The tea party guests are wondering what to do next after Pesach and Easter. This year they are Homebound. How shall they play? 

Heritage Centre? Museum of Play?

Heritage Centre?  Museum of Play?

I have had on my mind how to describe our Heritage Centre of Play.

Which aspects does it share with a Museum of Play, if at all?

An established Museum of Play or of Toys and Games or of Childhood or such stuff should have no difficulty in arranging a pop-up display of toys of the last one hundred years.

I took as a measuring stick the illustrated article by Allie Townsend that appeared in TIME magazine on February 16th. 2011. You may see it here –,28757,2049243,00.html

It covers the years from 1923 to 2011 and describes 100 toys and playthings which she claims to have been the most influential.  She did not say “in U.S.A.” which she should have.The original toys are illustrated and are presented according to their year of production.

I list here the toys that we could put on show. There are some originals though most are derivatives (meaning they are the outcome of the influence engendered by those originals) and many have been produced in Israel. Lots have been “previously loved”.

Chemistry set


Pop-up books

Stuffed Mickey Mouse

Finger paint

Microscope set

Beach Ball

Toy gun

Tiny plastic soldiers

Bubble solution

Little Golden Books


Lego Building Blocks

Silly Putty

Fisher-Price Little People

Vinyl Colourforms

Paint by numbers

Mr. Potato Head

Matchbox Car

Pez Dispenser

Bendy Action  Figure



Push Toy on Stick

Hula Hoop


Troll Doll

Toy Train

Etch A Sketch

Rocking Stacking Toy


Toy Telephone

Action Men

Audio Toy

Super Bouncy Ball

Barrel of Monkeys

Radio Controlled Car

Hot Wheels Model Cars


Foam Ball for Indoors


Paddington Bear

Shrinky Dinks

Rubik’s Cube

Electronic toys

Cabbage Patch Doll

Polly Pocket

Care Bear

My Little Pony


Plush Toys

Koosh Ball

Ninja Turtle

Skip It

Glow stick

Beanie Baby

Buzz Lightyear



Magnet Toys


A Modern Problem for a Modern Grandmother

A Modern Problem for a Modern Grandmother

3D Printers and I

I am very happy that in my lifetime 3D printers will become affordable and I shall be able to make toys and games together with my grandchildren in a corner of my kitchen. I have no garage.  Maybe I should take over the small bedroom for this enterprise. We can look forward to molding sweets for parties and layering paper for board games and doll’s houses and making parts of construction sets and personalizing dolls and figures.

Might I become the enemy of the workers of the Toy Industry? I do not think so.

The Makers

Chris Anderson is part of the Maker Culture, people who make things and communicate how. In Chapter Five of his latest book ‘’Makers” is the delightfully told story of how he helped his daughters solve their desire to refurnish their doll’s house. What miniature furniture that they could buy was in no way suitable because it was the wrong scale, flimsily made or vastly expensive. He preferred, remembering previous experience with his children, not to get out his woodworking tools. However, he had a 3D printer and a computer in the house. With a few clicks they chose plans for the furniture and after some sloshing of the 3D printer the two girls had the perfect doll’s house furniture.

In his words ‘’If you are a toy company, this story should give you chills.’’

That depends, I say.

Threat to Toy Industry?

I do not think that a grandmother and her grandchildren making toys on her kitchen table shall pose a threat to an industry.  What non-professionals can produce will be no competition for well made, cleverly contrived, colourful, interesting and fashionable manufactured toys.                                                                                                                                                                               What it might lead to could be a decline in the toy market of the shoddy, the badly made and the potentially dangerous.


Look seriously at the ramifications of our relationship with this machine once it shall be in our homes. Where shall the materials be stored? (Not in the kitchen. Just the names of the stuff sound toxic). Who will regulate the safety of the materials and the product? From where will we get the plans of the toys and games that we shall want to make? Should they be free of charge or should they be tied to proprietary rights and licenses? Shall toy companies chase after their protection rights and tempt children to conspire and scorn the law?

Should not consent to the sharing of one’s ideas and not being coerced, respect and credit for another person’s innovations and efforts be in our creed?

