Monthly Archives: April 2014


War Toys for Kids: Back to the Future in Afghanistan – Firedoglake

Original article

The U.S. and “NATO” have been leaving drops of hope all over Afghanistan now for 13 years and haven’t managed to form a puddle,

The things people do for money. At least I hope it is for money because if anyone stills believes this stuff they are in sad, sad shape.

Drops in the Ocean

Lt. Commander Jennifer Cragg at “NATO” headquarters in Afghanistan brings us (only on the “NATO” website[1] of course; even the lamest of the main stream media has abandoned this meme) the story of one person who has “made a difference” in Afghanistan. Please have tissues at the ready to soak up your tears, then read:

Alfredo Memmer, a German citizen who has worked here since 2008, helped launch a charity organization called Basic Needs Support of Afghanistan. Memmer has consistently found ways to impact the lives of dislodged women and children since arriving in Afghanistan.

“Since my arrival I participated in various toy collections and clothing drives for displaced women and children,” said Memmer. “The creation of BNSOA is seen as a legacy to the innocent lives taken too early.”

“Our efforts might look like a small drop in the ocean, but many drops can also form an ocean.”

The article goes on to say that the organization gives away donated clothing, food, blankets, shoes and toys.

An Ocean of Dumb in Iraq

Was it really only just a few years ago when these same stories, with nearly the same wording, ran in the steady flow of news explaining how well things were going in Iraq? Hit the Google with the search term “iraq giving toys to children[2]” and you’ll come up with pages of photos. And they are all the same: a U.S. service member dressed like a Space Marine handing over some plastic piece of junk to some kid. Sometimes one or both are smiling, often times not. The images feel more like some freakish form of pedophlia than even decent propangada.

As for the similarity of the glowing press releases, here’s just one from Iraq[3] plucked out of the Internet Cosmos:

It’s a lesson in contrasts. A heavily-armed American soldier giving away stuffed toys to children in Iraq.

Barbara Cerniauskas [whose husband is deployed in Iraq]: “It really is just a small way that we can reach out to them and show them that our soldiers are there to help.”

“No matter how you feel about the war, the children are just innocent bystanders.” These toys could even help save lives. There are reports from soldiers about children warning them of dangers from land mines and buried bombs.

“We are doing something to maybe, you know, open the door to a new generation that will see that freedom and peace are possible. This is just a little token to maybe get it started.”

Like the idea itself, many of the organizations that enthusiastically sprung up to donate stuff to kids when the wars were a “thing” are gone. FYI: The kids are still there. For example, Operation International Children (OIC), founded in 2004 by actor Gary (“I’ve lived off being Lt. Dan forever, suckers”) Sinise “to reach out to children in war-stricken countries and support American troops in their efforts to assist them” closed down[4]. In its so-long message, the group reminded us all that “We believe those moments of joy [following a kid whose parents were killed in a drone strike getting a used made-in-China toy] have the potential to bring about great change and our joy comes from the knowledge that we have worked together to make that possible.”

If you really, really want more such stories, including lots of wacky propaganda examples from Iraq, they are a Google away, or, conveniently, in my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People[5]

Oceans of Garbage

But we digress. That NATO charity group in Afghanistan says “Our efforts might look like a small drop in the ocean, but many drops can also form an ocean.” One might ponder the fact that the U.S. and “NATO” have been leaving drops of hope all over Afghanistan now for 13 years and haven’t managed to form a puddle, never mind an ocean. Perhaps more specifically in answer to the small drops add up to an ocean analogy, one could cite an alternative old saying about the value of “pissing into the sea.”


Peter Van Buren writes about current events at blog[6]. His book, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percentis available now from from Amazon[8].[7]

Photo by Zach Stern[9] under Creative Commons license


  1. ^ website (
  2. ^ iraq giving toys to children (
  3. ^ one from Iraq (
  4. ^ closed down (
  5. ^ We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (
  6. ^ blog (
  7. ^ Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent (
  8. ^ from Amazon (
  9. ^ Zach Stern (

toys kids – Google News


Earth Day: Toys Can Teach Kids What Really Matters – Forbes

Original article

How do you teach children to protect the very resources that will affect their future and their children’s future?  Dooming statistics? Making DIY composters?  Plant a tree?  I suppose all activities could apply but when it comes to growing respect and appreciation, how you teach is just as important as what you teach.

