Play’s the thing

play, classic toys, museums and exhibitions, fun and games,

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent,
and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”

Henri Matisse, painter

Somewhere in the corners of your basement or at the very top of your closets reside remnants from childhood. During a recent purge, I came across my Barbie dolls and my Super Spirograph set. My original Etch A Sketch has been on view on my bookshelf for decades.

Those classic toys that we spent hours, days, maybe even years – playing with and learning from – stand the test of time and continue to delight us. They remind us of the joy of play.

The National Toy Hall of Fame® is a play partner of The Strong, an interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play. It is located in Rochester, NY.

Established in 1998, The National Toy Hall of Fame recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over successive generations. Each year, the hall inducts new honorees and showcases both new and historic versions of classic toys.

play, classic toys, museums and exhibitions, fun and games,

How does it work?

Anyone can nominate a toy. Historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity, and discovery are the final decision-makers over the toys that will enter the Hall.

A quack and crowning achievement

This years high-profile finalists included bubbles, Clue (board game), Fisher-Price Little People, Magic 8 Ball, Nerf toys and the scooter. But the rubber ducky got in by a squeak, and the game of chess outmaneuvered Clue as 2013 inductees.

And the reason for those two choices?

“They show both extremes of the world of play and how the toys in the Hall of Fame represent the entire spectrum…These are a great matchup. Both poles in the world of play. One is so cerebral and strategic and the other one is pure fun, splashing around with no big intent, you don’t win or lose with a rubber duck.” said Christopher Bensch, VP for collections at the The Strong.

Having fun yet? What toys would you nominate?

play, classic toys, museums and exhibitions, fun and games,

Design + animation: © 2013 Janet Giampietro

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