July 16, 2018

TDmonthly Magazine

October 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 10


Ten Companies Will Reach Thousands of Kids

By Alison Marek
October 2012

Part II of TDmonthly’s “2012: A Year of Charity” is in full swing, raising spirits of educators across the nation. Early reports are that donations by Crossen Creations, FindIt Games, b. dazzle inc., PlayMais Canada Inc., Amazing Science!, Moving Picture Books, Education Outdoors, We R Fun Games,Uncle Skunkle and The Spelling Bee Game have caused principals to nearly jump with excitement, hug storekeepers and generally raise emotions to a high, productive pitch.

Spreading the Wealth

Tina Schwindt of Fairhaven Toy Garden in Bellingham, Wash., said, “This project has been a rewarding experience so far and is just getting into full-swing, as our schools don't start until after Labor Day.”

Educators who have dropped by the store to pick up their generous donations include teachers of three classes of high-school-age developmentally disabled students, and a social worker with the school district who works with elementary students. Tina also donated toys to a building that houses low-income seniors and disabled people, and to a low-income daycare. Her strategy is to spread the wealth around to best benefit the community and better establish her store’s importance.

“We hope to make enough relationships that we can continue working with some them beyond this project,” said Tina. “Thank-you again for providing a jump start to a program that we intend to make our toy store known for both now and in future years.” (Do YOU want to give away toys for the holidays? Click here)

Making Principals Giddy

Denise Teague of Fun Things Etc. in Waynesville, NC, devoted the entire month of September to promoting the educational giveaway. She put samples of the donated toys in her store window and entered each customer who purchased a toy into a raffle to win one of the donated toys. Anyone who spent $10 or more received an extra raffle ticket.

She’d teamed up with the Mrs. Penny Woods, director of the Haywood County Schools Foundation, which raises funds for local schools, to have the maximum impact possible on her community. In total, nine elementary schools and two Christian Academies will receive donations.

TDmonthly spoke with Denise on the day that two of the 11 school principals came to pick up their caches:

‘’I received lots of hugs from the principals today,'' said Denise. ''It almost made me cry. They were very appreciative.''

Principal Heather Hollingsworth told Denise that she'll be able to give a toy to every classroom and, ''the kids will love it!''

Principal Tod Barbee noted that he and Mrs. Hollingsworth both work in Federally designated Title 1 schools, where a certain percentage of their students are below the poverty line, so the donations are not just welcomed, but much needed.

''We don't have the money to spend on these kinds of things,'' he noted. ''These will be great for our students.''

Passing Business to Other Businesses

Denise's customers loved the toys, too. The window display attracted so much attention that customers came in specifically requesting the donated games. Sadly, shortly after she won the TDmonthly contest, Denise decided to close her six-year-old store so that she could spend more time with her own children. Although she can't actually sell her customers the games they want, she gave each of them a list of the manufacturers with contact information so that they can purchase them directly. Nearby stores, including a bookstore and a hiking club, are taking over her lines, including some of the donated games, so they can carry them after she closes in mid-October.

Some lucky customers won't have to wait for their toys. Denise drew the winning ballots today: out of thousands of entries, there are 10 winners – one for each donating company.

Because her store has always been closely involved with the community and supporting education, Denise felt that the TDmonthly giveaway was a great way to go out with a big bang, supporting schools, specialty manufacturers and other local businesses by passing on news of these great educational toys.

Preparing for Hoopla!

Phil Wrzesinski of Toy House & Baby Too, a Jackson, Michigan staple since 1949, is preparing for his big giveaways. He's already been posting teasers on Facebook, alerting his customers to what's coming up. Next week, he'll set up an in-store display showcasing the ten donating companies and will also alert his local schools about the giveaway day, which he's planning a big media blitz for.

On or about October 27, the school reps will come to the store to receive their highly educational and super fun booty, with flashbulbs popping and – Phil hopes – a significant local media presences.

''We're going to have our customers start signing up that week to the be the ones to present the remaining toys to their own favorite charities,'' Phil told TDmonthly.