This is why play is essential when celebrating Earth Day.  Trying to teach kids to think critically about anything in the future is a worthwhile effort. That said, you can count on far more impact if you allow the earth to enchant them starting from an early age. Here are a few toys that will foster the kind of admiration that could very well secure a better tomorrow beginning today. (in reverse alphabetical order)

World Map[2] ($ 26.95) (Ages 0-99)

As a professional toy poker-and-prodder, my children have the pleasure of trying out toys from all over the world.  This is great because it gives me a chance to talk about the part of the world from which the toy originated.  However, for years, I just didn’t have an adequate map.  Most maps were either too small or too big, not colorful, or just plain boring.  Thankfully, eeBoo’s Saxton Freymann, the author of How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods[3], has created a just-the-right-size map for young children (elementary grades).  Fully laminated and complete with a separate laminated legend, this is the kind of map that displays indigenous animals, natural resources, and prevalent industries of the region.  What about saving the earth, you ask? Well, how can you save the earth if you don’t know what’s happening and where? Knowledge is key.

He loves it in his backyard but is really looking forward to bringing it along on beach trips. photo: Toys Are Tools This 4-year-old toy tester loves digging in his backyard but is really looking forward to bringing it along on beach trips. photo: Toys Are Tools

The Big Dig[4] ($ 44.95) Ages 3+ Weight Limit: 110lbs

I always thought toys like this were out of my price range but Reeves Toys[5] makes digging by using bilateral controls to be not just easy but also affordable.  Why dig up dirt or sand, you might be wondering? Clearly, like many adults, you haven’t gone digging in a while.  Digging up earth is probably among the top ten most fun childhood memories of just about any grown-up I know.  The best part of digging is not really about getting dirty but rather, it’s about what was dug up. If you want to raise a child who’s enamored of the earth then it’s best to allow him to discover what lies beneath.

Life on Earth Simple Bingo[6] ($ 15.95) Ages 3+

I am generally an impatient person and so waiting to see if I got BINGO can be a little painful for me. That said, I never feel that way about eeBoo’s BINGO games.  They have many and what wins over any member of the family is the level of detail in all their eco-friendly games.  The art is very much meant for the child but that doesn’t mean that each painted image of animals like the Kingfisher or Lemur won’t impress you.  They were all illustrated by Caldecott honoree Melissa Sweet[7].  This BINGO game is great for young ones and for older children, What Do You Know BINGO[8], also illustrated by Sweet is full of interesting facts and vibrant colors that are sure to fascinate anyone who plays.

Grow Your Own Sunflowers[9] ($ 9.99) Ages 4+
Did you know that when sunflower plants sprout, they will rise from the earth with the seed shell still in place?  Only after it grows a bit will the shells falls off and then like a panda, you will see it grow from very tiny to very tall.  What is great about this product is the small windowsill-greenhouse that you use to start that very first vulnerable stage.  Your child will need to care for it, and even possibly change pots before finally planting it firmly in outdoor soil.  What could be more endearing then tending to a wee sunflower plant before you allow it to leave home and plant its roots elsewhere?

Flower and Leaf Press[10] ($ 9.95) Ages 7+
Earth Day education is at its best when we are allowed to look at something closely – very closely.  Sadly, it’s just not possible with many of the world’s most beautiful plants, especially flowers- because they simply don’t last forever.  These things are living and so it is hard at work growing and on its way to yes, dying.  For our children to capture their essence and study their details, pressing and drying these leaves and flowers is a wonderful way to not only study it but also to share it with others via traditional methods like creating stationery and cards.  Children can see the impact that just one flower can make in a number of lives. Flower and Leaf Press and other kits from their new lower-priced SPARK series should be available in stores next week!

