Friday Fun Feature: Go Fly a Kite!

Posted by aMuse Toys on April 19, 2013 0 Comments


We're breaking out our kites and following the breeze!

Premier Kites offers quality kites for every age, so the whole family can enjoy this delightful and educational activity. Kites provide great lessons in mathematics, art, and even history. Quite a few notable figures in past centuries have made use of a kite (hint: Benjamin Franklin). If you would like to learn more about kites, visit the site of Bright Breezes.

We have 30" diamond kites as well as sheet kites that are small enough to fit in a coin purse! Down by the Inner Harbor or at Ft. McHenry are great places to let your kite soar. Visit us at either location, and go #PlayOutside!


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Friday Fun Feature: Classic Games and Comebacks

Posted by aMuse Toys on November 09, 2012 0 Comments

You had them, your parents probably had them, and now your kids have them. Whether they've never left your toy chest since childhood or they're making a return to your household, these games and toys are classics. They will never "get old" and we love them for that.

The Yo-Yo: Did you know that the Yo-Yo (under other names) has been around in Europe and Asia since the late 1700s? It wasn't until Donald F. Duncan popularized the toy in the 1930s that the Yo-Yo became a hit in the states. While most of us just learn to "Walk the Dog," hundreds of others put their skills and talents to the test in the annual worldwide Yo-Yo Competition. We like to think the fun is in the challenge.

Jacks: So many folks have come into the store asking if we have a Jacks set. We just got them back in and we like to think they're here to stay. It's a game that could be played by yourself or with a group of friends. The concept is simple: Bounce the ball into the air and try to grab as many jacks before the ball comes down again. A quick hand will get you those onesies, twosies...

The Jump Rope: On a playground or in a schoolyard, the group sings, "Cinderella dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss her fella..." as the boy or girl in the middle keeps up the rhythm of jumping over the rope. And, we're not even talking about the (slightly) more complicated double dutch or chinese jump rope. Kids will spend their whole recess or afternoon counting how many times they can jump over the rope, trying to better themselves.

Scratch 'n Sniff Stickers: "Oh my gosh, I remember these!" we say with happy exclamations full of fond memories. And, what did we use them for? We traded them with our friends or decorated our binders with them. There were some of us who even stuck them onto our notebook paper, to embellish the writing that read, "The future Mrs...." with the curly signature and a dozen hearts.

The Kaleidoscope: A work of art that fits in a child's bookbag or on his nightstand. Colors and shapes that move and dance with just the turn of a wrist. How amazing for a child the first time they take a peek. Best of all, they are in control of what they see and how they see it.

Do you have a favorite game or toy that could be considered a classic? Or, is there one that you would love to see make a comeback? Please, let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page or by tweet.



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New Toy Alert: Playforever MINI & MIDI

Posted by aMuse Toys on December 08, 2011 0 Comments

Just in time for the holidays, Playforever has added the new mini and midi race cars to their product line.

Speedy is the new line of minis.  Available in vibrant and contemporary color shades of red, blue, yellow, silver, and gun metal

Each vehicle is about 7 inches in length, making it the perfect race car for little hands, not to mention a great addition to Dad's desk toy collection.

Playforever makes a unique executive gift, a beautiful collector’s item or playful toy that you’ll enjoy seeing in your space.
The midi product line consists of three timeless designs: Bonnie, Buck and Clyde.  These midi race cars have the same design sense and quality as the Playforever Classic line. Each is aporximatley 8 inches in length.

As with the classic Playforever line, each piece includes silently functioning rubber wheels, rounded corners and a minimalistic figure manning the driver’s seat or pilot’s chair.

All of Playforever toys are brilliantly designed in London by Meagher and responsibly manufactured in Great Britain by Hyphen Design. They meet or exceed the highest global safety standards.

Fan aMuse Toys on Facebook or follow aMuse on Twitter to be the first to know when new shipments arrive.  You can also order at aMuse Toys onlinePlayforever makes the perfect gift for any wheel-loving little (or big) one in your life. 

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From the Archives: Game University: Orchard

Posted by aMuse Toys on October 28, 2011 0 Comments

HABA Cooperative Game Orchard

Claudia Towles, Owner of aMuse Toys


"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." -PLATO

The toys we choose for our children influence the qualities they will possess when they are grown. Therefore, it's always important to consider what lessons they learn from their play. As a mom, I've always loved HABA's games, but Orchard in particular holds a special place in our game chest at home.

HABA Cooperative Game Orchard

Orchard is a modern-day classic, which places emphasis on working together — not winning. It allows for everyone to succeed while learning how to interact in a group-play setting. Children must play cooperatively to accomplish the common goal of harvesting the fruit from the trees before the crow arrives to eat it. In Orchard, children are able to play a game with each other and not against one another. Brilliant concept.

Each game includes one playing board, which illustrates four different trees; a plum tree, a pear tree, an apple tree and a cherry tree. On each tree you must place the corresponding wooden fruit pieces. There are pieces forty total, ten of each kind of fruit. You also get four adorable baskets, a colored die and a 9-piece square puzzle of a crow. This puzzle will be assembled in the middle of the orchard as the game progresses.

HABA Wooden Play Food

To begin, the youngest player rolls wooden die. On the die there are four different colors, one for each of the fruits on the tree. Green for apples, red for cherries, etc... The color rolled determines the type of fruit a player may pick from the trees. It is a fun way to reinforce color recognition by creating associations with the different types of fruit the child places in their baskets.

If a player rolls the crow, they must put one puzzle piece in the middle. The more pieces assembled in the puzzle, the closer the crow is to the orchard. As the game progresses players cheer for others to do well. Because if one player succeeds, they all succeed. It’s wonderful for teaching basic socialization in the early years of childhood.

The game is either won by everyone by picking all of the fruit together, or by the crow by showing up in the orchard. The game's simple concept makes it easy to learn and a lot of fun to play.

My First Orchard by HABA

Traditional Orchard is recommended for players ages 3+, but for an even younger crowd, HABA has developed My First Orchard. The concept is basically the same, but the pieces are larger for children with oral fixations and play time is shorter. It's the perfect introduction to taking turns, following simple instruction and playing with others.

HABA My First Orchard Game

HABA games are also perfect for free play. The wooden pieces are durable and open-ended, which allow for pretend play narratives outside of traditional game play.

HABA's Orchard game series are responsibly manufactured in Germany from the highest quality materials. They are crafted from solid beech wood and colored with water-based vegetable dyes. As always, HABA's wooden toys are not laquered with any kind of chemicals. Their exquisite finish is the result of a unique process. Each wooden piece is poured into a large buffing machine and gently polished to a soft shine.

To learn more about HABA's classic game Orchard, here is a video review by Games with Hayden's little brother, Jackson.  Be sure to enter our HABA Game Night Giveaway! We will anounce the winning families on Tuesday November 1st.  Click here for details on how to enter.

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