Office Playground Blog

The center of the desk toy universe! Got work stress? Get relief at OfficePlayground.com!

Office Playground's April Fools' Day Adventure

clock April 1, 2014 09:14 by author Administrator

In our most recent manager's meeting at Office Playground, the CEO proposed, "How about we TP the DC?" The phrase TP the DC sounds cryptic and likely that was the intention. We call our Distribution Center the "DC" for short, and I think most people would probably figure out the TP part. At first, my mind didn't think "TP" equals toilet paper, but once it was said out loud, it made perfect sense (how often does your boss suggest throwing toilet paper all over the warehouse?). And since April Fools' Day was only a few days away, the idea was even more perfect.


Our plan was kept super secret. Only a select few knew about the practical joke. The plan was to take action at the end of the day on Monday, March 31, the day before April Fools' Day. After a brief discussion about the logistics, we were all set to start the shenanigans.


At 5:00, the toilet paper started flying. We did our best (with the slightly limited supply of TP) to make a real impact. We tossed rolls of toilet paper from one end of the warehouse to the other, wrapped computer monitors with more TP, and assembled a tower of packing boxes. I'm sure our dedicated distribution center staff members are already plotting revenge.


Another one of my favorite practical jokes was when we put the Remote Controlled Whoopee Cushion in the CEO's office, but we'll save that story for another day. How does your workplace celebrate April Fools' Day? Office Playground has all kinds of Gag Gifts, including Whoopee Cushions, rubber chickens, and fake poop that will help get you started.


Playfully,

Cassie - Marketing

www.OfficePlayground.com
World’s Best Selection of Office Toys!

Warehouse prank with toilet paper Toilet paper at computer work station Warehouse prank with box tower


Resolve to Have More Fun!

clock January 8, 2014 08:14 by author Administrator
Have fun at work: Shoot hoops!

How are your New Year's Resolutions going? A couple of the most popular resolutions are to get organized and to live life to the fullest. We can help with that! Let's start by resolving to have more fun!

It's easy to reduce stress with our Stress Toys. We suggest taking a deep breath and trying the stress relieving activities below.
Reduce stress with a head massage
Organize papers with colorful paper clips

We have all kinds of fun Office Supplies to get your organized at home or at work.

Take a break from working once in a while! Everyone knows what happens when there's all work and no play.
Add a Solar Flower to your office window
Follow @OfficePlayground on Twitter

What's your New Year's Resolution? Let's talk about stress toys and having fun at work.


What's the Deal with Syringe Pens?

clock October 23, 2013 11:40 by author Administrator

Some might wonder what the use of a syringe pen exactly is. All I can say is that I wonder at those who doubt the amusement that comes from having a syringe that is actually a pen. Imagine, a regular day at work. You smile, say your good mornings, grab some coffee, proceed to take out your blood filled syringe and set to work. You’ll probably catch a couple of confused stares from co-workers as you appear to pen your notes in blood.


The syringe pen is pretty much a necessity for those working in a medical profession. If you’re a doctor or a nurse, having a syringe pen will add some much needed novelty to your day. Whip out your syringe from a coat pocket and scrawl your notes in style. Tease some confused patients with a grin and a wink.


OfficePlayground.com offers a fantastic variety of syringe pens for the medical professional in all of us. Best of all, you’re not limited to writing with red blood in your syringe--you can opt for blue or yellow (which can be either medicine or alien blood, who knows?). There’s even a yellow highlighter syringe, so you can make those words pop before you inject them.


Playfully,

Kayla Batom
Guest Blogger

www.OfficePlayground.com
World’s Best Selection of Office Toys!