[embedded content]

Creator Forest Animals
[11] and Creator Furry Creatures[12] ($ 19.99) Ages 7+
This wildly exciting new offering by LEGO[13] gives children an opportunity to not just build but rather, use the legendary bricks to sculpt animals with moveable joints including jaws.  Both of these sets highlight the use of LEGO’s new eye pieces, both large and small. With the turn of just one eye, children can experience how easily one’s facial expression can change.  With these sets, it is even possible to replace a cat’s head for a squirrel’s head without having to rebuild anything.  All of these features allows children to appreciate the details in animals through manipulative play in LEGO’s spatial-tactile language in which children all over the world have become fluent.  Possible uses for teaching here are simply endless.

Note: Every product has been personally tested by Toys Are Tools’ kid testers. Products were submitted to facilitate a review. Reviews are never promised.

More best toy tips from Jenn at Toys Are Tools[14]


  1. ^ Smart Toys That Teach Kids What Really Matters (
  2. ^ World Map (
  3. ^ How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods (
  4. ^ The Big Dig (
  5. ^ Reeves Toys (
  6. ^ Life on Earth Simple Bingo (
  7. ^ Melissa Sweet (
  8. ^ What Do You Know BINGO (
  9. ^ Grow Your Own Sunflowers (
  10. ^ Flower and Leaf Press (
  11. ^ Creator Forest Animals (
  12. ^ Creator Furry Creatures (
  13. ^ LEGO (
  14. ^ Toys Are Tools (

toys kids – Google News

Electronic Learning Toys | Best Learning Toys | VTech America

Original article

VTech has interactive learning toys for all age ranges of children, including Infant learning toys[1], toddler learning toys[2], preschool learning toys[3], and learning toys for grade school children. VTech has great electronic learning toys and learning tablets, which include the VTech InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet[4] and the VTech InnoTab 3S Wi-Fi- Learning Tablet[5]; VTech MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System[6], which is a handheld game system; VTech V.Reader interactive e-reader[7] for toddlers.

With a varity of educational learning toys like our transforming dinasours Switch & Go Dinos[8] collections or Go Go Smart Wheels[9] playset and vehicles, or VTech’s new Kidiminiz Interactive Pets[10], or the Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker[11], or the popular Alphabet Activity Cube[12]; VTech has an educational learning toy for everyone.

Visit our VTech Special Offers[13] page to see all the current VTech Coupons, savings codes, and special deals. Holiday shopping is here and VTech is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday with deals you don’t want to miss.


  1. ^ Infant learning toys (
  2. ^ toddler learning toys (
  3. ^ preschool learning toys (
  4. ^ InnoTab 3 Learning App Tablet (
  5. ^ InnoTab 3S Wi-Fi- Learning Tablet (
  6. ^ MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System (
  7. ^ V.Reader interactive e-reader (
  8. ^ Switch & Go Dinos (
  9. ^ Go Go Smart Wheels (
  10. ^ Kidiminiz Interactive Pets (
  11. ^ Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker (
  12. ^ Alphabet Activity Cube (
  13. ^ VTech Special Offers (

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New toy store will replace Razzmatazz – Livingston Daily

Original article

Downtown Howell’s toy story has a happy ending.

Razzmatazz Toys is going out of business after five years at 109 W. Grand River Ave., but another toy store will expand and move into the storefront in a couple of months.

Toyology has signed a lease and will move into the space this summer. Toyology is a family-owned store in West Bloomfield that specializes in educational toys.

Toyology owner Aric Klar reached out to Becky Gremore, manager of Razzmatazz Toys, after reading a Daily Press & Argus story about Gremore’s online campaign to raise the money needed for her to purchase the inventory and take over the business from owners Laura and Chris Mathews.

Gremore’s crowdfunding effort on fell far short of its $ 40,000 goal, but Klar has agreed to keep Gremore on as the store manager when Toyology opens.

