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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Who invented the Rubik's cube?

all images taken from Google images

The Rubik's Cube: Created by Ernő Rubik; a Hungarian sculptor and Professor of architecture. From simply being a small invention to becoming the German Game Of The Year in 1980, the Rubik's Cube will always go down in history as the puzzle sensation!

Over the years many have attempted to achieve 'world records' to match up each cube with the correct colour under a certain time limit. Ronald Brinkmann holds the World Record at the West German Championships in 1982, completing the cube in an incredible 19 seconds. The game is very time consuming but also challenges a persons patience, focus and above all; colour coordination.

During World War 2, Ernő Rubik was born in Budapest, Hungary on July 13th, 1944. His father was a flight engineer and his mother, a poet. Ernő graduated at the age of 22 from the Technical University, Budapest Faculty of Architecture. He then went on to do postgraduate studies in sculpting and interior architecture. 
After his Rubik's Cube creation becoming a global phenomenon in 1974, Ernő Rubik then went on to design and create his own furniture and games, becoming self-employed in 1983 and founding the Rubik Stúdió. As his inventions grew so did his future; becoming the president of the Hungarian Engineering Academy in 1990 and created the International Rubik Foundation to support talented/aspiring young engineers and industrial designers.

Other inventions include: Rubik's Magic, Rubik's Magic: Master Edition, Rubik's Snake and Rubik's 360.

The Rubik's Cube is definitely a must have for all ages. The famous cube has now been made into key rings, mugs and fancy dress costumes! Throughout my childhood attempting to do a Rubik's Cube was never really my strong point! However, It's definitely something I feel every child should experience.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Happy Easter from Everyone at Toyday

We're all set for a cold but dry and sunny Easter weekend. Perfect for a stroll about the shops.

                                          Toyday Looe                      Toyday Totnes
Good Friday                  10.30am till 5.30pm             10.30am till 4.30pm
Saturday                        10.30am till 5.30pm             10.30am till 5.30pm
Sunday                           11.00am till 4.30pm                  Closed
Easter Monday              10.30am till 5.30pm             11.30am till 3.00pm

Enjoy your hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and whatever you have planned!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Good behaviour reward jar

A simple way to reward your child's good behaviour is to decorate a pot or jar. We painted one for Blake with some glass paints, and every time he does something good, he gets a bead or two. If he's naughty, then usually the threat of taking some beads away is enough to change his behaviour.
We have worked out a redemption system, where one bead is worth 10p. This has helped Blake to value and appreciate the cost of things he "wants", when he knows that will cost 10 beads, or this will cost 20 beads etc.
Blake has been saving up all year and will be treating himself to something soon!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Meaning Behind Nursery Rhymes.

We have just been having a discussion about nursery rhymes and how they came about. After looking into it we have found a lot of what we thought is probably wrong.

It is commonly thought in England that the Nursery Rhyme 'Ring of Roses' relates to the plague of 1665.

Ring-a-ring o' roses, (It is thought that this relates to a rash that accompanied the black death)
A pocket full of posies, (People carried posies to ward of the plague)
A-tishoo! A-tishoo! (Sneezing or coughing was a symptom)
We all fall down. (and finally death)

This explanation to the rhyme didn't come until after the 2nd World war which leads scholars to believe this was not the original meaning of the song and more likely it was just a children's dancing game where the fall at the end was actually a curtsy.

Another common theory is that Oranges and Lemons relates to public executions. It is thought that it is more likely sung on festive days of the church when the bells were rung and that the final two lines were added on later.

One nursery rhyme that is hopefully straight forward is 'London Bridge is Falling Down' which we all believe is about the deterioration of London Bridge due to its age and the great fire of London in 1666. Although there are still other theories this is still the most likely explanation.

The nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep is said to refer to a Wool Tax in 1275 that saw a large percentage of the profit in going to the king (The master).