He'll have a drawing on November 10 – Neighborhood Store Day – and announce the ten luck winners.

Help With A Big Move

Kate Tanner, longtime owner of Kidstop Toys in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be doing her educational giveaways after she moves her Baby Store in November. “Our PR firm is targeting our store moving sale” and will promote the giveaway, too. Stay tuned for more info…and photos!

More photos from the Fun Things Etc. giveaway:

And here are the toys that kids will be benefiting from, thanks to the generous donors and the winning retailers' hard work:

Life on the Farm board game by WE R FUN

Life on the Farm board game by WE R FUNHilarious! Combines fast "moo"-ving action and authentic family-farm mishaps for "udder"-ly unpredictable fun! Teaches basic economics, yet is simple to understand and play. A REAL family game - designed so ages 8 to 108 can easily play together, comfortably! First to "Retire" wins! "Life on the Farm" has won a National Parenting Center "Seal of Approval 2012"; Best Family Fun Tillywig Toy Awards; National Teacher's Choice "For the Family" Award; “Outstanding Product”and “Hot Product” *iParenting Media Awards, among many others. 9/1/2004 (MSRP: $24.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Buzzlewords® The Spelling Bee Game Level 1 - 1st & 2nd grade by THE SPELLING BEE GAME INC.

Buzzlewords® The Spelling Bee Game Level 1 - 1st & 2nd grade by THE SPELLING BEE GAME INC.This is a fast-paced, fun Spelling Board Game that teaches spelling, vocabulary and reading as it's played using spelling words taken directly from any child's grade-appropriate spelling list. Also available in challenging Adult level for those who think they can spell but might find out otherwise.The fast-paced game teaches spelling, reading and vocabulary. "There are no other board games on the market which allow each player to spell words selected from their own grade level and which combine elements of chance, strategy and spelling knowledge in a way that makes learning to spell fun and easy," Richard J. Sullivan, president of The Spelling Bee Game, Inc., told TDmonthly. Launch date: July, 2009.
Awards: 2010 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year, Children's Educational Board Game Category; 2011 Creative Child Magazine, Game of the Year, Children's Educational Board Game Category. (Watch the Buzzlewords® The Spelling Bee Game Level 1 - 1st & 2nd grade Video Watch Video) 6/29/2009 (MSRP: $14.95; Age: 6 to 8)

Circus Theme Boxes by PLAYMAIS CANADA INC.

Circus Theme Boxes by PLAYMAIS CANADA INC.PlayMais is a biodegradable crafting material made from corn and colored with food coloring. It is manufactured in Germany, 100% safe, and biodegradable. PlayMais stimulates children's imagination and creativity, trains fine motor skills, and develops social group skills. PlayMais can be shaped, squeezed, cut and all it takes is a little bit water to create unlimited fun. Children can build in 2 or 3 dimensions, or wherever their imagination takes them. 6/14/2012 (MSRP: $21.99)

Serengeti Scramble Squares by b. dazzle, inc.

Serengeti Scramble Squares by b.  dazzle, inc.The sophisticated colors of the realistic Serengeti Scramble Squares puzzle make it among the best selling styles of Scramble Squares overall, appreciated by enthusiasts of African art and nature, naturalists and conservationists. This puzzle is also especially popular with children.
Awards— Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys for 2011 3/7/2011 (MSRP: $9.95; Age: 4 to 12)

Fishing Camp the Game by EDUCATION OUTDOORS

Fishing Camp the Game by EDUCATION OUTDOORSFishing Camp is a game where both children & adults can play & learn fun facts about Fishing. The game is designed to grow with the player, starting at level one questions, which are primarily identification of fish and fishing tackle. As the players increase in their knowledge about Fishing, they grow into the higher level questions. A fun & educational game where parents & children can play to see who catches the first fish and gets back to the docks. Game includes: 1 game board, 200 game cards(400 questions, and 100 fun facts), 1 decoder, 8 game characters, 1 die, 16 level cards, and 1 GPS card. Launch date: 2012. (Watch the Fishing Camp the Game Video Watch Video) 2/15/2012 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 4 and Up)