“Howell gets to keep its toy store,” said Gremore, 30. “I love the store, I love working there. I really wanted to take it over and own it, but I’m happy enough to still be a part of it and doing what I’m doing.”

After meeting Gremore, Klar said it was clear she shares his passion for the toy business, and he wanted her to stay and work for Toyology in Howell.

“I’m not known in Howell. Nobody knows me or my family’s background. There, they know her as the Toy Store Lady,” Klar said.

Laura and Chris Mathews opened Razzmatazz Toys in 2009 and are closing it to move back to their hometown in California.

In a Facebook message to their customers, the Mathewses said, “Thanks for letting us be a part of your family for the last five years.”

Razzmatazz Toys began its liquidation sale Monday, and toys and other items in the store are being sold at discounts of 20 percent to 50 percent. Laura Mathews said “lots of people” have been in the store for the sale.

Klar, who opened Toyology in 2011 in West Bloomfield, said he hopes to have his new store in Howell up and running by June 30.

For more information about Toyology, go to http://www.toy­[1].

For more information about Razzmatazz Toys’ liquidation sale, call 517-579-2206 or visit its Facebook page at[2]­tazz­toys.

Contact Daily Press & Argus business editor Mike Lammi at 517-552-2854 or at[3].


  1. ^ http://www.toy­ (
  2. ^ (
  3. ^ (

toys shop – Google News

Hamleys Toy Shop. Toys and Games from the Finest Children …

Original article

Find the finest toys for boys and girls by gender, age or amount to spend. Search our 1000′s of toys by brand or character on the results page. Some toys have videos or customer reviews, look out for them on the toy pages.
Please click the cross button to close window.

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Rehoboth Toy and Kite Shop celebrates 20 years – Cape Gazette

Original article

By Ryan Mavity | Apr 18, 2014

Rehoboth Beach — Rachel Webster and Bee Linzey say time, like one of their kites, just flies by.

Rehoboth Toy and Kite Company owners is celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary this year, a milestone that has caught even its owners off-guard.

“I’ve never thought of it,” Linzey said. “I’d hoped so. I hoped it would be a career.”

“We didn’t have any money so we didn’t have any money to lose,” Webster said. “We just worked. It all came together. We learned more and more each year, and it just continued to grow.”

“We knew the concept was good. We knew this was a good place for it. We didn’t have too many doubts,” Linzey said.

Before opening in Rehoboth, Linzey and Webster had worked for several years at Kite Loft in Ocean City. They noticed a kite store was something Rehoboth didn’t have, and they decided to strike out on their own, beginning their venture at 1 Virginia Ave. on the Boardwalk. They opened in 1993 selling kites from a friend’s bike-rental shop, but a year later, they took over the shop themselves.

“Both of us were really good at selling kites. We had both managed stores for the Kite Loft. We thought we could do this,  but we had no concept of what it was like to run a business,” Linzey said. “It was really a big learning curve.”

“We loved what we were doing in Ocean City, and it was one of those things where we can do this for ourselves,” Webster said.

“It was more because it was fun,” Linzey said. “If you’re going to open a business, why not open something where when people came in their eyes light up and they get a big smile on their face?”

In 1997, after three years on the Boardwalk, the pair wanted more visibility and foot traffic. That’s when Rehoboth Toy and Kite opened its second location on at 67 Rehoboth Ave.

While toys now make up a large percentage of Rehoboth Toy and Kite’s business – even more than kites – Webster and Linzey say kites still provide a niche that brings people in. There’s always something to look at: whether its the colorful kites that line the walls, the squeaking puppy dog toys or the neon green fright wigs.

The store is ringing in its anniversary the same way it has for the past 20 years: with the annual Fun Fly event, 10 a.m., Saturday, April 19, at Rehoboth Toy and Kite’s original location at 1 Virginia Ave. and the Boardwalk. The Fun Fly includes appearances by the Easter Bunny, food and refreshments, games and prizes and an Easter egg hunt, not to mention the big attraction: kite flying.