Red (Blood) Syringe Pen


Where I Found Solar Dancing Flowers

clock September 21, 2012 09:39 by author Administrator

The other day, while I was driving home from work, I noticed something in my rearview mirror: a solar dancing flower on the dashboard in the car behind me. Not too long before that, I had seen a solar dancing flower in another car sitting in a parking lot. Since then, I had seen that same car in the parking lot for a second time. I have probably noticed a dozen or so solar dancing flowers on car dashboards recently. Occasionally I'll see one in a car on the streets of San Francisco with a solar flower and I've seen others on TV inside taxicabs. Solar Flowers look nice sitting on a car's dashboard, but be sure to keep them out of extreme, direct heat. In most cases, your flower will dance and be happy inside your car, but remember that sometimes cars can get really hot. Plastic doesn't always hold up: I've even seen a plastic CD case melt in the car.

Other great places to display your solar dancing flower:

- Next to a window (of course!)
- On your desk (if you're near a window)
- In the kitchen (be sure it's not near the stove!)
- Hospital rooms (sick patients need some cheer the most)
- Classrooms (again, next to a sunny window is best)

No matter where you enjoy your solar flowers, make sure there is plenty of sunlight, but keep them out of extreme heat!


Playfully,

Cassie
Marketing Coordinator
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!

Pink Solar Flower with Red Pot


Top 10 Stress Balls of 2012

clock June 11, 2012 15:45 by author Office Toy Guy

We are excited to announce our choices for the top 10 Stress Balls of 2012. Stress Balls have been a constant in offices, classrooms, homes, cars and who knows where else, for a very long time. Here at Office Playground, we have sold lots of stress balls...I mean LOTS! So, based on our data and feedback from our customers, we are happy to present the Top 10 Stress Balls for 2012 (and 5 more honorable mentions). Enjoy!

#1

Koosh Ball

Koosh Ball

Koosh is King! Koosh is such a big time, famous stress ball that people use the name "Koosh" to refer to "stress balls" in general. Koosh Balls are multifaceted, which is why they are so popular. You can stretch them, squeeze them, and fidget in a variety of ways. Koosh Ball is our choice as the #1 Stress Ball of all time.

See more Koosh Balls here


#2

Talking Stress Ball - Relax

Talking Stress Ball - Relax

Talking Stress Balls are a relatively new entry into the Stress Ball market. They are a challenge to make—the sound chip is technically difficult to produce and affix solidly into the ball. Beyond the technical and manufacturing challenges, a talking stress ball must be funny to look at, have a good squeezability (our word, don't look it up) and most of all, have a funny saying. The Relax Talking Stress Ball is the king of all Talking Stress Balls.

See more Talking Stress Balls here


#3

Splat Ball - Smile Face

Splat Ball - Smile Face

Splat Balls have been around for a long time. They are thin skinned balls full of water. There is something extra though: when you "splat" them on a table, they appear to explode, but they don't. They slowly pull themselves back into shape. Splat Balls are good squeeze balls and better as a practical joke.

See more Splat Balls here


#4

Chinese Health Balls - Rainbow

Chinese Health Balls - Rainbow

Chinese Health Balls go by many different names. The two metal balls with chimes inside that you roll around in your hand. These are the original stress balls since they have been used by the Chinese for centuries.

See more Chinese Health Balls here


#5

Puffer Ball - 4.5 inch

Puffer Ball - 4.5 inch

Puffer Balls are filled with air and have rubber spikes all over them. They are great to squeeze and are visually stunning to look at.

See more Puffer Balls here


#6

Happy Smile Face Stress Ball

Happy Smile Face Stress Ball

What's a Top 10 Stress Ball List without the famous Smile Face Stress Ball? This ball is made from polyurethane foam, which offers a firm resistance when squeezed.

See more Foam Stress Balls here


#7

Neon Mesh Squishy Ball

Neon Mesh Squishy Ball

When the Neon Mesh Squishy Ball is squeezed, the ball bubbles between the outer mesh net. This ball is very cool because of its morphing qualities.

See more Gel Stress Balls here


#8

Stretch & Bounce Ball - Smile Face

Stretch and Bounce Ball - Smile Face

Stretch and Bounce Balls are very cool because they are excellent to squeeze but can also be bounced. Beyond that, you can mold them into shapes.