What ever the original meaning behind nursery rhymes there is something comforting in the tradition of singing them and passing them down from generation to generation. We continue to sing them to our babies or teach our children the actions or dances to accompany them. Steeped in history our heritage gets passed on through these simple rhymes.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The beginning of Walt Disney

Hello there's Becky again . . . :-)

I had change the work experience because the toyshop is always the best for me!!! ;-) 

Today I have the chance to write about              W a l t    D i s n e y  . . .   

I promise you it's really interesting, because I think we have all watched a film once a time.

Something about Walter Elias "Walt" Disney . . . the reason and the inventor from Walt Disney films.      

He was born on the 5th December 1901 in Chicago.

"Walter was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon and philanthropist, well known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world."  

He and his staff created some of the world's most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice.

About his teenage years . . .

In 1917 he went to the McKinley High School and took night courses at the Chicago Art Institute. He became the cartoonist for the school newspaper, drawing patriotic topics and focusing in the first world war. After the high school he wasn't allowed to go to the army because for being underage.

After his rejection by the army, Walt and his friend decided to join the Red Cross. After this he went do France for one year, where he drove a ambulance.

After this experience he moved back to Kansas City to begin his artistic career.

He decided on a career as a newspaper artist, but nobody wanted him. His brother Roy helped him and got a temporary job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio where he created advertisements for newspaper, magazines and movie theaters.

At Pesmen-Rubin he met cartoonist Ubbe Iwerks and when their time at the studio expired, they decided to start their own commercial company together.

In January 1920, Disney and Iwerks formed a short-lived company called, "Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists". However, following a rough start, Disney left temporarily to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company, and was soon joined by Iwerks who was not able to run their business alone.While working for the Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he made commercials based on cutout animations, Disney became interested in animation, and decided to become an animator. Walt eventually decided to open his own animation business, and recruited a fellow co-worker at the Kansas City Film Ad Company.

Disney became widely popular in the Kansas City area and through their success, he was able to acquire his own studio.  

Disney and his brother pooled their money and set up a cartoon studio in Hollywood.

Disney sent an unfinished print to New York distributor Margaret Winkler, who promptly wrote back to him that she was keen on a distribution deal for more live-action/animated shorts based upon Alice's Wonderland.

So that was the really begin of his career . . .
They created all the famous movies and also the   

D I S N E Y L A N D ! ! ! 

 He then married his wife Lillian Bounds and got two children (Diane Marie Disney and Sharon Mae Disney)

Illness and death

Walt Disney was a chain smoker his entire adult life, although he made sure he was not seen smoking around children. On the 2nd November, doctors at Providence St, Joseph Medical Center, discovered a tumor in his left lung.Five days later a biopsy showed the tumor to be malignant and to have spread throughout the entire left lung. After removal of the lung on the 11st November, doctors informed Disney that his life expectancy was six months to two years. After several cobalt therapy sessions, Disney and his wife spent a short time in Palm Springs, California. On 30th November, Disney collapsed at his home. He was revived by fire department personnel and rushed to St. Joseph's where on 15th December, 1966, at 9:30 am, ten days after his 65th birthday, Disney died of acute circulatory collapse, caused by lung cancer.The last thing he reportedly wrote before his death was the name of actor Kurt Russell, the significance of which remains a mystery, even to Russell.

Roy O. Disney continued with the Florida project, insisting that the name be changed to Walt Disney World in honor of his brother.

The final productions in which Disney played an active role were the animated feature The Jungle book and the animated short Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, as well as the live-action musical feature The Happiest Millionarie, all released in 1967. Songwriter Robert B. Sherman recalled of the last time he saw Disney:

"He was up in the third floor of the animation building after a run-through of The Happiest Millionaire. He usually held court in the hallway afterward for the people involved with the picture. And he started talking to them, telling them what he liked and what they should change, and then, when they were through, he turned to us and with a big smile, he said, 'Keep up the good work, boys.' And he walked to his office. It was the last we ever saw of him. "

"In the 1990s, reflecting on her 41-year marriage to Walt Disney, she said, "We shared a wonderful, exciting life, and we loved every minute of it. He was a wonderful husband to me, and wonderful and joyful father and grandfather."