“We started it because Rehoboth never really had a kite event,” Linzey said. The Greater Delaware Kite Festival has been held in Lewes on Good Friday for more than 40 years, Linzey said, but Rehoboth had no kite-flying event. So, to give kite flyers already in town for the Lewes event a reason to come to Rehoboth, Linzey and Webster created the Fun Fly.

Webster said the first Fun Fly featured fruit salad handmade in her apartment, and she and Linzey had plenty of doubts whether the concept would work.

“People look forward to it every year now,” Linzey said.

As for the rest of their anniversary events, Webster said, “Stay tuned.”

Rehoboth Toy and Kite is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the offseason and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the summer. For more information, call 302-227-6996.

toys shop – Google News

Community Matters: Toys for Arkansas Children’s Hospital – KARK

Original article

LITTLE ROCK, AR — At Arkansas Children’s Hospital, some of the state’s sickest kids get treatment.

Being away from home for long periods of time can be hard on youngsters.  A North Little Rock man decided he wanted to help who after his son spent time at the hospital last year.

Out in front of the hospital Tuesday, Jeff Clark and his son Jaden unloaded a car full of toys.  They are gifts for kids at the hospital receiving treatment.

“Jaden spent some time at children’s hospital about a year ago for about ten days,” said Clark.

During that time, Clark said he was blown away by the care doctors provided.

“Jaden was a number one priority, and you know, there’s a lot of other kids that are battling these major diseases,” explained Clark.

Kids like Hannah Grace Crumbly who in 2009 passed away from leukemia at age four, who’s father is Clark’s close friend.

“She was in this facility for three and a half months and they never got to leave,” said Clark.

After his own experience at the hospital, Clark wanted to give back.

“I was going do it on my own,” he explains.  “I just put a message on Facebook that if anyone was interested, you know, I was going to buy some toys.”

That’s when $ 5,000 in donations came pouring in.  Hospital officials say the toys Clark bought with all that money will be put to good use.

“What we do is strive to normalize the environment for a child,” said Robin Reynolds, Director of Volunteer Services.

Clark says he delivered the toys in honor of little Hannah, with a purpose to show appreciation to the hospital that cares for kids.

toys kids – Google News

Science Toys

Original article

Make toys at home with common household materials, often in only a few minutes, that demonstrate fascinating scientific principles.

For expert advice in PCB manufacturing[1] get in touch with San Francisco Circuits for a free quote.

Electrominoes![2] Deluxe 3.5″ circular die-cut playing cards and booklet of games, activities, and information for ages 5 up through college level and beyond!

Test your science skills online with High School Diploma[3] – a great science and high school education website with free resources.

Making science toys with your kids is a great way to start stimulating the brain. With a strong base in science your kids can one day earn a technology degree[4].

Send mail to Simon Quellen Field via *
Bibliographic Information
Renewable Energy
Solar Power


  1. ^ PCB manufacturing (
  2. ^ Electrominoes! (
  3. ^ High School Diploma (
  4. ^ technology degree (
  5. ^ Simon Quellen Field (
  6. ^ * (
  7. ^ Bibliographic Information (
  8. ^ Renewable Energy (
  9. ^ Solar Power (
  10. ^ Gadgets (

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Shop Kids Toys & Childrens Furniture | Little Tikes

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Kids around the world showcase their prized possessions in ‘Toy Stories’ –

Original article

Mom topics[1]

3 hours ago

Gabriele Galimberti doesn’t have children, but his passion is kid’s play.

The Italian photographer traveled the world to capture young subjects surrounded by their favorite toys, fascinated by the way the playthings provided clues about each child’s personality, home life and economic realities. The images are featured in his new book, “Toy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things.”

Naya Gutierrez, 3 anni - Managua, Nicaragua

Courtesy Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE

Naya Gutierrez, 3, lives in Managua, Nicaragua, and doesn’t have many toys. She just has few small kitchen items, but she never gets bored playing with them. She uses mud and grass from the garden to pretend she’s cooking some cakes for her older sister. She says that in the future she will manage a restaurant and she’s sure that tourists will love it.