See more Stretch & Bounce Balls here


#9

UFO Ball

UFO Ball

The UFO Ball looks innocent enough, but when you grab it, the ball displays a light show with eerie sounds. It's hard plastic, so it doesn't squish or stretch...but try to stop playing with it!

See more Light Up Stress Balls here


#10

Fishy Squishy

Fishy Squishy

Fishy Squishy is a technical marvel. It's like having a full fish aquarium inside of a stress ball. You get all the squeezing action of a water stress ball plus the visual interest of a fish tank (no need for fish food).

See more Squeeze Stress Balls here


Flashing Neutron Ball

Flashing Neutron Ball

Honorable Mention

Suction Ball - Light Up

Suction Ball - Light Up

Honorable Mention

Earth Squeeze Stress Ball

Earth Squeeze Stress Ball

Honorable Mention


Basketball Stress Ball

Basketball Stress Ball

Honorable Mention

DNA Stress Ball

DNA Stress Ball

Honorable Mention

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



Stress Balls Can Help You Reduce Work-Related Stress

clock April 30, 2012 15:16 by author Office Toy Guy

April is National Stress Awareness month. During this time, people are encouraged to evaluate what causes the most stress in their lives and to come up with some healthy techniques for reducing their stress and anxiety.

In 1992, the Health Resource Network created the National Stress Awareness Month and designated April 16th as National Stress Awareness day. (Yes! They selected this day because it is the day after taxes are due.) The holiday was started to "increase public awareness of the causes and cures of stress."

It seems that the most turned to methods for reducing stress are not always the healthiest. Sure donuts, alcohol and a cigarette can give you instant gratification, but over the long haul these unhealthy choices can take a toll on your body.

Fortunately, there are many tips and tools available for relieving your stress. Some stress reduction options include vacations, meditation, spa treatments, exercise, list making and prioritizing things in your life.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of Americans say work is a main cause of stress in their lives. We can’t always take time off of work for a vacation or spend the money for spa treatments.

OfficePlayground.com is about having fun at work and making your workspace a more enjoyable place. How about some quick, easy and cost effective ways to reduce your work-related stress while you are sitting at your desk?

When you are in the middle of a highly stressful situation, these tips can help you calm down and refocus on the moment.

  • Take a deep breath or two. Slowly breathe in through your nose and then exhale through your mouth.
  • Count slowly backwards from ten. If you are having a particularly stressful day, you might need to start from 100. :-)
  • Close your eyes and clear your mind and think about nothing for a few moments.
  • Take a break from what you are doing and stretch.
  • An easy way to combat stress is to smile. A funny moment can bring a smile to your face and quickly diminish your anxiety.
  • Play with a fun stress ball.

Stress balls are called stress balls because they help relieve stress. OfficePlayground.com offers many different styles and types of stress relief balls.

  • Scented Stress Balls - The lavender scented aRoma Stress Ball has a calming scent to soothe and relax you.
  • Tactile Stress Balls - Roll Chinese Health Stress Balls in your hand to produce a soothing sound of chimes.
  • Squeeze Stress Balls - These are stress balls that you can squish and manipulate to reduce stress.
  • Bright and Colorful Stress Balls - The Fishy Squishy is a one of a kind stress ball that offers mesmerizing coral reef scenery to help keep you calm.
  • Therapy Stress Balls - The DFX Mini Sports Body Roller provides a deep gentle massage to ease tension.
  • Humorous Stress Balls - A funny talking stress ball can make you smile and help keep you in a cheerful mood.

OfficePlayground.com's stress balls offer a quick, easy and affordable way to manage your work-related stress. The next time you are feeling the pressure, grab your favorite stress ball and take a 5 minute break to breathe deeply and manipulate the stress toy in your hand.

Life is stressful and work can be demanding. We can’t eliminate the things that cause our stress, but we can work to minimize its effect on us.

For more stress relief information, please visit the official Stress Awareness Month website.

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!







Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day

clock April 17, 2012 16:26 by author Office Toy Guy

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day. On April 26, 2012, many companies will welcome boys and girls to their offices.

