Toy Blocks

Introduction

Also called as building blocks or blocks or educational blocks, is one of the oldest and most famous toy ever. They are also considered as educational toys because they have got alphabets or numbers or animals drawn or printed on them. Children start playing with these blocks at a fairly early age of 4-5 yrs. Hence, these toy blocks are usually made of non-toxic materials like wood, foam, plastic. They are available in a variety of colors and shapes. They are usually very attractive and pretty in their appearance.

Brief History

This toy blocks concept originated in the 17th century in England. John Locke a philosopher made these blocks in 1693 and used them to teach children alphabets and made learning more enjoyable for them. Toy blocks have also been referred to as “rational toys” used to teach children spatial relationships which permitted them to see how different parts became a whole thing when added or joined together. These blocks were also helpful for teaching children about physics and gravity.

The first ever large scale production of these toy blocks started in 1820. This mass production was started in Brooklyn by S.L Hill. He also patented these toy blocks as “omamenting wood”. A writer named ‘Henry Cole’ and having the pseudonym of “Felix Summerly’ authored a chain of story books which had many references of toy blocks in them. These blocks were also used by many architects to make miniature or rough models of their buildings or other projects, all the further corrections and calculations were based on these models. Recently in the year 2003 these toy blocks were inducted as ABC blocks into the National Toy Hall Of Fame at the Strong Museum. This granted them the status of America’s toy of National Significance.

Popularity: 7%

Kaleidoscope

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Overview

A Kaleidoscope is a tube of reflecting mirrors. It contains small objects like pebbles or beads or small pieces of colored glass. A person looks through one end while light enters through the other; the light gets reflected in the mirrors. Basically there are two mirrors which are set at 45 degrees to one another. Such an arrangement creates eight images of the same object. These images are a duplicate of each-other. At 60 degrees six images can be created, and at 90 degrees four images are obtained as the tube is rotated, round and round, this causes the light to reflect differently at each angle and thus causes many different patterns and colors which is very attractive and enjoyable to watch. Any unusual pattern or any distraught pattern also looks beautiful thanks to these mirrors and the reflections caused by them. A two mirror model is also available; its patterns are created against a black back-ground. While a model with three mirrors yields patterns that fill the entire back-ground. Any object or material is filled into the object cell. Many a times for more enjoyable viewing, object cells are even filled with water, this causes some extra special effects as the objects float on the water and cause a slight movement in respect to the viewer.

Working

In 2D symmetry kaleidoscopic a point is defined as the point of contact of two or more lines created by reflection symmetry. In general the lines form a ‘180 degree/n’ angle for an integer n > or = 2. This point is the center of n-fold rotational symmetry and ‘n’ number of lines, created due to reflection symmetry which can be present at this point.

Popularity: 33%

Teddy Bear

Over-view

It is a puffy toy in the shape of a bear hence the name ‘teddy bear’. It is a long lasting toy and often comforts children. Many children sleep with a teddy bear in their arms. Teddy bears are also considered as an expensive collector’s item. People who generally collect teddy bears are called as arctophiles. It is a Greek word and means bear lovers.

Different types of Teddy bears

Teddy bears are mass produced and come in many different types. But commercially made teddy bears are usually toy teddy bears. These bears traditionally have joints to attach the legs, arms and heads. Their eyes are secured and fastened so that they don’t cause any chocking hazard to children. These bears are known as plush bears. These plush bears need to meet certain fixed constructions standards so that they can be marketed to children in the European Union and in U.S.A. In contrast to this artist bears are very rarely produced and also rare to find. Most of these bears are produced specifically for adults because they may contain hazardous or toxic materials which can cause damage to small children. Usually these teddy bears carry a warning tag. Such teddy bears are usually available in some specialty shops or are on sale by some individual artists or are even available in art galleries or art exhibitions. There are many Teddy Bear shows and many craft shows across the world. These artistic bears usually have moveable joints. These artistic bears also come with a special and a softer fur.

Popularity: 6%

pogo-stick

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It is a toy that consists of a handle, a footpad a spring and a pole. It is thought to be a children’s toy, but many teenagers and adults also love playing with it. As the name suggests it is generally used for hopping. It first came into existence in 1919 and was invented by ‘George Hansburg’. He was a very famous toy designer. But it is said that previous to this it was produced in Germany. It was invented by a local farmer for his daughter, to help her travel easily to school. As the girl use to walk all the way bare-footed to school, hopping on a stick certainly made it easy for her. The girl’s name was Pogo hence the name ‘pogo-stick’.

A rubber cover is fitted at the bottom of the pole to create some traction. The user is required to stand on the footpads and balance on it. Then he has to forcefully press on the footpads and this causes the spring to compress. When the spring is compressed fully the user has to lift his weight. This causes the spring to recoil and make the user hop. Repetition of this process causes a repeated hopping action and a pattern comfortable to the user is created. But it is a bit difficult to steer the pogo-stick. It has to be steered by shifting weight or by adding pressure or force in the desired direction. This is a very interesting form of locomotion. New variants of this pogo-stick are flybar, vurtego and bowgo. This new variants of the pogo-stick allows the user to jump higher and navigate easily and efficiently. There are many ‘pogo-stunts’ performed by children or adults alike.

Popularity: 41%