What will be the rights of the grandmother, or grandchild, who designs new toys and sends them downstream on the www river of the net? Shall they ever get remuneration or credit? Should all this be regulated? Will the market do its work if we stand back and do nothing?

Our Expectations of Toy Manufacturers.

May we envisage that toy manufacturers shall give plans together with the toys they are selling so that children can make bits and pieces for themselves to enhance their play? Should we not be encouraging manufacturers to do this?

Not new questions. They have been asked, though not in my words, for the past few years. As yet there have been no answers that would help me.

Bears on the Ceiling

  Bears on the Ceiling

Ceilings should play their part in displaying toys.

This is a hammock of Famous Bears that constituted a quiz during our Family Events one Summer.


Who held up an airplane?
One of these bears made a family miss the boat to Israel. Which one?
One bear looks very sad. Which one? His owner left him behind in a hospital.
Which is the oldest bear?
The bear on the left was made to commemorate what event?
How many bears remind you of Coco-Cola?
Who was designed to make money?
Which bear is the most travelled?

What are Little Exhibitions Made of, Made of……?

What are Little Exhibitions Made of, Made of……?


What happens to the stuff of play?

Accumulation.                           Hey!

To hoard   and hoard   and hoard

More    and more    and more

Shall push us overboard

Into  clutter not known before.

What happens to the stuff of play?

It is what you do with it

That is the bit

And the way

I say.

Be able to show       What we know.

The Key of the Toy Cupboard

The Key of the Toy Cupboard

Arranging play opportunities in public areas is a professional matter. The more the workers know about play and toys  the better.

This is the program for the first course that was given at The Educational Center for Games in Israel to train teams of playworkers to facilitate play in the Centres for Elderly in Tel Aviv.

מפגש ראשון: 14/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) הודעות מנהליות נירית דסקל
3) מדוע אנו משחקים. קריטריונים למשחק הטוב. משחקי היכרות נעמי כספי
4) הפסקה להתרעננות
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש שני  : 21/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) חזרה על משחק ההכרות מהשבוע הקודם מירב רבינסקי
3) סוגי משחקים. הפעלת משחקים הלן חזי
4) הפסקה להתרעננות
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש שלישי: 28/11/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) כיצד מפעילים קבוצות ויחידים במשחק נעמי כספי
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש רביעי: 5/12/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) משחקי חברה תיאוריה ומעשה בועז גבעון
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4)”שחק את המשחק” מרגלית עקביא
5) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י
מפגש חמישי: 12/12/00
1) הקדמה ליום הלימוד הלנה קלינג
2) קבלת ומתן משוב. התנסות פעילה ומתן משוב למפעילים מתנדבים אשר ליכטנברג
3) הפסקה להתרעננות
4) למידה מעשית צוות מחמ”י

A Collection of Words about Collections



The Proud Possessor of

Come by
















The Haves and the Have-nots

One’s own








Mine all mine

Fill one’s pockets



store     boast of       get hold of       recover        include obsessive

    sieze         occupy     appropriate          compulsive

save      fill      owner       own        salvage      hoard    accumulate

                  obtain    amass    have    hold    make

    snatch     not part with         proprietor         purchase  buy  retain

captor             pile   glean    bring together  tenacity catch

            capture                 one’s own    assets

gather    retention    accumulation            pick up             to call

Our Galleries

Our Galleries

We have an Accumulation of Board Games.

How to use them to create a Centre for Games and Learning for today’s Game Creators?

It is said that Good Cataloguing increases the worth of a collection.

To keep the value of this collection our Cataloguing should be Relevant to the design and analysis of these non-digital games and to the evolution of game rules.


I first met Piet Notebaert, of the Catholic University of Bruges, when he came to Jerusalem for the Board Game Studies Colloquium. I visited him in Bruges when he ran the 14th.BGS Colloquium in 2011. He kindly gave time to initiate me into his cataloguing system. The collection in Bruges is of more than 30,000 games, of which a large amount was donated by Fred Horn.

Who knows how many theses have been written and how many doctorates gained in searching for adequacy in classifying toys and games. This will take you to Piet’s article about classifying board games. It is the best.