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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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Saturday, 27 September 2014

I am an animator.

My main passion in life is animation. This is what I will go on to study at Kingston University after my gap year. I like to experiment with different techniques and materials using anything that's movable and interesting. Some of my favorite medians to animate with are charcoal, paint, paper and sand.

I have had various commissions, one where I have worked with a poet called Jack Dean who went to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer with his show Threnody For The Sky Children. My animations went along side the poetry and it was a very affective combination. Poetry and animation work well together because the images created are constantly moving and evolving.

In the shop I have been making little animations that show a certain product in use. Last week I played with the My Little Pony Dress-up Mug. Changing her outfits with the reusable stickers that come with the mug.

Today I experimented with Fun Dough. Seeing what shapes and textures I could make. What I love about animation is the freedom to do what ever you like. The dough moved easily into so many different shapes but wouldn't stay because it is so soft. This created a constantly evolving figure that changed from being a dolphin to a face in a couple of frames. It sometimes feels like the median I'm using has a mind of its own and decides itself what shape it wants to go to next and I am merely there to be an assistant to the material.

 I know it sounds a bit crazy. This relationship between the animator and the animation is something I explored a lot in my foundation degree. I find it very interesting how objects have their own characters, and this really comes apparent when you start to animate them.

My animations that I have made in the shop will be on the Toyday website soon. Keep an eye out for them!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Joy of a Den is in the Building of it

You can make a den or hide out from just about anything. Above is a den we made with Blake using pallets and an old garden gate. The garden has grown up around it now making it look more attractive. He didn't want a shop brought Wendy house which was fine with us. He has set his den up as his laboratory, full of his 'potions'. A child's imagination seems to come alive in a den.

We were lucky enough to get enough snow to make this cool snow den. It took all day but it was worth it when at the end we lit a few candles inside and sat in it with some hot chocolate and cookies.

It's great that parks seem to have cottoned on to how much children love dens and you will often find one of these living willow dens in playgrounds now.


We sell a colour your own castle for £25 made from card that you simply slot together and then colour. Its great fun making a den together and this set really gets them involved. Then they can get dressed up and role play from there very own fort.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

What is it about Rag Dolls that makes them so special?

Out of all the toys in the shop I feel I'm most drawn to the Rag Dolls. Hand made in England they have very unique and adorable feel to them. As you walk into the shop they are all sitting right in front of you arm in arm with all there friends. I picked one up to change her label and I became attached to her, shes so soft and cuddly I didn't want to put her down when I had finished.

Dolls are one of the oldest toys going back to 2000 BC where evidence has been found in Egyptian tombs where families were buried with their most treasured processions including dolls made from rags, wood, clay and bone. This shows that dolls have played an important role in peoples lives for thousands of years

What makes a good toy is the attachment the child has to it. Originally, as the name suggests, Rag dolls were made by Mothers for their children out of old pieces of cloth and material and sowed together to create a doll. So simple yet so lovely. It's amazing to think that a child can become so attached to a piece of old cloth, but that's the magic of imagination. This attachment becomes so strong that the child can not go anywhere without the doll, I remember having a teddy that I would take everywhere with me because she made me feel safe, and was a great friend, we could share secrets that nobody else would know.

I think this kind of connection can only be made with a soft toy. The rag dolls have such a comforting feel to them, its that gentle cuddly quality to them that makes them special. I think this is such an important part of childhood.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Keeping a Toddler Entertained on a Plane

We're planning our next holiday and one thing that puts me off going too far is the thought of having to keep our toddler happy. Our 7 year old will be easy, he won't be any more bored than me with movies, books and an ipad but an 18 month old is a whole different level of stress.

I took him on a short bus ride the other day and the first thing he did was start screaming. In the comfort of our own home this is easy to deal with but a full melt down on public transport with the disapproving looks and tuts of the person in front is extremely stressful.

I know I'm not alone as I've had other mum's, dad's and grandparents sharing there concerns in our shop and asking me for suggestions of little light toys they can take with them. Ideally they want something the child hasn't seen before and a great idea is to wrap them and give them spread over the journey. Nothing noisy, messy or that involves running round. Here is what I would choose:

Magic Drawing Board
Wooden Clockwork Animal

Wooly Willie
Muddle Farm Magnetic Book

Colour Your Own Stickers

Pack of 4 Tubs of Playdoh
Clockwork Fishing Game

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Totnes Pride 2014

Last September, Totnes Pride was launched to celebrate diversity and equality in the local community.It was attended by nearly 1000 people and was covered by BBC TV and Heart FM.

The year's Pride event is being held on Saturday 6th September 2014.  Everyone is welcome and there will be a whole host of activities, including: community art projects, workshops, community stalls, a children's craft area and inspirational talks.

At 10:00 there will be opening speeches from Peter Tatchell & Christine Burns MBE outside The Dartmouth Inn. At 10:30 there will be a procession up Fore Street and High Street led by Samba Roc Band. Please remember Fore Street and High Steet will be closed from 08.00 to 12.00 (midday),

Toyday will of course have the bubble machine on for such an occasion and for a limited time only we have 20% selected family games and buy 3 get 1 FREE on all packs of Loom Bands.

We hope to see you this Saturday!

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