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Mexico: Festival of Toys

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Most of our toys are cranked out by machines. One looks just like the next. Fun to play with, yes, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Handmade toys, on the other hand, are part plaything and part art, as an exhibit at the Art Museum of the Americas shows. "Mexico: Festival of Toys" features more than 600 objects from the 1920s to the present.

Some of the dolls and other colorful items in the exhibit are part of important celebrations in Mexico such as Carnival and the Day of the Dead. Others are everyday toys used and loved by children across Mexico.

Because everyone knows it's hard to look at toys and not want to touch them, the exhibit has several places where you can play with replicas of the toys on display. Also, workshops on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons offer activities such as painting a doll and making a pi┬┐ata.

The museum, at 201 18th St. NW, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays and federal holidays. The toy exhibit is free and runs through March 16. For more information:http://www.museum.oas.orgor 202-458-6016.

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