Why is this a great opportunity for our children? According to the official Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day web site, "Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success."

Here at OfficePlayground.com, we are passionate about educating children and donate regularly to local schools. We believe that children benefit from exposure to a variety of careers and different types of businesses. We jumped at the chance to give a tour of our facilities to a local Girl Scout troop. The girls enjoyed packing orders, labeling their boxes and sending the packages down the conveyer belt. It was a lot of fun to work with the kids and their enthusiasm was contagious.

We sell office toys to people to use at work. Our motto at OfficePlayground.com is to make your workplace a more enjoyable space. Playing a little at work helps reduce stress, lightens your mood and can make you more productive.

When your sons and daughters visit your office, be sure to show them the fun parts of your job. We suspect that they will instantly be attracted to the toys and fun stuff on your desk and around your workplace. Whenever my kids visit me at work, they automatically go to my office and look for the same blue stress ball and always grab the mice from their block of cheese.

Do you need some new office toys for your desk? Visit www.OfficePlayground.com and check out the latest stress relievers, office supplies, desktop toys and more.

For more information about Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day and for resources to help plan activities for your company, visit the official web site at: www.daughtersandsonstowork.org.

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



Welcome New Employees with Office Toys!

clock March 1, 2012 14:18 by author Office Toy Guy

You placed the ad for a new employee, interviewed several candidates, made your choice and hired the next new shining star for your company. They arrive for their first day of work. Now what? You put forth great effort to find the right person for the job. Do you follow that up by properly welcoming them to the company?

The first thing you should do to welcome a new employee is to...well...welcome them! Greet them when they arrive and introduce them to their co-workers. Don't just leave them lingering in the lobby twiddling their thumbs.

Here are a few steps you can do to welcome a new employee:

  • Be prepared for the new employee's arrival by assigning them a desk and making sure their computer is ready and the phone system is updated with their information.
  • Have a training plan in place and assign a mentor to guide them.
  • Let the personality of your employees and work culture come out by giving the new employee a welcome sign, flowers, snacks or some tchotchkes. Welcoming a new employee with fun stuff will quickly make them feel at home.

Here at OfficePlayground.com, we think a great way to welcome a new employee is by giving them a variety of fun office toys and stress relievers to help make their workspace a more enjoyable place. OfficePlayground.com makes it easy to build your own new employee welcome kit. Choose from a wide range of desktop toys, stress relievers, office supplies and more.

We recommend the following categories to get started:

Stress Balls
Novelty Pens
Memo Holders
Liquid Motion Toys

Whatever your budget, you will find the right office toys at OfficePlayground.com to welcome your new employee and help make them feel like they are part of your company.

For more HR tips on welcoming new employees, check out the following sources:
10 Ways to Welcome New Employees - HR World
How to Welcome a New Employee - About.com
Top 10 Ways to Turn Off a New Employee - About.com

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



Let Your Solar Dancing Flower Dance!

clock February 13, 2012 12:12 by author Office Toy Guy
Zen Garden Deluxe

Do you own a Solar Dancing Flower that doesn't seem to want to dance? It could be an unhappy (defective) flower, but chances are your Solar Dancing Flower just needs a little more love.

First, check the time of day and the weather outside. Solar Dancing Flowers work best under direct sunlight, so your flower may not dance as well on a dark and cloudy day. Your Solar Flower does not have to be outside to move: these flowers love to dance on your car dashboard, near a large window, or under a bright incandescent desk lamp (but sunlight is always best). Unfortunately, fluorescent lights alone don't always make a Solar Dancing Flower happy, so be sure to let in the sunshine!

Next, turn the flower towards you and the solar panel facing the light source. You can also wipe the solar panel with a dry cloth to clean off any dust and fingerprints. Solar Dancing Flowers do not use batteries and they don't need to be charged up, but giving them a gentle nudge can help get them going.

