Friday, November 27, 2009

Low-tech Toys: Powered by Imagination

Can kids have fun with toys and games that don't require batteries, electricity, keyboards, speakers, and display screens? Visit the Youth Services "On the Path to Good Health" exhibit during the month of December for tips on ever-popular gifts that are "powered by imagination" and sure to please the boys and girls on your holiday gift list.

A teddy bear or a cuddly stuffed animal might find a permanent place in the heart of a young child. Steiff, one of the companies that manufactured teddy bears in the early 1900s, is still in business today. If money is no object, you can order beautiful, imaginative stuffed animals directly from (If the white, limited-edition 2009 Christmas bear is out of your price range, look for more suitable stuffed animals at other locations.)

Be sure to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website to be certain that any toy you choose is safe and developmentally-appropriate for the child on your list.

The entire family can enjoy hours of fun with dominoes, card games and board games. Watch the children develop patience, sportsmanship and strategy as they learn to play some of the classic games that have been popular for generations. Have you forgotten the rules to your favorite game? No problem. Find the rules for hundreds of card games on You'll find old favorites like Rummy and Canasta, as well as newly-created games and Solitaire. Many websites have rules for domino games, such as the Domino Chickenfoot Game, and other vintage games, including Chess and Backgammon.

Check out for challenging 3-D puzzles of the U.S. Capitol Building and the Eiffel Tower. They'll keep youngsters and adults happy and busy for days. Another source for innovative puzzles is

Thanks to the Kaiser Permanente and the Library Foundation and Friends for support of the "On the Path to Good Health" exhibits.
posted by jtb