The project started about four years ago when a friend asked Galimberti[2] to take photos of her daughter. When he went to the house — a big farm in the Tuscan countryside — he found the little girl playing with cows and feeding them using her little toys. Inspired by the cute scene, Galimberti asked her to put all the toys on the floor and to pose for him right there, together with the cows.

“I really liked the result,” Galimberti, 36, told TODAY Moms in an email from Brazil, where he was working on assignment.

“I decided… I wanted to take portraits of children with their favorite toys everywhere in the world.”

swiss boy

Courtesy Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE

Julius Meichtry, 3, lives in Lausanne, Switzerland. He loves to play with costumes, including that of Superman, which he got as gift from his parents. He likes to dress like the superhero and run and jump all around the house.

That opportunity came soon after when an Italian magazine asked Galimberti to travel around the globe for more than two years using only Couchsurfing[3] — a service that connects visitors with locals who offer up beds in their homes — for his accommodations.

Galimberti traveled to 58 countries in 30 months, publishing a portrait of each of his hosts every week. That’s how he met the kids he photographed for his book: They’re the hosts’ children, nephews, or simply their neighbors.

Sofia Iris Shonfeld, 4 - Bradfort on Avon, UK

Courtesy Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE

Sofia Iris Shonfeld, 4, lives in Bradfort on Avon, UK, in a huge custom-built barn and attends a private school in Bath. Her favorite toys are her doll “babies.” She has several and “feeds” them and pushes them around in buggies.

Galimberti looked for kids 3 to 6 years old and worked with them to arrange all their toys for the photos.

“I was really surprised to see how easy was for children to understand my project,” he said. “It was quite easy to get their confidence. I simply played with them! … I always had my phone with me and I had the photos of the children I photographed before on it.”

As he took pictures of rich kids and poor kids, children of all races and backgrounds and living in all corners of the globe, Galimberti found they had one thing in common: Every child just loved to play. 

Watcharapon Chookaew, 3 anni e mezzo - Bangkok Watcharapon was born almost 4 years ago in Bangkok. He loves to play with his helmet and his little mot...

Courtesy Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE

Watcharapon Chookaew, 3, was born in Bangkok, Thailand. He loves to play with his helmet and his little motorbikes. Every morning, his father takes the helmet and goes to work with the scooter, so Watcharapon loves to imitate him.

In general, boys loved cars and girls loved dolls. Affluence, or the lack of it, often made a difference in how they behaved, he observed.

“It was easier to work with children in the poorest countries. Rich children tend to be more possessive of what they have, even if they usually have a lot more toys than children in poor countries,” Galimberti said.

His favorite photo is of Maudy Sibanda, a 3-year-old girl who lives in Zambia in a village where there is no electricity, running water “and of course no toy stores!” Galimberti noted. 

Maudy Sibanda, 3 - Kalulushi, Zambia  Maudy was born in a hut in a small village close to Kalulushi, in Zambia. She grew up playing on the street tog...

Courtesy Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE

Maudy Sibanda, 3, was born in a hut in a small village in Zambia. Just a few children there are lucky to have some toys, but Maudy and her friends found a box full of sunglasses on the street and they became their favorite toys.

It’s almost impossible to find a child with a toy, but he was lucky enough to arrive in the village a couple of days after Maudy found a box full of sunglasses along the main road. The box had likely fallen off a truck, so all the kids of the village were playing with the newfound treasures, Galimberti recalled.

Though he’s not a dad yet himself, he hopes to have children one day.

“I learned more about being a parent than I did about being a child from this whole process,” Galimberti said in his book’s introduction.

Follow A. Pawlowski on Google+[4] and Twitter[5].


  1. ^ Mom topics (
  2. ^ Galimberti (
  3. ^ Couchsurfing (
  4. ^ Google+ (
  5. ^ Twitter (

toys kids – Google News