If your flower is still not dancing, be sure to double check (and triple check) your surroundings. Solar Dancing Flowers do not work well in dungeons (yes, we know, your office sometimes feels like a dungeon), basements, caves, or during the nighttime.

Insider Tip: We shot our Solar Dancing Flower videos in a regular office with overhead fluorescent lights. Our secret: we added additional desk lamps to the "set". A couple of the videos were shot near an open window.


We hope these tips help make your Solar Flower dance. You can also little background music for your flower. We prefer music of bongo drums, ukuleles, and synthesizers. Occasionally we turn on a little bit of Reggae music. Now it's time to dance little flower, dance!

Playfully,

Cassie
Marketing Coordinator
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



History of the Smiley Face

clock February 10, 2012 14:42 by author Office Toy Guy

We've all seen, and most likely used, the Smiley Face in our lives. It's on everything from Emoticons to T-shirts to balloons to stress relievers. According to Wikipedia, "a Smiley, Smiley Face, or Happy Face, is a stylized representation of a smiling human face, commonly occurring in popular culture." The Smiley is so familiar and common, that we simply accept that it exists. But, have you ever wondered about the history of the Smiley Face?

The most iconic version of the Smiley was created by Harvey Ball in 1963. At the time, Ball’s job assignment was to create a happy face for use on buttons. And so, the Smiley Face with a yellow background, black oval eyes and a mouth with creases was created. Interestingly, the Smiley Face was not trademarked in the United States early on in its inception. Through the years, attempts were made to trademark this well-known symbol. As recently as 2009, the courts ruled that the Smiley Face is in the public domain. (source: Wikipedia)

At OfficePlayground.com, the Smiley Face is considered an awesome and uplifting icon that helps remind us to be optimistic and happy. A Smiley is a huge part of staying positive and relieving stress at work. That is why OfficePlayground.com has such a huge variety of Happy Face stress relievers and toys. Look at some of the Smiley office toys available at OfficePlayground.com:

Bean Ball - Smile Face
Bendable Smile Man - 3 inch
Bendable Smile Men, Multicolored - 12 Pack
Captain Smiley - Hot Pink



Captain Smiley - Yellow
Flashing Smile Sunshine Ball
Funny Face Ball - Smile
Goofy Pen - Smile, Blue



Gumball Machine - Plastic 9 inch - Smile Face
Happy Face Keychain
Happy Face Stress Ball
Happy Face Stress Ball With Feet



Hi Bounce Ball - Plush Smile Face
IsoFlex Smiley Stress Ball
Mini Smile Squeeze Balls - 12 Pack
Porcupine Ball Smile Face - 2 Inch, 12 Pack



Pumpkin Stress Ball - Smile
Smile Face Heart Stress Toy
Smile Face Memo Holder
Smile Face Molecule Ball



Smile Face Popping Pen
Smiley Dude Stress Toy
Smiley Spring Keychain
Splat Ball - Smile Face



Squishy Smile Face Pen
Stress Ball Pen - Smile Face, Silver
Stress Jumper - Smiley
Stretch and Bounce Ball - Smile Face



Stretchy Happy Face - 12 Pack
Super Smiley Stress Toy
Water Wigglies - 4 inch, Smile Face
Wind Up Hopping Smile Man



And we are thrilled that one of our all-time favorite Happy Face stress balls is back! The Smile Face Molecule Ball is a super happy stress toy. When you squeeze this stress ball, all the little smile faces move around inside. This Smiley stress ball is a cheerful reminder to get going on that grin and to keep those positive thoughts flowing.

So go on, get happy and have a nice day! :-)

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



About Office Playground

website: www.OfficePlayground.com
email: service@officeplayground.com
phone: 800-458-1948

The Office Toy Guy is passionate about office toys and spending a little time playing at work. He also enjoys imaginary pinky wrestling (it’s similar to thumb wrestling but you use your pinky and you conduct matches in your mind against imaginary opponents), cooking, underwater speed-reading, massages, and an occasional lighthearted office prank. (He’s really the CEO of Office Playground!)

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