Find It® Deluxe Edition by FIND IT GAMES

Find It® Deluxe Edition by FIND IT GAMESNow the whole family can play a fast paced hidden object game with the Deluxe Find It Game containing over 70 hidden items. The Deluxe Find It hidden object game includes a deck of cards, a spinner, a timer, the check off pad, and instructions for 6 ways to play and variations to adapt to younger players. The basic play starts with each player being dealt seven cards that vary in point value. At the beginning of each turn use the spinner to determine the action required prior to play (add points, miss a turn, trade hands etc.) Look fast! Players will have 30 seconds to try to find a many items as possible. Play continues until someone finds all of their items and runs out of cards.
Awards: 2010 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence; Tillywig Sterling Fun Award Winner 5/30/2012 (MSRP: $32.00; Age: 8 and Up)

Eight Silly Monkeys by MOVING PICTURE BOOKS

Eight Silly Monkeys by MOVING PICTURE BOOKSBy combining high quality animation, rich narration, sound effects and music, Moving Picture Books provide a fun and educational digital reading experience for children ages 0-7. There are 38 titles — both classic stories and new favorites — each available in English, Spanish and English Read-Along-Text versions. Our books can be purchased as digital downloads, or DVDs. (Watch the Eight Silly Monkeys Video Watch Video) 1/27/2010

Amazing Science! - Volume 1 by MATH TUTOR DVD

Amazing Science! - Volume 1 by MATH TUTOR DVDLearn fundamental principles of science through Amazing Science Experiments. Viewers learn about electricity, magnetism, heat, temperature, pressure, surface tension, buoyancy, and much more. For every demonstration, a complete materials list is given, and each experiment features multiple camera views so kids can see exactly what happens.  Most importantly, every concept is explained in a step-by-step fashion. Viewers not only be amazed - they'll understand the science behind every experiment. 2/6/2012 (Age: 7 to Adult)

Magical Rainbow Boardgame and Playset by CROSSEN CREATIONS

Magical Rainbow Boardgame and Playset by CROSSEN CREATIONS The Magical Rainbow is a magnetized game that takes children on a special adventure through its lands. Players race to a pot of gold, watching out for Paddy the Leprechaun, who on every turn travels from land to land protecting his gold. Throughout the journey players will try to collect gold coins, avoid the Leprechaun and his lucky trinkets, and use strategy to win the game. This game is designed to teach children color recognition, sequencing, patterns, counting, strategy and sharing. "It’s more than a board game, it’s a tool for releasing the imagination in every child," Crossen Creations President Frank Crossen told TDmonthly.
Awards: 2009 Family Choice Award
 6/9/2009 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 4 and Up)

Bambooga® - The Human Puzzle Game by UNCLE SKUNKLE TOYS, INC.

Bambooga® - The Human Puzzle Game by UNCLE SKUNKLE TOYS, INC.In this human-puzzle game, players use color wristbands to bind their hands and feet to one another, leading to a sticky mess of people. The goal of the game is to crawl, walk, scoot or jump one’s way towards the finish line, all the while maintaining the connections determined by a shake of the Bambooga Shaker. Bambooga is safe and eco-friendly, adhering to "green-" manufacturing practices with second-generation, sustainable bamboo construction. “Bambooga is the result of a social-entrepreneurship project sponsored by Kids Ark Foundation of Thailand, organization that hopes to find a solution to the AIDS epidemic in Thailand,” Uncle Skunkle Toys Inc. Marketing and Communications Director Maya Cardoso told TDmonthly. A portion of "the proceeds from the manufacturing of Bambooga [is] recycled back to Kids Ark and [goes] towards projects to raise education and standards of living.” Launch date: April 2008.
Awards: Bambooga is a winner of "Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Picks Children’s Products for 2009" and also won Creative Child Magazine's "Toy of the Year Award" for 2008. Bambooga has also been recognized with a favorable review by The Old Schoolhouse, a magazine for homeschooling families. (Watch the Bambooga® - The Human Puzzle Game Video Watch Video) 11/30/2007 (MSRP: $34.99; Age: 8 and Up)

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