Mali asks the question of the month

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Hello!

My name is Mali! I’m from a company called HABA and I am very curious. At least, that’s what the grownups say about me. There are so many interesting things to discover in the world! But some things are really complicated, so I have loads of questions. Fortunately for me, the people at HABA are very nice and explain everything I want to know. And then I can tell you all the new things I have learned.

Sincerely yours, Mali

April
: How much sand is there on the beach?

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Dear Product Management,

Can you help me please? A new playground has just been opened at the bottom of our street. A big truck came along and dumped a huge amount of sand into a hole. Daddy said that, in a big sandbox like this, you can almost envision you were on a beach. And then he added that the sand may even have come from the beach where we’re planning to go on holiday this year. That thought gave me quite a shock. What if there isn’t enough sand left at the seaside for everyone to enjoy? Many people go there on vacation! I’m planning to build a big sandcastle with my dad and sister, and mom wants to lie around in the sun.

Should I fill a bucket with sand and take it with me? How much sand is there on the beach anyway?

Best wishes


Mali

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Michaela from Product Management

Dear Mali,

I can help you out on the topic of sand. That’s my special area of expertise, so to speak! One of my responsibilities at HABA is our range of sand toys. So let me assure you that you do not have to worry at all; there will definitely be enough sand on your beach. Grains of sand are like the stars in the sky – there are more than you can count. By the way, the sand at your playground certainly won’t have come from a beach. There are many different types of sand. The type of sand used in a sandbox will have been taken from a quarry or a river bed. The grains are much smaller than the ones you find on a beach. You should be able to tell the difference by walking barefoot through the sandbox. It will feel a lot different than walking barefoot on the beach.

Mixed in with sand on the beach are also small shells, smooth fragments of glass and much more. That’s why it’s so much fun to go to the beach on a treasure hunt. Using the different sieves in the Sand Sieve Magic range, you can separate coarse sand from fine sand and find shells, beautiful stones and other great souvenirs.

But the best thing about sand is that you can build such amazing things with it, including sand castles and “sand cakes”. You can also make a wonderful flower garden and butterflies with the help of the HABA Large Sand Gardening Set. Have you ever tried to make a “sand ice cream” for your sand shop? It’s so easy with the plastic ice cream cone and ice cream spoon from the HABA Sand Toys Creative Set.

When you make a sandcastle, the trick is to add a little water to your bucket of sand and press the contents down with your hands. That way, the sand will stick together as you tip the bucket upside down. But don’t build your castle too close to the water, otherwise the waves will quickly wash it back into the sea. The HABA Sand Bucket Scooter has a set of useful wheels, so that you can easily transport everything you need for your castle from the sea to your construction site.

Best wishes for a great time on your vacation. Send us a postcard and tell us what you enjoyed the most on the beach. We are always pleased to receive news in the mail.

Best wishes
Michaela

March: Why don’t people hibernate?

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Dear Marketing Team,

Since the first signs of spring have been noticeable, my mom and dad want to go for walks at the weekend. And they always get up early. But I just want to snuggle up in my bed and go back to sleep. My mom always says I’m a real groundhog and it’s high time for me to emerge from hibernation. As far as I’m concerned, I would be quite happy to sleep through the whole of winter just like a groundhog. That would be great, wouldn’t it? So, why don’t we humans hibernate like the groundhogs?

Kind regards,
Mali

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Dear Mali,

If you want to know why we humans do not hibernate, you just have to go to the kitchen and look in the fridge. There is the answer: we humans do not hibernate, because – unlike groundhogs – we have enough to eat even in winter. Groundhogs would not be able to find enough grass and herbs under the snow, and they do not have supermarkets where they can shop. That’s why they spend these months in hibernation, a sort of “economy mode” during which they don’t have to eat anything.

As comfortable as it is in your bed, imagine what you would be missing if you were to hibernate... Christmas and New Year’s Eve, snowball fights, sledding and skiing. That would be a pity, don’t you agree? It’s true, though, that we actually need more sleep in winter than in summer, because the sun shines for a shorter time and we just get tired sooner. In the spring, we have to get used to less sleep again. And that goes for you too.

However, from my own experience, I can tell you that not all children sleep as long and as much as you do. My son and daughter are early risers and, on some evenings, I can barely get them to go to bed. At times like that, I’m glad the Dreams on Wings and Star Galaxy night lights and the beautiful HABA Snug-up dolls Luis and Luisa help them to fall asleep. After all, it’s very important to get enough sleep. While we are asleep, our body is recharged with new energy and we strengthen our immune system against colds and other illnesses. In addition, we mentally process much of what we have experienced during the day while sleeping.

