The Best Toys Ever

The Best Toys Ever

What’s your favorite toy? I had the chance to talk about some of my favorites from the National Toy Hall of Fame with Gerri Willis on The Willis Report not long ago. The Fox Business network brought me to New York City as part of the lead-in to holiday toy shopping and to remind their…

Patriotic Play

Patriotic Play

When I think of the 4th of July (what my calendar more formally calls Independence Day), I conjure up images of parades featuring plenty of red, white, and blue crepe paper. I smell the aroma of burgers on the grill. And I envision fireworks exploding into colorful sprays of light across an inky nighttime sky….

The Wheel Thing

The Wheel Thing

Any state fair, carnival, or amusement park needs to have a Ferris wheel. Ferris wheels rank up there with carousels, roller coasters, and cotton candy as essential elements of those summer destinations. Despite their familiarity today, the Ferris wheel first impressed riders and onlookers as a dazzling new mechanical wonder more than 100 years ago.

Welcome to Game Time!

Welcome to Game Time!

Roll the dice! Deal the cards! It’s time to welcome you to Game Time!, the newest exhibit at the National Museum of Play at The Strong. Game Time! explores the stories behind the non-electronic games that have played an important part in American life and culture over the past three centuries.

The Bunny Hop

The Bunny Hop

Spring has brought the annual influx of chocolate bunnies into my supermarket. And April’s sunnier days with longer daylight have sent my neighborhood’s rabbits onto a quest for sprouting greenery to munch. With hares seemingly everywhere, I’ve also started noticing all the rabbits in The Strong’s collection.

Glass Slippers Galore

Glass Slippers Galore

Cinderella has a long history of influencing popular culture and playthings. You might even say that she’s left a big footprint. The popular princess and her glass slipper came to my attention recently as I read an article about the upcoming Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella. The article focused on the creation…

And the Winner Is…

And the Winner Is…

Watching the Emmy Awards recently turned my thoughts to the upcoming 2012 induction of new toys into the National Toy Hall of Fame on November 15. Although our induction ceremony doesn’t boast television stars, glittery evening gowns, or tearful acceptance speeches, it nevertheless offers suspense leading up to bestowing a significant honor on two (or…

Time for Lunch Boxes

Time for Lunch Boxes

Back-to-school shopping lists can include all sorts of practical gear—pencils, crayons, binders, and paper—as well as the backpack to tote them in. But none of those purchases bears the weight of conveying a school kid’s identity the way that a lunch box can. Lunch boxes didn’t start out to be billboards for your personality. They…

The Scoop on Ice Cream Makers

The Scoop on Ice Cream Makers

What could be more fun than playing with your food? How about playing to make your food? The ball-shaped Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker recently acquired by the National Museum of Play at The Strong promotes itself as the entertaining way to produce homemade ice cream wherever you are—in a campground, aboard a boat,…

Sandcastles

Sandcastles

Summer seemed endless when I was a kid. After school let out, the days passed slowly and the month of September felt like a long, long distance away. Now, as an adult, summer days feel short and precious, slipping through my fingers like sand until suddenly it’s autumn. And the sands of time aren’t the…