Winter has hit Rochester, dear readers. The snow bunnies and ski enthusiasts are, no doubt, shouting in joy and rolling in the pristine white stuff...but Jane is happy to remain behind closed doors, watching through the window as white lace covers trees and lawns. The radio keeps mumbling, "lake effect snow warnings," but, that's just Rochesterspeak for "it's snowing." Jane has lived here long enough to know that!
For those readers who are new to Lip-sticking, Jane will be forthright...we have a theory about the "out of doors." We believe that the "out of doors" is exactly where it belongs, and we have sincere hopes that it stays there. That is why God gave us windows, so that we might appreciate the out of doors without having to actually experience it. (please do not write scathing notes on what we are missing-- we understand that some people actually LIKE the out of doors; we were one of those people in our youth; but, today, we are content to enjoy the weather from behind glass. Thank you.)
Today, Jane would like to talk about toys. Winter seems like a good time to introduce our readers to a website all about toys. That website is the Toy Industry Association, a company that leads the world in toy safety standards. They also promote the Toy Industry Foundation, which says,
"While those in the toy industry cherish the magic of toys and play, knowing they bring smiles to the faces of children around the world, the industry also recognizes the fact that many children in America don't have the means to own their own toy. This is a reality the Toy Industry Foundation Board of Trustees identified during a strategic planning meeting in September 2002."
They go on to inform visitors that,
"A major objective of TIF is to educate the public about safe ... and fun play! Under TIF's consumer education program, TIA annually distributes more than 700,000 copies of its free consumer information publications - Fun Play, Safe Play, a toy safety and selection booklet, Juego Divertido, Juego Seguro (a Spanish version of Fun Play, Safe Play) and the award-winning Guide to Toys for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, which describes toys for children with visual impairments."
Jane has a specific purpose in sharing this site with our readers. Who, among us, is not still enthralled with toys? Many of our good readers are parents, and as parents, we not only receive joy from the toys we buy our children, but joining them in play gives us a chance to take a short visit back to our own youth.
Those readers who are not parents are probably Aunts or Uncles...or Sisters or Brothers...or friends of folks-- who have children. We cannot imagine anyone who does not understand the happiness of having toys. Why, toys are not only an American tradition, they are a stable of all societies, everywhere in the world. The Toy Industry Association site does much to support the value toys bring to all of our lives, both the young and the not so young.
TIA encourages membership in order to access its inner pages, but there is plenty of valuable information for free, in the Parent's Section and the Foundation section. We hope you will visit this site, dear readers, and consider providing the link to your website visitors-- the Moms will reward you with sales, of that we have little doubt!
FYI, Jane covets the Toys: Celebrating 100 Years of Play book. Others may find the safety information, the list of conferences, and the general content all about toys worth checking out. Certainly, this is a site one could add to one's homepage, with a blurb about its purpose, noting that there is no more valuable resource in our country-- in the world-- than our children. To bring a smile to their faces, and joy to their lives, is a privilege, indeed.
We think Dads, as well as Moms, will thank you.
What's not to like about that?