What Do You Do With Your Old Toys? We Suggest Recycling!

Click-A-Brick supports toy recycling.When toys are looking a little ragged and your child has given up playing with them, you just toss them in the trash can, right?

Wrong!

That’s the worst possible thing you can do with old toys.

The team here at Click-A-Brick encourage families to look for sustainable ways to discard children’s old toys rather than just throwing them away in the garbage.

A recent article on Treehugger.com said Americans purchase about $18 billion worth of toys every year.

And while $18 billion is a big, impressive number, here is another number that is big, but terrible: more than 40% of toys purchased over the holiday season each year end up broken by the following spring.

So, if you bought 10 toys for your child over Christmas, it is likely that four of those toys would be broken by Earth Day on April 22.

Almost all toys contain at least some plastic. And many of them contain multiple materials like little bits of metal. This makes toys difficult to recycle. Another thing that makes toys difficult to recycle is that they are often made with types of plastic that recyclers just don’t accept.

What you can do:

Recycling old toys is easy. Here are some ways you can recycle your children’s old toys.

For undamaged toys:

  1. Try to donate old toys to friends and family first.
  2. If no friends or family are in need of toys, thrift stores and charities will often take toys as long as they are still in good shape.
  3. Some communities have toy libraries where parents can borrow toys like they would books from a regular library. If your community has one of these, they may be interested in donations of used toys.

For toys that are too old or broken to be donated:

  1. Municipal recycling programs may be able to take certain toys depending on what type of plastic they are made of.
  2. Many private recycling companies can accommodate toy recycling. E-Cycle Environmental, for example, shreds old toys and then separates them into their various different materials.
  3. Some electronic toys can be disposed of at places that specialize in electronic recycling.

Click-A-Brick supports toy recyclingIt takes a little more effort than just throwing your toys in the trash can, but recycling them is better for the environment and gives you the opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of recycling and reusing.

You already know how much we love learning here at Click-A-Brick, so help your kids learn about the importance of recycling by having them recycle some of their old toys.

[Photos courtesy of Martin Cooper and Ian.Kobylanski on Flickr]

 

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Construction Worker Shortage? We Can Help with That!

Click-A-Brick Mighty Machines set

With building blocks being so popular in the United States, it’s safe to say that there is definitely no shortage of toy builders. But, there is definitely a shortage of real builders.

We like keeping this blog light and fun, so we won’t go into crazy details here, but the US has a massive shortage of construction workers right now.

How massive?

According to a study done in October of 2014 by Associated General Contractors of America, a whopping 83% of construction firms don’t have enough skilled construction workers and 30% of those firms have even had to turn down work because they don’t have enough workers.

What does all that have to do with Click-A-Brick?

Well, we think we can help out with that massive shortage of construction workers the US is struggling with, not immediately, mind you, but over time.

How We can Help

This is where the Click-A-Brick 100-piece Mighty Machines set comes into play. (Pun totally intended!) With Mighty Machines, children can create a loader, a dump truck, a digger and a backhoe, plus a helicopter (or a helicopter-shaped drone, if you prefer) and other construction-related vehicles. 

Playing with the Mighty Machines set gives children a double dose of learning. Not only do they improve their cognitive development and motor skills with the set, but they can learn about how these machines help build the buildings they go to everyday.

Click-A-Brick Mighty Machines loaderThis may prompt them to take an interest in the construction trade. And, not only would it benefit the construction industry if more kids were to get interested in it and choose it as a career, but it would largely benefit those kids later on in life with a solid career that — at this point in time, anyway — looks like it would be long-term.

Obviously we’re not saying that Click-A-Brick is going to solve the skilled worker shortage in the construction industry overnight or even solve it at all, but, people start to develop their interests early in life. If the Mighty Machines set can spark an interest in construction in boys and girls, it may stick with them into adulthood.

As a new generation grows up, hopefully many of them will realize that construction is a lucrative and fulfilling career. We think Click-A-Brick can at least help get them interested in knowing how things like buildings and bridges and stuff are made. But, it takes parental involvement, too. Parents can always tell their kids about the vehicles they are making with the Mighty Machines set and what those vehicles do.

