Ellen Yates

About Ellen Yates

I never expected to find such an awesome job in my very own home town! As the Growing Tree Toys Copywriter, I get to spend everyday thinking and writing about innovative toys. When I’m not writing for work, I like read, write fiction and paint watercolor pictures that feature silly rainbow dogs. But out of everything in the world, my very favorite is to laugh and hang out with my friends.

When I was a kid the coolest thing that ever happened to me in elementary school was... the Bubble Room! In Fifth grade my teacher made a room out of clear plastic and a fan. It filled up with air to fit the whole class inside! On special occasions or as a reward for good behavior we would all crawl in and listen to stories. That’s actually the coolest thing that happened to me during my whole life. Not because my life has been uneventful, but because the Bubble Room cannot be topped. Not even by time travel, which would also be pretty cool.

When I was a kid my very best friend and I used to… pretend that the squirrels in our town were involved in a large, evil conspiracy to kill us. Every trashcan downtown had a name, such as “Tuna-surprise,” and would protect us from the squirrels if we fed it trash. I’m very pleased to say that she is still my best friend.

When I was a kid the movie/TV show that I would watch over and over again was… the animated version of 101 Dalmatians. But my little sister was weirder. Every day after I left for kindergarten, she would beg my mom to play the tape of me getting on the bus for my first day of school. On the tape she was crying because she missed me. And every day when she watched it, she would cry herself to sleep. Thinking about that makes me love her very much.

When I was a kid I used to dream that I would be… the proprietor of an “Irish Bar.” This was around sixth grade. My grandmother had a painting of an old Irish woman drinking a dark beer in a wood paneled room, which must have inspired this dream. It’s strange that she had the painting, because she’s never had a single drink in her life. She wasn’t pleased that my life’s goal amounted to serving alcohol to picturesque old ladies.

Author Archive | Ellen Yates

Glow in the Dark Hexbugs

Hooray for Hexbugs!

Tweet We knew that kids loved Hexbug Nanos, the tiny robots that swarm, flip and act like real bugs. They’re so cool that it’s been next to impossible to keep them in stock. And now the genius of Hexbug Nanos has been recognized by the proper toy authorities! At a Toy Industry Association Banquet in […]

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Soap Making… Made Easy

Tweet I had a lot of fun making these little candy soaps. The Creativity for Kids Petite Sweet Soaps Kit is unique, because it comes with six different colors of soap clay. The soap clay is softer and easier to manipulate than Sculpey clay and it washed off my hands very nicely—because it’s soap! I’d […]

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Zipline Toy

Made by Joel

Tweet You might not realize how easy it is to create your own unique toys at home. It’s something that artist Joel Henriques is really good at. He shares lots of free templates for making cardboard toys, coloring pages and cute matching games on his blog, Made by Joel! Joel’s toys aren’t complicated. He uses […]

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Strange Plants Collection

Top 10 Toys for Team Zissou

Tweet Welcome to the second installment of our Staff Holiday Pick, my list of top 10 toys for young members of the Zissou Society. If The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was real life and you were shopping for a Ned Plimpton at age eleven and a half—I would suggest these. This unique list is […]

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Did You Notice the Specialty Toys in Babies?

Tweet The film Babies was released on Mother’s Day of this year in the US, but I didn’t see it until it was on my Netflix instant screen a few weekends ago. And it was everything I could have hoped for plus more—cute, thought provoking and fascinating. Babies is a documentary about four new humans […]

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Brilliant Start Light and Sound Walker

Top Specialty and Learning Toys of 2010

Tweet After a whole year spent searching near and far for the most wondrous wonders and marvelous marvels, it’s finally here—the holiday season! We’re ready with a list of unique toys that make perfect gifts for kids of all ages. These are the best of the best and meet the 3 crucial requirements of a […]

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