TIA Encourages Families to Take Play Pledge at TheGeniusofPlay.org

TIA,TheGeniusofPlayThis past Wednesday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) launched a new research-backed initiative, which encourages parents and caregivers across the U.S. to take time out of their hectic lives to allow their children to build critical skills through play. The initiative, entitled The Genius of Play, is designed to remind families that playtime is more than just fun and games, and that it strengthens minds and bodies, reduces stress, builds family bonds, and offers a host of benefits that help to produce well-rounded, healthy children.

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GUEST OP-ED: Is That a Squirt Gun in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Displaying Your Deep Human Need to Play?

by Matthew Lawrence, strategist, Fresh Squeezed Ideas

FreshSqueezedPlay2As a 42-year-old dad to two young boys, I get excited when they ask for toys bearing the same franchises I loved as a child during the 70’s and 80’s (It seems to be superhero everything, these days!). Providing them these experiences reminds me that I still have some youthful zeal and enthusiasm, which is a great asset in my role as a cultural strategist who works day-to-day at loftier, more adult-natured stuff. But it also reminds me that they are able to enjoy the richest play experiences possible, through tried and true brands that have endured the test of time. [Read more...]

Lego Duplo Announces Play Phone Hotline for Grandparents

In honor of National Grandparents Day, Lego Duplo has launched a Play Phone Line for grandparents. Designed to be a resource that offers tips, suggestions, and inspiration to grandparents of kids ages 1 to 5, the live and free line encourages grandparents and parents to call when they’re in need of clever playtime ideas.

Whether the question is how to manage play with multiple grandchildren of different age groups, or simple ways to introduce building play for the first time, grandparents can call 1-800-835-4386 and mention “grandparents” to be connected to creative ideas and information to make playtime even more special. Other tools available include an activity guide that can be mailed or emailed to grandparents; Lego’s YouTube channel, which has a series of inspirational play videos featuring Dan Steininger, a Lego Master Builder and new grandfather; and Lego’s Facebook page. Grandparents and parents can also email their own ideas to grandparents@LEGO.com or share them on Facebook. [Read more...]

International Children’s Trade Show to Premiere in New York

Playtime—the international trade show dedicated to children, junior, and maternity products—will premiere in the U.S. as Playtime New York. The New York City edition of the show will be held July 31 to August 2, during the Children’s Market, at 82 Mercer in Soho. The event is scheduled to take place bi-annually, during market in March and July/August.

Playtime New York will feature a comprehensive international selection of today’s collections in the children’s and maternity marketplace, including infant and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories, baby gear, toys, deco/design products, childcare, and maternity.

A website for the show, www.playtimenewyork.com, is being developed in the same format as Playtime Paris. For more information, call (212) 925-6349.