Old Timey Cures for Cabin Fever: Feathers, Forfeits, and Fortune Telling

Old Timey Cures for Cabin Fever: Feathers, Forfeits, and Fortune Telling

Record low temperatures and un-melting piles of snow kept parents scrambling to entertain house-bound children in the winter of 2015. This winter hasn’t been quite as cold or snowy in Rochester but, just in case the snows return, I’m ready with some practical advice drawn from The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play,…

PEZ—the Candy with a Playmate

PEZ—the Candy with a Playmate

It is no question that candy and toys are among many children’s favorite things. So when the two are paired together, the result is bound to be a success. Coined “the candy with a playmate,” PEZ dispensers prove what a great combination candy and a toy can be. In 1927, Eduard Haas III of Austria…

Thinking Outside of the Toy Chest: Where Playthings Live

Thinking Outside of the Toy Chest: Where Playthings Live

Plunging temperatures likely make us all a bit more grateful for the comfort of a warm home, sheltering us from blustery winds and swirling snowflakes. We know that shelter is a necessity of life, but I recently began thinking about the significance of homes for playthings. Not so very long ago, a toy chest was…

Domestic Hobbies: The Search for Calm in Life’s Storms

Domestic Hobbies:  The Search for Calm in Life’s Storms

“I knit so I don’t kill people.” You can buy a mug, a tote bag, or a shirt with this phrase emblazoned on it. You can meet a handful of fellow knitters out on the town for World Wide Knit in Public Day or you can share your projects and patterns with the 5.5 million…

Margaret Woodbury Strong: Collector and Philanthropist

Margaret Woodbury Strong: Collector and Philanthropist

As an “everything” intern at The Strong, I had the privilege of working with different teams within the museum on multiple projects that relate to my education as a history major. Through my work with the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, I became acquainted with the story of the woman behind the museum…

Colonial Shell Souvenirs in The Strong: An Australian Connection?

Colonial Shell Souvenirs in The Strong: An Australian Connection?

Margaret Strong obviously loved shells and crafts made from shells, judging from the quantity of those items in her collection. In fact, Margaret’s shell collection drew me all the way from my home in Australia to Rochester, New York. While researching The Strong museum’s collection of Victorian shellwork during my research fellowship, I stumbled across…

Badminton May Be Savage, but Croquet Is Wicket

Badminton May Be Savage, but Croquet Is Wicket

Here’s a surprise: blogging can become a kind of high-order play. I rediscover this every time readers send me witty ripostes; I learn a lot from these comebacks too.

Your New Best Friend–A Robot!

Your New Best Friend–A Robot!

Do you ever wish you had a magic robot to clean your house for you? Do your homework? Or just be around to talk with? You may not be the only one. In some ways, advancing technology makes our lives more convenient or efficient. In other ways, it keeps us connected through social media and…

To a Galaxy Far, Far Away

To a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The wait is finally over. After three years of patient anticipation since the film was announced, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally upon us. Expectations were high, and fans who felt disappointed with the last trilogy were afraid that they will be disappointed again. You see, for many Star Wars fans, it is more…

The Big Book of Christmas Past

The Big Book of Christmas Past

One of the best aspects of working at The Strong is the endless opportunity for nostalgia. Last year, I wrote about my family’s tradition of treating Black Friday shopping like a game. Shortly after writing that post, I was reminded of another cherished holiday tradition when staff at the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of…