Now, we’re all about letting kids make their own decisions about what they wanna do in life and we’re certainly not suggesting you push your child toward a construction career, but every parent wants the best for their child and introducing them to Click-A-Brick is always a great idea. No matter what set you choose, you’ll be giving them the opportunity to learn and grow while they imagine and build.

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10 Fun & Educational Things to do with Your Kids this Spring

The snow is retreating and the cold temperatures of winter have been usurped by the rising temperatures of spring. Everyone, child and adult alike, is itching to get outside without having to bundle up. After a long winter mostly spent indoors (hopefully playing with Click-A-Brick), it’s so very nice to get outside and feel the warmth of spring.

 
 

Here are 10 things you can do with your children this spring to get them outside and active.

 
 

Splash in a puddle.1. Splash splash splash! 

 
 

Spring means giant mud puddles and while you could spend your time and energy on trying to keep your kids out of those puddles, it’s easier and better for everyone involved just to don some rubber boots and indulge a little. These puddles are only around for a short time, so put on your galoshes and go for a wee splash in the mud. Or, why not get out into those April showers? A little water never hurt anyone. Dress your kids up in their rain gear and go for a rainy day stroll.

 

 
 

Plant a garden with your kids.2. Plant a garden. Obviously, you need a yard for this one, but even if you are an apartment dweller, you may be able to find communal gardens in your neighborhood. You can also find many easy-to-do starter garden kits that you can plant inside your home. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about where at least some of their food comes from. 

 
 

Try a new sport.3. Try a new sport. An obvious one, but it’s only obvious because it’s such a great idea. Whether it’s in an organized league or just out in the park, spring is all about the new, so have your kids try something new.

 
 

Build a bird a home.4. Build a birdhouse. Another excellent teaching opportunity, you can not only teach kids about using tools and following a plan, but also teach them about bird migration. If you’re super handy, build one from scratch. If you’re less handy, buy a kit.

 
 

5. Host your own flight competition. Warm spring breezes mean the perfect opportunity to take flight. You can teach your kids about the simple pleasures of folding and flying a paper airplane or making your own kite. See who can fly the highest or furthest. As long as you’re outside enjoying the day, everyone wins.

 
 

Get dirty in the mud.6. Make a mud pie. Playing in the mud and getting unabashedly dirty is a lost art form. Once the weather warms up enough, put on some old clothes, get some old kitchen equipment and make a premium mud pie. As long as your kids don’t eat it, they’ll have a blast getting messy with mom and dad!

 
 

 

 
 

7. Snap some shots. One of the best things about letting kids take control of a camera is that they get shots that an adult may not think to try. You might just have a budding photographer in your family. Teach them how to use the camera and see what snapshots they snap

 

 
 

8. Do a Color Run. The Color Run is becoming increasingly popular and it’s perfect for families. It’s the most colorful mess around. Check The Color Run website for one in your area and get crazy colorful.

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

Help clean up the neighborhood9. Help clean up the neighborhood. Spring cleaning isn’t just for the house. Melting snow often reveals the accumulation of garbage over the winter. Whether it’s your local beach, a neighborhood park or you just keep it to your own yard, teaching kids to take responsibility for their own environment is an invaluable lesson.

 
 

 

 
 

Go for a spring nature walk.10. Go for a nature walk. Spring is the time for rejuvenation in nature and it’s a wonderful time to head out for an educational nature walk. The best part is, you can get out there before the bugs do! Take along a plant and animal identification book and you’re all set for an educational jaunt.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Spring, more than any other time of year, gets people in good moods and has them clamoring for the outdoors. Indulge your kids’ desire to get outside after a long winter and do something fun and educational with them. You’ll all get something out of it.

 

[Credit for last 3 photos: Chris Phutully, Port of Dover & Philippe Put on Flickr]

 
 

 

 

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Click-A-Brick has Launched in the United Kingdom and Germany!

We have some super duper exciting news!

Click-A-Brick has launched in Germany! This makes four countries we are in now:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany

You probably already know that we have been in the United States and Canada since Christmas time 2014, but maybe you didn’t know that we are also in Europe. We launched in the United Kingdom at Christmas time 2015 and now we’ve made our way into Germany.

We’re popping up all over the map!

Click-A-Brick

So, if you have any friends and family over in Europe, tell them everyone at Click-A-Brick says hello and then tell them they can get their very own Click-A-Brick. You’ll make them so happy with the news!

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