In my opinion, I think that was a great                  
man with really good influence for people 
and children. And I think he left in every 
childhood something specially.
However he got the great ideas, 
it was the best thing he did.

I hope you was enjoy 

it to reading this. See you, Becky    

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Toyday Customers Top 10 Favourite Childhood Toys

As voted for by Toyday customers, below is a list of their top 10 favourite childhood toys.

10. Jenga

Daiktas Stalo zaidimas Jenga

Jenga was a popular party game first developed in the 1970s and finally released by Parker Brothers in the mid-1980s.  Build a tower of blocks, and then take it in turns to remove one block at a time...Eventually the tower will topple!

9. Slinky

Metal Springy
A treasured toy that sprang to life in 1945. This loosely coiled spring which can provide great entertainment poured from hand to hand or even made to walk down steps.

Price: £4.99

8.Train Set

My First Wooden Train Set

Many young children, especially boys, love to play with trains. There are many different varieties of train sets available for children of all ages, which you can add additional pieces to.  
This Bigjigs First Train Set is figure of eight of wooden train track with train and scenery, which other railway sets can be added to so the child can add to this set as they get older.

Price: £10.99 

7. Skipping Rope 

Traditional Wooden Skipping Rope
Remembered by many as their favourite playground game.

Price: £2.50

6. Marbles  

Bag of Glass Marbles
Nowadays young boys meet up and play their latest console games, but back in the 50's and 60's, marbles was the most played "street" game for boys.  Many girls would also collect marbles as they liked the different patterns and colours you could get.

Price: £2.50

5. Space Hopper

Retro Space Hopper

The space hopper became a major craze during the late 1960s and early 1970s and the large rubbery orange hopper and crazy face are still around to delight another generation of children.

Price: £13.99

4. Doll 

Baby Jenna Doll
This perfect baby doll comes wearing a pink all in one baby grow and matching hat with a pink dummy. She has closing eyes and an open mouth ready for her thumb, dummy or a drinks bottle.

  Price: £19.99

3. Spinning Top  

Spinning Humming Top

Even to this day, a traditional spinning top will be at home in any child's bedroom or playroom.

Price: £19.99

2. Teddy Bear

 Toyday Traditional Teddy Bear
A traditional style plush bear with moveable arms and legs is what every child needs to cuddle at night.
These bears are suitable for babies from birth, which makes them an ideal christening or birthday present.

Price: £5.99

1. Lego

On every child's present list since the modern version of the toy first debuted in the late 1950s.  These coloured interlocking bricks can be used to construct everything from towns to pirate ships.

Police Helicopter Building Brick Set
Many companies have created cheaper sets of bricks that are compatible with Lego, including this Police Helicopter set.

Price: £4.99

Saturday, 2 March 2013

I Wonder How Many People Still Have Pet Rocks

The Pet Rock was a huge fad in the 70's which was sold as a very low maintenance pet that effectively never dies. Which begs the question how many pet rocks are still around today? Gary Dahl sold enough in 6 months to make him a millionaire at just under $4 each so there should be at least 250,000 pet rocks out there today.

The original pet rock was nothing more than a grey pebble in a pet carrier. It came with an instruction manual on how to care for your pet rock including humorous tips such as teaching it to sit, stay and play dead. There's something charming about the amount of imagination needed to love that stone as a pet and it's no more crazy as a fad than things like pogs which lets face it are just printed discs.

You can make your own pet rock, you don't need to purchase any expensive kits. Just get a rock and love it. You can add some googley eyes or paint it in what ever design you choose to give it it's own character. If your going to paint it, choose a nice smooth pebble. I've seen pebbles beautifully painted by adults to look like real animals or more simply painted as a really easy kids craft project.

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