TOY TALK

 
"Guarding Art, 2015" Chicago Art Institute 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

“Guarding Art, 2015”
Chicago Art Institute
5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″

PiToys are inherently celebratory…

or they should be.

They come in all sorts of forms, from trains and blocks to games and puzzles, from puppets to science kits to balsa airplanes.

The best toys require active engagement, whether the user is trying to build a cantilever bridge, is searching for the one piece of a puzzle with a tiny amount of red in the upper left corner, or is having an in-depth philosophical discussion with a purple dragon named Pi. In short, toys encourage play, and play is magic.

Play is the perfect marriage of  joy, imagination, creativity, intuition, knowledge, logic, and community–in short, all the qualities that make humans human.

Cambria Toy Talk explores toys and play and celebrates joy.

ARTICLES:

Be Kind…Volunteer

March is such a good, forceful, energetic verb (and the name of the month), so what better month to focus on volunteerism. March 13th is Good Samaritan Day, although we tend to celebrate things by the week, by the month, and by the year, so we would like to believe that this particular celebration lasts all […]

Posted in Book Talk, Civics 101, Toy Talk | Leave a comment

Another calendar attraction (Curiosity Calendar, January 29-February 4)

If you haven’t noticed, American’s love kitsch. Pink Flamingos. Genuine souvenir plates from places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Black velvet paintings of Jesus and Elvis on top of a semi with flames shooting out of the tail pipes. We love roadside attractions like Wall Drug and South of the Border and all of […]

Posted in Sam's tour of the Universe, Sam's Tour of the Universe, The 2017 Curiosity Calendar, Toy Talk, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January Geek Week: Physics, Michio Kaku, Lewis Carroll, and Legos.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Newton! If you have stopped in Whistle Stop Books or the Cambria Toy Station in the last few years, there is a good chance you stopped for a minute and  played with the Newton’s Cradle, a desk toy named after Sir Isaac Newton and based on one of […]

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Inventors All…Automatons, Da Vinci’s Mechanics, and a hint of Steampunk (January 8-14, 2017)

Before robots… Before computers… There were clockmakers… The next time you are driving north through eastern Pennsylvania, add a trip to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and take a look at the Automaton by machinist and clockmaker Henri Maillardet, c. 1800. Featured on CBS Good Morning in 2012, Maillardet’s brass automaton has the largest machine memory […]

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Maps are Us (January 1-7, 2017)

In 1562, Diego Gutierrez and Hieronymus Cock created a map of the Spanish Empire for King Phillip II. Gutierrez was a cartographer and cosmographer for the Casa de Contración (a government agency tasked with trying to control Spanish exploration and settlement); Cock was a master etcher and painter in Antwerp, which was then part of the Spanish […]

Posted in Sam's tour of the Universe, Sam's Tour of the Universe, The 2017 Curiosity Calendar, The World According to Sam | Leave a comment

Creative Pages:

If you have stopped in the Cambria Toy Station, you already know that we are a very small store (although we do manage to pack a lot in to the available space). When we started the shop, we wanted to focus on encouraging kids to “do stuff.” The thing is, no toy store (no matter […]

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The Art of Color

Feeling stressed?  There is a simple solution that will cost you a whole lot less than stress-related medical bills or years of therapy. Try coloring. Go to you local toy store or book store and pick up a coloring book; swing by an art supply store (in our area…Mish Mish or Michael’s) and buy some colored pencils […]

Posted in Creativity & Play, History of Toys | Leave a comment

Colored Chalk

Disney, best known for magic, had a particular method of magic in Mary Poppins that has always fascinated me…chalk art…sidewalk art…street art. In the movie, Mary Poppins and company fall through the art and into a land where carousel horses and their riders dash across pastel countryside and subvert a fox hunt by hiding the […]

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The Lowly ABC Block

My parents didn’t buy me a set of alphabet blocks when I was a kid. They didn’t have to. I played with my mother’s set of blocks, blocks dating from the early 1930s. They were wonderful blocks. In addition to the ABC’s and the numbers, they had a red and yellow patterns on one side, […]

Posted in Creativity & Play, History of Toys, My Father Played Harmonica | Leave a comment

Summer Pastimes

My grandparents had a large concrete pad behind their house that was routinely marred by chalk from the last snow to the first snow. Hopscotch and foursquare lines in white chalk, lines that had to be redrawn a couple of times per day because they were smudged and erased as the balls and stones missed […]

Posted in Creativity & Play | Tagged | Leave a comment

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