Fuzzy Felt

Fuzzy Felt
Fuzzy Felt Traditional Imaginative Play Toy

Why is it that the ‘best’ new toys are high tech?  High tech is often stimulating with lights and sound, but it can be over stimulating leaving children excitable and fractious. So, add traditional toys into the mix of playthings allowing kids to develop their brain as well as hand eye coordination and imagination.

Where would JK Rowling be without imagination!

Imaginative play is key and with the right stimulus kids create the most amazing stories with them playing alongside new made up characters. Totally
 absorbing and fun.

Fuzzy Felt is traditional, developed in post World War II Britain to use scraps of felt, but has survived to this day.  It’s easy to use, lightweight and no mess, takes up little room to play and is great as a travel activity.  

Created On  21 Feb 2017 12:46 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

The Good Toy Guide

The Good Toy Guide
When you want to buy educational toys, where do you go to find good quality information that helps you buy with

Try the website Fundamentally Children
Not only is Dr Amanda Gummer a leading child psychologist who provides lots of very easy to read and sound advice for parents, but the team have assessed a vast array of toys to come up with an independent accreditation service, the Good Toy Guide and the Good App Guide.

At Activity Chest we believe learning should be fun and we bring together a range of good quality toys for our customers who want to encourage their little ones to learn and develop. Those toys that are in the Good Toy Guide are marked with a logo.

To see the full list of accredited toys go to

Created On  11 Feb 2017 16:45 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

What has the EU given us?

What has the EU given us?

A few thoughts before next week’s EU Referendum.

Read the Brainbox blog on what Europe has, surprisingly, given to us. I can only suppose Gary found these quirky anecdotes as he was researching the Brainbox snap cards and games! From tin cans to computer games, spas to garden gnomes, here's the top 10.

Created On  18 Jun 2016 12:53 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

Inventions! Bright Ideas!

It all starts with an idea, but whose idea, about what and when?

BrainBox Inventions game lifts the lid on some of the best – and some of the worst! Which have gone on to become household objects, and which never quite made it? Play the 10 second memory game and find out! Here’s a few examples from the Inventions brainbox.     navigate

June sees the launch of the Brainbox Young Games Inventor Competition 2015.  Now in its 3rd year, the competition is open to under 16s. Why not encourage your own bundle of creative energy, your son or daughter (grandson, granddaughter, niece, nephew), to get those ideas in order, create a new game concept and enter the competition. That’s exactly what happened to Isla and Fred – two everyday children crowned Young Games Inventors of 2014. Could that be your child in 2015? Find out more here.
Created On  30 May 2015 14:54 in Events and Activities  -  Permalink

Choosing by Gender - Right or Wrong?

In the spotlight this week is Amazon’s decision to remove their gendered search option. Customers now have to use age range, categories and top brands to find products.

Trying to achieve gender neutral toy selection isn’t new news, but for the largest online store and marketplace to (quietly) rejig their website is news.

For some time in the toy industry there has been a movement to avoid labelling toys suitable for boys or girls. The theory is that this may help encourage boys to be more nurturing and caring and girls to get into the world of science and engineering.

At Activity Chest we feel our educational toys and games should be played with by both sexes regardless of category. The shop is laid out by age (baby, toddler) and category such as Creative, Games, Science and Outdoor.

BUT, displaying toys by gender whether in store or online, only reflects the way many people buy toys. In the shop we ask our customers how we can help and the two pieces of information they offer first are age and sex of the child. More questions from us refine the items we offer the customer to make a choice.

So, is the customer right to search based on gender and is this gender stereotyping? Or is it just a helpful tool to find the right toy for the right child?

Created On  15 May 2015 15:44 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

Colouring Books for Adults

Colouring Books for Adults
Adults colouring books. Surely colouring is for kids?

The recent movement of adults doing ‘colouring in’ has developed rapidly as adults find the simple task they did as a child quite therapeutic. Our days are filled with noise and activity, rushing to meet a deadline, or competing for the last seat on the bus. We need downtime for peace and quiet, to find a non-competitive environment, even for solitude.

The therapeutic value of ‘quiet’ time is to calm the mind.  By concentrating on an activity that needs some concentration, but isn’t too taxing and that has a result or an end product, it’s easy to unwind and relax.

‘Quiet time’ for children is a way of slowing down from the regular day’s activities, to have a period of rest, or to prepare for bed. Quiet time activities for children include reading as well as listening to stories or music and of course colouring.

Why shouldn’t adults reap the benefits of less stressful activities too?

So, a new wave of adult colouring books has hit the market. More complex, abstract and repetitive patterns are popular such as fantasy Dreamscapes, or Art Nouveau animals using the characteristic curves of the art nouveau style and Mehndi designs based on traditional henna body art.  Or stay traditional and go for landscapes, seascapes, mountains and rivers, flowers, animals and birds.

More and more adults are finding the delight of picking up colouring pencils and there’s a wealth of creativity available for that all important adult quiet time.
Created On  1 May 2015 12:23 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink