 15th August -
Baby Show at the Civic Hall 10.30am till 12noon. Register by 10.15am, entry £1.
Glamorous Grandparent Competition
"Musical Event" at Totnes Civic hall from 7pm. entry £1

Tuesday 16th August -
Mile of Pennies in the High Street, 10am till 12noon.
The Floral Dance, from the Rotherfold to the Plains with the Totnes Band, 7pm

Wednesday 17th August -
Sports Day in the Park from 2pm at Borough Park
Carnival Bumper Bingo, Civic Hall, 7.30pm.
Euchre at the King Bill, 7.30pm for 8pm start, Entry £1.
Pool Knock Out Competition at the Dartmouth Inn, 7.30pm, £1 entry.

Thursday 18th August -
Children's Fancy Dress Procession. Register at the Rotherfold at 1.30pm, judging at Borough Park.
Skittles Knock Out Competition at the Meadowbrook social club, 7.15pm start, entry £1.
Darts Knock Out Competition at the King Bill, 7.30 pm for 8pm start, entry £1.

Friday 19th August -
Teddy Bears Picnic. Methodist Church Hall, 2pm till 4pm, entry £1. For children 3 to 7 years with an adult. Bring your favourite teddy.
Fishing Competition, Steamer Quay, register at 5pm to 8.30pm, entry £2.
Skittles Knock Out Final at Meadowbrook social club, 7.15pm start.

Saturday 20th August -
Grand Procession, from Follation House to Totnes Plains. Judging at 4.45pm, move off at 6pm. For free entry form call 863714. Entertainment in the Dartmouth Square after by the Energy Samba Band.

Sunday 21st August -
Thanksgiving Service at St John's Church Bridgetown at 10.00am
Pub Quiz, Dartmouth Inn, 8pm start, entry £1.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Looe in Full Swing

We are now into the first week of August and Looe is packed with holiday makers and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Last Saturday was the final day of Looe Carnival week with the procession taking place from Hanafore down along West Looe quay and into the streets of East Looe. The weather was glorious and there was hardly a standing place to be found. It was a great evening and a wonderful atmosphere and a fitting finale to a great carnival week.

The Looe shop window has been given another make over and we have tried to include a range of the toys to be found inside. It is not a big shop and I think a lot of people are surprised when they do come in to see the selection of toys that we keep from Babies Teethers and Mobiles right up to Suduko and Scrabble and also a lovely range of Musical Instruments.

Our selection of traditional wooden toys is expanding all the time and I think one of the best sellers is the wooden Noah's Ark complete with Noah, his Wife and seven pairs of delightfully painted animals. The front of the Ark lifts up for the animals to be placed safely inside.

In the front of the window is our ever popular Red Fire Engine pedal car and with 2 sold this week is outstanding value for money, but check out the new models that we are now stocking including Le Mans retro style pedal cars, a must for any potential racing car driver in your house!

Do come and look in our window and make some time to come in and browse and I would be amazed if you cannot find what you are looking for, well within reason. I was once asked if we sold tea towels by an elderly lady and I had to say unfortunately we did not, to which she replied " oh but you are a toy shop and I thought you would". Anyway, to everyone who might be on holiday or live around the corner pop in and see what you can remember from your childhood days.

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