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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!



Bring the Star Wars Experience to Your Desk

clock February 8, 2012 10:23 by author Office Toy Guy

On February 10, 2012, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D opens in theaters.

I remember watching the original three Star Wars films in the movie theater as a kid and I love that this generation gets to experience all the Star Wars movies on the big screen. The 2012 Star Wars: Episode I has been updated with all the bells and whistles you expect with today’s big blockbusters. Some folks don’t like it when they mess with the original movie, but Jackass 3 was in 3D after all, so of course Star Wars should make its own splash in 3D as well.

Get your Star Wars movie tickets at Fandango.com and enjoy the show. When you get back to work after the big on screen adventure, relive the Star Wars experience with your very own Yoda Computer Monitor Sitter from OfficePlayground.com.

Yoda, a renowned Jedi master, first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back. Followed up by Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.

The Yoda Computer Sitter makes his home on top of your computer monitor while keeping an eye on your desk. This Yoda is a fun bobble head desk toy that will help make your workspace more enjoyable.

If Yoda isn’t your favorite Star Wars character, visit OfficePlayground.com and check out the Darth Vader Computer Sitter and the Boba Fett Computer Sitter.

Don’t worry if attending the next Comic-Con wearing a Stormtrooper or Chewbacca costume is out of your comfort zone. The Yoda, Darth Vader and Boba Fett monitor bobble heads are a fun way to show your love for all things Star Wars.

Computer Sitters - Yoda
Computer Sitters - Darth Vader
Computer Sitters - Boba Fett

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



Emergency Meow Button

clock February 1, 2012 15:16 by author Office Toy Guy

Meow Button

When we add new products to OfficePlayground.com, our web team sends out an all company email announcing the latest and greatest office toys to our staff. We recently added a super funny noisemaker to our collection of office buttons called the Emergency Meow Button. The folks here at OfficePlayground.com get a kick out of new desktop toys.

Here is some candid feedback from our staff about the Emergency Meow Button:

"That thing is awesome!"

"That would be hysterical during a conference call!"

"Much easier to take care of than a real cat!"

The Emergency Meow Button is perfect for cat lovers who miss their favorite pet while at work. It’s easy to operate, just press the big white paw to hear the kitty. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Emergency Meow Button, do it now at OfficePlayground.com. And be sure to sample the cat's meow!

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



Love Silly Putty? Hate the Mess? Tips for Removing Silly Putty

clock January 30, 2012 09:31 by author Office Toy Guy

Silly Putty and red egg Silly Putty is a classic office stress reliever and we love playing with it at OfficePlayground.com. It can stretch, bounce and roll and is fun to play with at your desk.

We get a lot of inquiries about Silly Putty here at OfficePlayground.com. What colors does it come in? Can I get a volume discount? What styles do you have? But, perhaps the most common question we get from folks is how to get Silly Putty out of ___________ (fill in the blank). Since we know that it can be a bit of a pain when Silly Putty ends up in the wrong places, we decided to provide you with some tips on how to remove Silly Putty.

The top three questions we get at OfficePlayground.com for removing Silly Putty are:

- How do I get Silly Putty out of hair?
- How do I get Silly Putty off of clothing (fabric)?
- How do I get Silly Putty off of carpet?

We visited Crayola.com for their Stain Removal Tips to get the answers.

  1. Remove Silly Putty from Hair:
    What you need: Warm Water, Baby Oil, and Conditioner
    What to do: Try using baby oil or a generous amount of hair conditioner along with warm water. Massage the baby oil or conditioner around the scalp and area containing Silly Putty.

  2. Remove Silly Putty from Clothing (fabric):
    What you need: Dull knife or metal spoon, WD-40® (car part lubricant), Cotton balls, Liquid dish soap, Rubbing alcohol, Soft cloth or sponge
    What to do: Scrape off excess Silly Putty with a dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Spray with WD-40 and let stand a few minutes. Scrape excess Silly Putty with dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Re-spray with WD-40 and wipe off stain with cotton balls. If any stain remains, saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol, blot the stain and rinse. Wipe any remaining residue or remaining stain with a damp sponge or cloth moistened with liquid dish soap. Wash garment per the manufacturer’s direction.

  3. Remove Silly Putty from Carpet:
    What you need: Dull knife or metal spoon, Soft cloth or sponge, Upholstery/rug shampoo, Bristle brush, Liquid dish soap, WD-40® (car part lubricant)
    What to do: Scrape off excess Silly Putty with a dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Spray with WD-40 and let stand a few minutes. Scrape excess Silly Putty with dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Re-spray with WD-40® and wipe off stain with cotton balls. If any stain remains, saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol, blot the stain and rinse. Wipe any remaining residue or remaining stain with a damp sponge or cloth moistened with liquid dish soap.

*These stain removal tips are suggestions only and success cannot be guaranteed. Always test surface before attempting to clean.

You can find more stain removal tips at Crayola.com.

Playfully,

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
OfficeToyGuy@OfficePlayground.com

www.OfficePlayground.com
We make work fun!



What's Up with Desktop Zen Gardening?

clock January 25, 2012 10:17 by author Office Toy Guy

Zen Garden Deluxe Many people enjoy Zen Gardening in their desktop environment, but few may know the history of this classic desktop stress relief tool. Zen Gardens are also commonly referred to as Zen Rock Gardens or Japanese Rock Gardens. Wikipedia describes a Japanese Rock Garden as:

"Japanese rock gardens or 'dry landscape' gardens, often called 'Zen gardens', are a type of garden that features extensive use of rocks or stones, along with plants native to rocky or alpine environments that were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation."

Mini desktop Zen gardens, popular among office workers, contain sand, rakes, rocks, birds, statues, and/or small buildings. Zen gardens are both pleasing to the eye and soothing to create or design. The raking of the sand and arranging of the various items offers a welcome reprieve from a stressful workday. You may be surprised to learn that making a perfectly groomed Zen garden is not easy:

"The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water has an aesthetic function. Zen priests practice this raking also to help their concentration. Achieving perfection of lines is not easy. Rakes are according to the patterns of ridges as desired and limited to some of the stone objects situated within the gravel area. Nonetheless often the patterns are not static. Developing variations in patterns is a creative and inspiring challenge." -- (source: Wikipedia)

Whether you groom your personal desktop Zen garden to perfection is up to you. An individual's Zen garden will reflect their creativity, attention to detail, and concentration. Spending time arranging a Zen garden can help you relax and add some peace to your workday.

See all of our Desktop Zen Gardens Here

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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