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

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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Make Your Own Marble Run Out of a Cereal Box

One of Blake's favorite toys is his marble run (from our shop of course) and one of his favourite activities is junk modelling. This craft idea combines these two fun things.

The first part of the fun is to rummage through the recycling and dig out a cereal box, cardboard tubes and plastic bottles or anything else in there that could make a good track.

We cut off the front of the cereal box and then just tape in all the track pieces. This is the tricky bit as you need to make sure your marble will roll from one section to the next and that it will fit through all the holes. Blake was in charge of testing and dropped a marble in each time we added a new section. After a lick of paint we were ready to play.

This picture shows our finished article but there is no reason why yours has to look the same. You can decide exactly what to put where and what junk to use. You could add more cereal boxes and make a really massive marble run.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Totnes Carnival Week - Odd Object Competition

Totnes Carnival Week has now kicked off and Toyday are again taking part in the popular Odd Object Competition, which runs from 11th to 25th August. 

All you need to do is collect a form, visit all the shops listed and guess the odd object hiding in their window display.  Over 100 shops took part last year and there are prizes and trophies to be won so this is a great activity for all the family.

Entry fee is £1.00 and forms are available at the Totnes Information Cente and Paperworks, 63 High Street.

This year our odd object is hidden amongst Emily's Woodland Window display.  Can you spot it? If you can't see it in the photo then pop up before the 25th August and have a look. 

There are plenty of other events taking place this week including Sports Day in the Park on Wednesday 15th August 2 - 4 pm at Borough Park, Totnes and the Grand Procession from Follaton House to Totnes Plains on Saturday 18th August 4.45 - 6 pm.

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss, Old Fat Furry Catpuss

Bagpuss originated in a 1974 UK children's television series which was created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate through their company Smallfilms. The title character was "an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams".

Even though there were only 13 episodes of the show made, it remains fondly remembered and in 1999 Bagpuss topped a BBC poll for the UK's favorite children's TV programme.

The programme would always begin the same way with a series of sepia photographs. The viewer is told by a narrator of a little girl named Emily who owned a shop.

However the shop did not actually sell anything but instead Emily would find lost and broken items and display them in the window of her shop hoping their owners would one day whilst walking past come in and claim them.

Each day Emily would place the objects in front of her favourite stuffed toy, a large, saggy, pink and white striped cat named Bagpuss and would then she would recite a verse:

Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old Fat Furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.

When Emily had left, Bagpuss would wake up and all the various toys in the shop would also come to life including Gabriel the toad, and a rag doll called Madeleine who would then all discuss what the new object was telling stories about it and singing which would magically mend the broken item.

Eventually the newly mended item that Emily had placed in the window would be claimed and  then dear Bagpuss would start yawning again, and as he fell asleep the narrator would speak as the colour faded to sepia and they all turned back into toys.

Today Bagpuss seems as popular as ever and we now stock 'Yawning Bagpuss'. Just squeeze the belly and Bagpuss plays a musical tune and has a big yawn at the end.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Looe's Incredible Music Festival returns for 2012

The phenomenal success last year of Looe's first ever music festival has to show what outstanding events Looe can put on and the tireless effort by the people who organized it.

It goes without saying that because of its success that as soon as the event was over there were plans being put into place for this year and already it is promising to be bigger and better with some great headlining acts.

The 3 day event will be held from September 21st until September 23rd with 60 plus bands playing at the various locations in the town and in the evening the pubs will be alive with music.

Once again the main stage will be on the beach and if you were there last year then you will remember the  phenomenal atmosphere, and this years top acts are The Stranglers, Levellers, and The Skints and how about some Rock and Roll with Showaddywaddy.

Tickets are going fast and this is something not to be missed and remember that it’s a non-profit making organisation, and having just gained charitable status in March 2012, all profits that are made will go back into next year’s festival or local community projects promoting musical talent and understanding.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

History of the Solar Radiometer - How does the Solar Radiometer work?

Also known as The Light Mill and The Crookes Radiometer, the Solar Radiometer was invented in 1873 by English chemist, Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research.  To reduce the effect of air currents he was weighing samples in a partially evacuated chamber and noticed the weighings were disturbed when sunlight shone on the balance.  He then when on to investigate this effect and create this device, which is still manufactured and sold as a novelty item over 130 years later!

How does the Solar Radiometer work?

All that's required to power the Solar Radiometer is radiant light i.e light that gives heat such as sunlight or an incandescent bulb so would work under a lamp or torch as long as heat is given off.  The black sides of the windmill warm up the space close to them faster the the shiny sides.  This causes the colder molecules to move faster and rush towards the warmer space inside the bulb, creating a pressure imbalance. The windmill then moves to correct the imbalance.

The Solar Radiometer contains a partial vacuum, therefore if the glass is cracked it may cause the vacuum to be lost, which will mean the windmill will not turn.

The Solar Radiometer is a simple but fascinating way of demonstrating solar energy at home or in a Science lesson!

Woodland Window inspired by Englands Forests

There are loads of woodlands in Britain where you can have a free family day out this summer. On the hottest day of the year we went to Cardinham woods near Bodmin in Cornwall. They have barbeque's and picnic benches so that was lunch sorted. There is a river running through the woods that was great for the children to splash about in to cool off and the trees provided a bit of cover so no one got sunburn. Blake loves collecting fir cones and spotting different creatures.

I then went in to the shop and brought a little bit of the Forest with me by setting up a woodland themed window display. I'm a big fan of toadstools, like the one Blake found to sit on. The wooden tree house you can see in the picture comes with little wooden toadstools as well as woodland animals. It really is a beautiful toy that both boys and girls love. It's not on the website yet but we only have 36 and once they are gone they're gone.

Our toadstool night lights and toadstool fairy lights brighten the window up and night. I have also used Djeco meadow wall stickers in and around which features birds, rabbits, flowers, toadstools and other countryside images. I love these and would use them in Blake's room if he didn't already have a pirate bedroom. There are lots of my favorite new products in the window including the fairy on a toadstool birthday puzzle card which is from our range of jigsaw puzzle cards and the hanging owls which as everyone who knows me knows, I love them.

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