Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category
22 Oct

Printable Halloween Projects

I hope this project suggestion helps those that are short on time during this Halloween season. For me it seems that work, school and personal life speed up at a continually increasing rate as we dive head first into the holidays... Halloween for me, marks the beginning of these memorable and crazy times. Do you feel the same way? If you do, these little paper toys from Woo! Jr. are perfect for you. Simply print them out, pin the limbs to the torso, and play!
21 Oct

Halloween Potato Prints

When I was in first grade my teacher helped me make a painting using apples cut in half dipped into red paint and placed onto a large piece of white butcher paper. It is the piece of artwork that I am most proud of... It looked much like this: As soon as I saw this Halloween potato print project it brought back all the care-free emotions of making apple prints in the first grade. Come with me now... back to rainy day recess, milk in a bag, chicken fights on the monkey bars, and scary teachers... Take a trip back in time with me and give this project from LMNOP a try. Let's see you try one...
20 Oct

Halloween Owl Lantern

An owl to light up your Halloween Another great project from our friends at Disney. This little owl is made from a lamp and some fun textured paper. I discovered that IKEA sells these lamps for about $8 (shade, light). I really want to try this one! It could be cool to also use a the lamp to make a glowing Jack-O-Lantern. What else could be made from this low cost decoration item?
19 Oct

Pumpkin Hallow Halloween Project

My brother and his family go to Disneyland almost every Halloween. From what I hear it is amazingly fun! The place is sold out, decked out, lights out fun... candy around every corner, all the visitors are dressed up, all the characters and staff out having fun... To some, this might sound like Disney is going a little overboard, to me it pretty much sounds like what I always wished Halloween would be.
Today's Halloween project comes from the providers of the Happiest Place on Earth (by Disney) Here is their introduction to this fun Pumpkin project. "By day, there's not a soul in sight but after dusk, it comes alight each orange orb a glowing beacon for boys and girls gone trick-or-treating. This cozy haunt for spooks and sprites is easily conjured for Halloween night. So gather some pumpkins and carving tools and set the scene for visiting ghouls..." I love this idea of a village made out of pumpkins... who wouldn't want to live in a pumpkin? I can envision little Smurf-sized people walking in and out of their little pumpkin homes. See how they did this project here. If you are serious about cities built out of pumpkins (I don't know if Osha would approve) you could always go more along this route: Now that is going overboard! What Halloween projects have you been working on?
18 Oct

Halloween Projects Galore

There are a lot of awesome craft projects for the Halloween season. I want to share my favorite ones with you this week. At the end of the week there will be a Playful Factory original Toy Tutorial to add to the bunch. If you do any of the projects I would love to see some picts. Thanks and enjoy!
For the first Halloween project I want to share one of my favorite blogs for kids... Made By Joel provides great toy ideas for the kiddos... here is his Halloween toy this year: Scary Cats - Matching Game Download the full-sized version here, print it out, and give it a try. Made by Joel is also have a free toy giveaway right now! Go leave a comment to enter and win a small wooden elephant puzzle.
17 Sep

Free Toy Giveaway: Chain Reaction Toy

Mouse Trap

by Hasbro The free toy giveaway this week is the board game Mouse Trap. This game is a classic! If your family does not have one yet, I highly recommend you get one... or just win one for free right here right now. The game is played by building a mini chain reaction machine designed to trap mice. Once the machine is build it is a race to try and trap all your opponents mice before you get caught in the mouse trap. Recommended Ages: 6+ years

Free Toy Giveaway Details

To enter this giveaway, you must participate in some way, big or small, in this weeks design process. It’s easy, just add research images, safety tips, sketches, or prototypes as a comment to one of the posts this week and you will be entered to win this free toy giveaway. To increase you odds of winning; participate more than once in the design process, subscribe to get email updates, or like us on our new facebook page. Read more details about our giveaways here. Playful Factory will draw a winner randomly on Monday, September 20th. This giveaway includes free shipping within the US. Good luck!
15 Sep

Playful Factory Tips: Turn your junk drawer into a fun toy!

It is time to dump out your junk drawer and make some chain reaction toys. Our Design Department would like to share some tips to help you start designing your own chain reaction toy.

Tips from our Design Department

(inspired by 1. Decide on a goal for your machine. The goal should be the last step of your machine. The goal could be something useful, funny, or surprising. 2. Gather a few things from around the house, in your toy box, junk drawer, or garage. Balls, marbles, dominoes, string, toy cars, magnets, cardboard or tubes, etc. Don't worry, you can collect more later. Avoid dangerous objects and chemicals. 3. Now play with the things! What can the car bump into or knock down? Can the string pull something up? What can push the ball down the cardboard ramp? Try it out! 4. Get a piece of paper and start writing down any idea that pops into your head. This is called brainstorming. No matter how crazy the idea seems, just write it down for later. Even if you don't use it, it may help you think of more things. 5. Once you get a few good ideas for your machine, make a list, in order, of the steps, or draw a simple picture of the steps. 6. Plan on making quite a few changes to your machine as you build it. It may look different from your original drawing. Try not to get frustrated, this is part of learning what works best. 7. If you get stuck at a certain step of your machine, why not try to work your way backwards? Start at the last step, and connect the part to it that triggers it. Or take a break away from the machine. Sometimes you'll come back with a fresh solution to the problem. 8. WACKINESS! GO CRAZY! A true Rube Golberg machine would be boring without some commom household items (old toys, toilet plunger, egg beater, typewriter...) 10. Setup and test your machine in stages. Once they are working, put each of the stages together. 11. If you have the ability to, it would be fun to video tape your chain reaction toy.

