Friday Fun Feature: Paper Crafts with Hartia Toys

Posted by aMuse Toys on October 18, 2013 0 Comments

Paper crafting is an art form that uses paper or card stock to create 3Dimensional pieces. The paper can be folded, cut, glued, layered, and even stitched together for the desired look. Some common examples of paper crafts are Origami, which is the art of folding, and Kirigami, which makes use of both folding and cutting to create symmetrical designs and patterns.

Hartia Toys, the French-Canadian company based in Montreal celebrates the art of paper crafting with their delightful kits called Couplicoles. Couplicoles is a combination of the french words for cut, fold, and paste: couper, plier, and coller. Each kit from Hartia Toys contains up to a dozen crafts to be made into 3D animals and people by cutting, folding and gluing.

        

Paper crafting promotes patience, attention to detail, and a well earned sense of accomplishment. And it works on those fine motor skills, too!

Visual instructions are provided with each set, and videos are available from the company online, but the basic way to craft with paper is as follows:

1. Start by cutting along the solid black line. This will be the outline of the shape. Be sure not to cut out any of the white tabs! They'll be used in just a moment.

2. Fold along the dotted black lines. You'll see the paper start to take shape.

3. Now, time for those tabs! Dab a bit of glue onto the tabs and attach them to their corresponding sides.

4. Hold down and count to 20. (If you have super strong fingers than you may only need to count to 10.) When you feel you've held it long enough for the two sides to stay together, you can let go.

5. Set your paper craft upon the table and marvel at your creation.

Voila! You're becoming a master of the craft already!

This isn't the first time we've expressed our love for Hartia Toys, they are just that awesome. The Couplicoles kits can be introduced to kids as young as 6 years old and are thoroughly enjoyed by older kids and kids-at-heart as well.

 

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Friday Fun Feature: Magnoodle and Pencils of Promise

Posted by aMuse Toys on May 24, 2013 0 Comments

Magnoodle is a 21st Century spin on the classic friendship bracelet. 12 Magnets on one cord makes for some twist-able, snap-able, funky & freestyle jewelry.

When the bracelets arrived at aMuse Toys we were excited for this free spirited piece. It's perfect in a birthday gift or camp care package.

Some of us were unfamiliar with Magnoodle before its arrival, so we decided to check out the company online. In doing so, we discovered Pencils of Promise.

Our collective "Oh, cool!" became an "Oh, wow."

Pencils of Promise is an award winning non-profit organization that works to ensure all children receive a quality education. The organization works with communities around the world to build schools and train teachers. Pencils of Promise has built over 120 schools around the world!

 

So, how are Magnoodle and Pencils of Promise connected?

Magnoodle is an official sponsor of Pencils of Promise which means for every Magnoodle bracelet purchased, a contribution is made to the world's children. If you'd like to learn more about Magnoodle or Pencils of Promise, come talk to us at either our Fells Point or Quarry Lake location.

We love chatting about a good cause!

 

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Friday Fun Feature: Doodle Vacations!

Posted by aMuse Toys on May 17, 2013 0 Comments

With less than a month left in school for some of us (Whaaa?!) it's time to start thinking about summer vacations and how to keep the kids entertained on all the day trips, longer road trips, and plane rides. Just in time, from DuoPress comes the latest in the series of Doodle books: Doodle Washington, D.C. and Beach Doodles.


 

The Doodle books are more than just coloring pages. They are for anyone who wants to use his or her imagination to create classic, fun and even wacky drawings. Each page has a prompt to spark that creativity.

The pages in Beach Doodles include a place to draw a contest-winning sand castle, a pirate ship and treasure map, and even what you think you'd find in the belly of a whale!

Doodle Washington D.C.'s pages encourage you to draw dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, a crazy airplane to hang next to the Spirit of St. Louis in the Air and Space Museum, or even your favorite toy store with all your favorite toys and games (wink, wink)!

 

 

These travel-sized books are perfect for that road trip or next vacation; especially if you're flying off to the beach or driving down to the nation's capital for the day. And, we love that they're written by our favorite local author, Puck, the incredible Laura Krauss Melmed, and illustrated by the talented ladies, Violet Lemay and Paige Garrison.

 

Feel free to check them out in person at either our Fells Point or Quarry Lake location and then #GetYourDoodleOn!

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Friday Fun Feature: Tegu To Go!

Posted by Leila Warshaw on March 08, 2013 2 Comments

Spring Break is quickly approaching and that means plane rides and road trips. If you're asking yourself, "How do I keep my kids entertained on the plane or in the car?" then we have an answer.

            

Tegu makes two different kinds of travel-sized sets. One set is a pack of 4 cubes. If you have a little one 24 months or younger, give him a pack or two of cubes and watch him light up from the stacking and click-clacking fun. And because all Tegu blocks are suitable and safe for even infants, a pack of 4 cubes is perfect for your tiniest traveler.

         



For your preschooler, try one of the pouches. These sets come with either six or eight blocks of different shapes. More pieces allow for more elaborate creations from your young builders. And, these sets are ready to go with their own felt pouch for storing.

 


Your older kids' imaginations will just need more pieces, so consider combining the cubes with one or more of the pouches. We believe that Tegu is a "forever" toy. As your child grows, so too can Tegu. It's easy to visualize Tegu on your play table as well as your coffee table.

Tegu is a socially and environmentally responsible company that encourages creativity through their toys. Their magnetic wooden blocks that click together foster curiosity and open-ended play. With Tegu blocks, the child is the creator.

Displays of the Tegu blocks are available at both our Fells Point and Quarry Lake location. Visit us at either location and #GetYourToyOn.

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Friday Fun Feature: SNOWTIME Anytime!

Posted by Leila Warshaw on February 22, 2013 0 Comments

 

We may not be getting snow this winter, but that doesn't mean we have to completely miss out on all the fun.

 

SNOWTIME Anytime! is an awesome indoor/outdoor toy that brings all the good times and laughter of snowball fights without all the pain. (Some of those snowballs can sting!)

Here are some great ways to use the SNOWTIME Anytime Snowballs:

*Have a good ol' fashion snowball fight. Duck and cover behind your bed, couch, or blanket fort.

*Place one snowball on the toe of your shoe and race opponents across the room (or yard) while keeping the snowball balanced. Make it a relay race and see if you can pass the snowball off to your teammate without letting it roll off!

*Learn to juggle.

*Have a snowball tossing contest. Toss the snowball back and forth with a partner. After every other toss, take a large step back. Any team that drops the ball is out. Last team standing wins!

*And, many more! Ideas are included in the bag that also doubles as a storage container.

We're not ashamed to admit that a few (friendly) snowball fights have already broken out among the aMuse team. If you want to try out a few throws, visit us at our Quarry Lake and Fells Point locations and be ready to #GetYourToyOn!


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