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Welcome to Toy Land

Toy Stories

Where and when did toys begin? And how have they evolved over the years? This week, we’ll head back in time to understand the origins of toys, and explore some of the most incredible toy stories in history. (A toy pirate ship crossing the Atlantic? 30,000 rubber duckies lost at sea? Yes, really.)


what you’ll need

  • Your Camp Kinda toolkit
  • A stick (find one outside!)
  • Paper towel or toilet paper rolls

  • Small juice or milk cartons

  • Paper cups

  • A paper plate

  • Paint

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Googly eyes and other craft embellishments (optional)


          FOR PARENTS

          Ask About Today

          What kinds of toys did children play with long ago that you still enjoy today?

          Skip the Ads

          Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


          60 minutes


          The Stories Behind the Toys

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          Behind every amazing toy, there's an amazing story. Check out this video from Great Big Story to learn how toys like Star Wars action figures, Magic Eight Balls, Supersoakers, and Silly String came to life.


          The Very First Toys

          The earliest known toys might just date back to Ancient Egypt. Dolls, carved pull toys, and balls made of leather are just a few of the ancient toys that have been discovered by archeologists. And did you know the Egyptians were big on board games, too?


          On the (Oregon) Trail

          Take a virtual visit to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. Explore these online exhibitions, including histories of pinball, board and card games, and the popular computer game Oregon Trail.


          The Mighty Ducks

          What would happen if almost 30,000 rubber duckies and other bath toys ended up afloat in the ocean after the shipping container they were traveling in spilled? It really happened in 1992. Read or listen to this interview with a journalist who followed their story and wrote a book about it.


          Arrr, Matey!

          Can a toy pirate ship cross an ocean? Two brothers in Scotland wanted to find out. Learn about their adventure here, and even track the progress of their ships.


          How LEGO Was Built

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          Today, LEGO is one of the world’s largest toy companies. But who came up with the idea for these endlessly stackable bricks? And what does “Lego” even mean? Watch how all the pieces came together in this 17-minute animated documentary.

          Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.


          Toy, Meet Television

          Ever wondered about the very first toy to be advertised on television? It was Mr. Potato Head, and at the time, you had to provide your own potato. Learn more about how Mr. Potato Head changed toy advertising forever (and get a look at one of his old commercials!).


          Take a Toy Quiz

          Think you know all about the history of classic toys? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.


          Toys Through Time

          Explore this timeline of toys through history. (Click on the circles to learn more about each kind of toy.) Do you see anything you love to play with?


          45 minutes


          10 Toys in 1

          The humble stick is probably the oldest toy in the world, according to the Toy Hall of Fame. Simple, yes, but a stick can become so many things! Find yourself a good one outside, then grab some paper and a pencil and make a list of 10 different ways a stick can be played with. Then get playing! (We’ll start: a baseball bat, a magic wand, a fishing pole.)

          Be safe! Ask for permission before heading outside and watch out for your siblings’ eyeballs while playing.


          Cardboard Toys

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          Here are four toys that can be made entirely from recycled cardboard, like toilet paper tubes and juice cartons. Follow the steps in this video or design your own.


          15 minutes


          Do Get It Twisted

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          You’ve heard of Twister, right? If you like that game, you’ll also enjoy this twisty yoga session just for kids.


          Stretch-a-saurus Rex

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          If that isn’t enough yoga, try some dinosaur poses, too.