List of Action Words

Sometimes even just words can spark ideas... Here is a list of some action words to get your brain churning. (Churning... that is an action word). aim, bake, balance, barbecue (not recommended), barge, bat, billow, bite, blow, bob, bounce, break,brew, bulge, burst, catch, chase, chirp, clear, clutch, cook, crawl, crouch, dangle, drip, droop, dump, empty, erupt, explode, fish, float, flutter, fly, follow, gather, hang, jump, kick, lean, light, melt, mix, paddle, paint, pop, pour, pull, push, raise, rest, rock, roll, sail, scoot, shake, shoot, skate, slide, spew, spin, spray, stretch, swing, teeter-totter, throw, twirl, whistle, yank, zap... Good luck with your designs!
14 Sep

Playful Factory Project Launch: Chain Reaction Toys

There are not many things more exhilarating than putting a well laid plan into action and having it be a success. There is also not much that is more frustrating then having those plans goes completely awry. This week we will be designing chain reaction toys. Although you may have never heard of that type of toy before, you have definitely seen them. Check out these cool toys...

Mouse Trap

A chain reaction classic! Check it out life size below...

Digital Chain Reaction Game

GoldBurger chain reaction game on

Chain Reaction Machines If you want to look up more chain reaction toys it might be more fruitful to look up Rube Goldberg Machines. He was a cartoonist that kind of invented these inventions. After all of this research we learned that these contraptions are simply a machine that takes multiple complex steps to perform an extremely simple task. In short, a really fun waste of time. Have you ever built your own chain reaction toy? Share with us your experience or fun chain reaction toys you find.
11 Sep

Playful Factory: Monster Puppet DIY Toy Tutorial

Plush Monster to Puppet Monster

This little project is to show you how to make a puppet out of a little plush toy. One of my favorite methods of making a puppet is to take an existing toy and convert it into a puppet. This is simply done by following the general step-by-step instructions below. DIFFICULTY: 23% TIME: 02h 03m 21s MONEY: $$$$$ 1. Find monster toy that you like, but do not like it too much because we are going to mess it up before we put it back together 2. Rip/cut at the seam in a hidden spot. Usually the bottom or back work best. Try to position the opening so your hand can fit in and be placed at a good angle. 3. Un-stuff the fiberfill. (Do not throw away yet. You may want to use to re-stuff some areas later.) 4. Turn the toy inside out. 5. This step is unique to each toy, depending on how it was manufactured. In this example, we opened up the arms by ripping the seam where the arms were attached and re-stiching them back on around the border of the arm. This will leave an opening for a little finger to go in and wiggle to animate the monsters arm. We also added a green tongue to our monster's mouth by following this same method. 6. Play with the new monster puppet!

Do-It-Yourself Bonus:

Kent Rogowski gives us another quick way to customize a plush toy by simply turning it inside out. Instantly we can make a regular plush toy into a cool monster-looking toy. shows you how here. Let us know how your project goes.
09 Sep

Playful Factory: Monster Puppet Toy Concepts

This will be fun! Let's see all the ideas that you have for a puppet monster... get creative with what type of puppet it is as well. Here are some of the ones we thought of as inspiration:

Dont-Eat-Me Monster

Details: The monster sits on your head like a hat... which makes it look like the monster is eating your head. You control the arms using rods.

Gotcha Monster

Details: The monster attaches around your neck and goes with you where ever you go. When you squeeze his feet his mouth opens and closes as well as his hair goes straight and curly.

Bobble-Head Monster

Details: The monster sits on your head and you grab the feet and wobble it back and forth. The eyes, arms, and wiggle as you bobble.

Walk-and-Talk Monster

Details: The monster attaches to one of your hands and both of your feet. Your hand helps it talk and your feet help him walk. Maybe a stick could be attached to one of the hands and you could make its hands move too.

Monster on a Stick

Details: The monster is attacking and eating the stick you hold. You can act like he is trying to attack you, but you are fending him off with the stick. The monster's feet, arms, and hair flop around as you you move the stick. We want to see your monster puppet toy ideas... post them as a comment below. To attach an image it must be .jpg and smaller than 1000pixels x 1000pixels. If you need help, just send us the picture and we can put it up. info [@] playfulfactory [dot] com