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

Classic Game Night

Looking For An Easy School Fundraiser? Consider A Gamewright GameNight!

Tweet I loved Ratatat Cat from Gamewright when I was in elementary school. It’s a game that combines memory and strategy with anthropomorphic rats and cats. If I couldn’t convince anyone to play it with me, sometimes I just looked at the illustrations on the cards and imagined things about the characters. Gamewright makes awesome […]

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Friedrich Froebel’s Gifts and Education through Play

Tweet Friedrich Froebel had beautiful ideas about early childhood development. In 1837 he opened the first kindergarten in Bad Blankenburg with the belief that young children would benefit from an education that incorporated self-expression, creativity, social activity, motor ability and work. Froebel believed that education relates to all capabilities of each child: imaginative, creative, symbolic, […]

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Flower Pressing Example

It’s Flower Pressing Season!

Tweet Summer is winding down and fall is winding up; it’s a perfect time to make some art with leaves and wildflowers! Pressing flowers became a popular pastime during the Victorian Era but it’s a timeless expression of natural appreciation. It’s the process of applying pressure to plants in order to flatten and preserve them. […]

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Alex Hochstrasser

Bilibo at the Museum of Modern Art

Tweet Bilibo has become something of a global sensation in the 9 years following its birth, winning toy and design awards in Germany, Switzerland, the US and the UK. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bilibo is now being featured in an exhibit at the MoMA. It’s part of Shape Lab, an interactive […]

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Ellen Learns to Yo-Yo with Yomega

Tweet Sometimes I get really excited about toys when I write the product descriptions. Recently I became obsessed with the Yomega Hot Shot Yo-Yo; so obsessed that I convinced Jon and Kim to supply me with one for a series of blog posts called “Ellen Learns to Yo-Yo with Yomega.” Here’s the pitch that earned […]

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Enviro bag

Kidtivities™—Summer Arts and Crafts Projects

Tweet If you live near our store in downtown State College, be sure to stop by this summer for some crafty fun! When kids participate in Kidtivities™ at Growing Tree Toys, we provide supplies and personal attention so that each child can create an awesome project such as a plaster pet, green shopping bag, paper […]

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