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

World’s Largest Rubber Chicken Toss

Tweet A barrage of rubber chickens filled the air Sunday at the 28th Annual Run of the Charles Canoe and Kayak Race in Boston. It was the World’s Largest (and as far as I can gather, the world’s only) Rubber Chicken Toss. The Haywire Group, makers of the Flickin’ Chickens Game, Dicecapades and the 59 […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }
Kids Playing

10 Ideas for Creating an Easy Neighborhood Field Day

Tweet A low-key neighborhood field day is a great way to recreate, exercise and have fun! Spending time outdoors with your kids will set a healthy example and organizing an epic field day for the families in your neighborhood can be as easy as planning a few activities and grabbing some burgers. Here are 10 […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }

Learning About Death and Loss Through Play

Tweet Artist, writer and graphic designer, David Barringer has assembled a Bug Funeral Kit that includes an instructional burial scroll and a book of eulogies written by children for their deceased insects. His Funeral Kit is marketed toward adults, but it’s a toy that I would have loved when I was mummifying bees, grasshoppers and […]

Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Have a Family Movie Night At Home with My Neighbor Totoro

Tweet Family movie nights are fun and healthy, but it can be hard to find movies that everyone will enjoy. My Neighbor Totoro is a classic animated film from legendary director Hayao Miyazaki is a great choice. Audiences of all ages and cultures can relate to the characters and it’s one of my all time […]

Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
Terrarium Supplies

Looking for an Educational and Creative Earth Day Project for Kids? Plant a Terrarium!

Tweet This year, as a reminder to be more aware of my impact on the environment, I decided to make a terrarium for Earth Day. Terrariums are containers with fascinating and beautiful plantscapes inside—they’re like little worlds. My terrarium project was inspired by the expert tips and ideas at stormthecastle.com. Here’s what I did. First, […]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }

Tragic Norwegian Toy Maker “Ruins” Landscapes with Gigantic Versions of Familiar Toys

Tweet At a press conference on February 4, 2010, Norwegian financial investment wizard and billionaire, Sebastian Oksnes announced that he will be pursuing a new line of work—creating giant toys and putting them around his native country. Oksnes is known in Norway for his eccentricities, and Norwegians were unsure whether they should take his announcement […]

Continue Reading Comments { 6 }