Floor Puzzles – the Next Big Thing?

We all know the frustration and reward that a jigsaw puzzle can bring. You must learn patience, and to practice it, as well as a enhancing your attention to detail. I don’t know of one parent who would wish to deny their children a chance to learn these vital skills from the earliest age possible. There are certainly many toys out there that are designed to nurture and educate children; in fact the market is saturated with them. One of the biggest movers in children’s toys is not the humble jigsaw puzzle per say, but its big brother – the floor puzzle!

jigsaw question

Photo by Horia Valan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Buying a Traditional Wooden Toy – an Anecdote

When I recently asked a friend of mine what I should buy her little baby I was surprised when she turned around and said, “I’m not sure?  Something traditional, some blocks or something”.  Being such a vague response, I could only presume that the friend in question was probably fed up of people asking her the same question time and time again.  Either that or perhaps she didn’t want to come across rude and ask for something specific that she might have had in mind.

Wooden Toys by Janine via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Wooden Toys by Janine via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Wooden Toy Castles Essentials

Wooden toy castles are durable and can easily withstand hours, if not years, of playtime. Whilst toys are going digital, a great deal of fun can still be gained from traditional toys such as a toy castle. A wooden toy castle can make an excellent gift for a child and making one is an engaging and rewarding processes if you possess the necessary woodworking skills. Making a plan of what you want to create from the start will help you throughout the process, from your preparation to replacing parts in the future.

Should you be considering building a wooden toy castle for your child or grandchild then there are a few essential pieces of equipment that you will need. Firstly there are your materials, then tools such as woodworking tools, and lastly paint.

Using your plans you should be able to estimate the amount of raw materials that will be required. When choosing wood you should consider price and durability, after all if you’re looking to produce a robust castle that will last decades then you should consider a tougher material such as ply-wood.

The majority of tool work can be achieved using hand tools. You will find tools such as a mitre box and clamps very useful during the construction. A mitre box especially will help you to cut accurate angles consistently, adding to the overall finished look of the design. A saw is essential too, as is sanding paper for smoothing out the rough patches.

A nice thick paint will suffice to cover the castle once complete. Depending on the age of the intended user it could be a great idea to mix this paint with sand to create a rougher finish on certain areas of the castle, for example the tops of towers or ramparts. This rough surface will provide better grip for toys.

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Intelligent Retailing at the Aqua show, Telford

We were at the Aqua show in Telford, Shropshire last year. We keep a number of snakes (mainly rainbow boas) so thought we would have a trawl up to the show as it gives us a good chance to see what’s going on in the industry, what’s available and easily find suppliers for the various pieces of equipment we need.

Whilst there, we obviously had a good look around and sat down for a few of the seminars… very interesting they were too! We especially liked the ‘ins and outs’ of reptile retailing by Chris Newman and the presentations by Intelligent Retail on eCommerce search engine optimisation and creating a good website – as retailers ourselves this was a great help.

The good thing is we found a load of inspiration for our own vivarium and plan to create an in-wall housing for our little slithery pets… I can’t think this will add to the value of our home, but as we don’t plan to move for many years we can always brick this up again if we do!

We’ll definitely go back when the show is next on in 2013 – it’s been our best source of information for our hobby!

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Intelligent Retail at the Olympia Baby Show

The Baby Show For Trade is the key trade show for retailers of baby products in the UK. Here you will find the best in suppliers of bay accessories, nursery furniture, prams and pushchairs from all the leading brands as well as up and coming companies. There’s also a many other retail services represented, with companies such as Intelligent Retail, which provides Multichannel EPoS solutions.

The range of brands that come to the show represent a wide choice of products for parents and baby, covering everything you need to stock your baby shop and boutique. From here you can do all of your product research and buying all under one roof! Spaciously laid out so that you can explore each stand without feeling too constricted, The Baby Show For Trade has over 300 leading brands for you to investigate. You can also take time to talk to the suppliers for further product advice and sales information.

Prams, pushchairs and car seats

You’ll find many famous brands at the show, such as Silver Cross, Britax and many more, bringing their most up to date ranges of prams and pushchairs. Here you’ll see the latest innovations designed to help new parents. Pushchairs for all terrains and lightweight buggies for scooting through town feature among this collection of stock.

Brands who specialise in car seats will be attending, too. This is one area that is definitely worth getting a bit more info on. Take time to talk with some of our baby car seat exhibitors to find out more about the current safety requirements, and find out the kinds of questions your customers will be asking you.

Clothing, toys and accessories

When it comes to baby clothing, the choice is staggering, and it’s hard not to want to grab the lot! From new and funky styles to traditional clothes with a vintage touch, there’s a wide variety to choose from. There’s also a collection of wonderful nursery toys too. Soft toys, educational toys and exciting gifts from Melissa & Doug and Mookie bring some exciting new lines to their quality ranges.

Retail solutions and advice

Along with wholesale exhibitors, there are other professionals on hand to offer advice and seminars. Speakers from every area of retail and childcare have appeared to give talks on ways to improve your business. You’ll also find companies able to provide retail solutions, such as EPoS software company Intelligent Retail.

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Welcome to Wooden Toy Castles! This new website has been designed to present information about the wonderful world of wooden toy castles and accessories, the suppliers you can get these fabulous toys from and the long history of wooden toy castle play. Come back soon for more information!

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