News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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July 24, 2012

Indy museum seeks input on Top 100 Toys

INDIANAPOLIS — The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is asking children and families to choose their favorite toys as part of the museum’s new project “100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood.” This interactive program is organized by The Children’s Museum to encourage children and significant adults in their lives to vote for their favorites from a list of 100 iconic and multi-generational toys from the museum’s collection. These toys represent fun and imaginative ways children have played over the last century.

Families across the country are invited to help choose the top toys and share their favorite memories of each toy online at www.childrensmuseum.org/100toys.

“As the world’s largest children’s museum, and one of the few collecting children’s museums in existence, we use objects from our 120,000 piece collection to encourage extraordinary family-learning experiences for our visitors,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president & CEO of the museum. “Every day, we see our adult visitors become inspired by an object or toy from our collection and share a story from their own childhood with their young children. This sharing fosters the family-learning experiences we strive to create for our visitors. The ‘100 Toys (& their Stories)’ project is an extension of this experience by using iconic objects from the museum’s collection to encourage inter-generational story-sharing and foster discussion about the role toys play throughout our lives.”

Curators from The Children’s Museum chose 100 objects from the museum’s collection, which represent iconic childhood experiences from the last 100 years (1910-present) to which many children and adults will relate. Toys included were picked for many reasons including popularity, such as the Cabbage Patch Kids of the 1980s and the Beanie Babies of the 1990s, and long-term success stories, such crayons and the red wagon. Voters are also encouraged to share memories of their favorite toys and why a particular toy was meaningful to them or their family.

“Childhood is different for each individual and a person’s experience of growing up is based upon many different factors,” Patchen said. “Museum curators gave great consideration to a variety of experiences that change throughout childhood when picking iconic toys from the collection. It is through public voting and memory sharing that we hope to foster fun and exciting discussions about what constitutes an iconic childhood toy.”

Public voting will continue until Aug. 17, at which time the 20 toys with the most votes will be revealed and put on display at the museum. The public will once again be asked to vote to rank the 20 toys to determine the final order of the “Top 20” and the Bronze, Silver, and Gold winners to be announced in mid-September.

To view the full list of toys, vote and share your own toy story, visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis online at www.childrensmuseum.org/100toys.

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