So you see, you’re doing everything right and your body is just getting the sleep it needs, especially in winter.

Maybe you can try to go to bed a bit earlier? Then the next day, it will not be so hard for you to get up a little earlier as well. Do you have difficulty imagining that? Then I have a great tip for you: make sure you have plenty of fresh air during the day, and then snuggle up in your bed with the adorable Slumber Bear. I guarantee you’ll soon fall asleep.

Dear Mali, I wish you great enjoyment this spring. Next time you’re outdoors, look around you and you’ll see how nature is slowly awakening from hibernation and the blossoms are beginning to appear.

Best wishes
Kristin, Team Leader HABA Marketing

February: Can time really fly?

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Dear In-house Advertising Agency,

Today I have a tricky question for you. Maybe you’ll have time for it. Or has time already run away from you as well? Time does indeed do that sometimes with my parents. Mom and Dad always bring me first to preschool and then they have of course to be on time at the office. But yesterday we didn’t get off as quickly because my new scarf had disappeared. When we finally found it, Mom looked at the clock and said that we really had to hurry because today time was really flying …
I then looked at our large clock in preschool. But as always, it went “tick, tick, tick” and didn’t go “ticktickticktick.”
I don’t understand that at all. An hour is always an hour. And the clock sometime goes faster and sometimes slower, doesn’t it? How then can time fly? And when it flies, how can you make it slow down again?


Kind regards,
Mali

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Marion, Text Team Leader in the In-house Advertising Agency

Dear Mali,

Of course we always have time for your questions. But sometimes time flies for us as well. That means, time doesn’t really fly of course, but we have the feeling that it’s going faster. That always happens to us if we’re supposed to be doing more or have more appointments than planned. It’s the same thing with your scarf that you were looking for. Suddenly it’s later than you thought, and you’re running behind time.
Unfortunately you can’t stop or slow down time. But you should regularly take some time and deliberately enjoy it together. We adults call this “down time” that is, allowing time to run “more slowly.” Down time is really important and something very wonderful.  
You can, for example, sleep in on Sunday and then have a leisurely breakfast. I like to do that with my family. We prepare a little brunch together and cover the table with muffins and a fun Cake Plate, the children put on their Pinafores and cut cheese cubes with little sausages and tomatoes and skewer them on a Snack Hedgehog. Then we eat and relax and shoot the breeze. It’s incredibly fun, and every time it feels a little like vacation because otherwise we have too little time for it. It’s much harder during the week. Nevertheless, we try to take time for each other again and again and to cuddle together in the afternoon with the children on our Beanbag and read a book.
By the way, I have a tip for you: Take a few minutes in the evening before going to bed and talk about what nice things you have experienced and what you want to do the next day. At the same time, you can also lay out the things you want to wear the next day. Do you want to bet that the clock will tick more slowly the next morning? And your scarf will be nearby as well.

However, I have to stop now. I just looked at the clock and – oh dear – time’s flying again …

Kind regards,

Marion

January: Is it possible to give luck to others?

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Dear Dear Export Team,

I wish you luck and happiness in the New Year. That’s something I learned on New Year’s Eve from mom and dad. This year, I was allowed to stay up late for the first time to watch the fireworks at midnight! All of my mum and dad’s friends came around, and they brought along little gifts: a ladybug or a plastic chimney sweep with a coin in his hand. I asked dad why people do that, and he explained that these miniature figures bring good luck.
That’s a nice idea, but somehow I didn’t quite understand the idea behind gifts for good luck. I mean, how is a ladybug or a chimney sweep supposed to bring luck? Do people do that in every country in the world? And also part of the same question... is it at all possible to give someone good luck as a gift?

Sincerely yours,

Mali

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Katharina from the Export Team

Dear Mali,

Thank you for your kind wishes. It certainly is the case that, in Germany on New Year’s Eve, people give each other small tokens of good luck, for example a horseshoe, a shamrock or a chimney sweep. This is a nice custom that we follow not only at the turn of the year but also on other festive occasions such as the birth of a baby. The clutching toy Lucky Charm or the pacifier chain Lucky Charm with their cute shamrocks and lucky mushrooms are a symbol of your love for the baby and his or her parents and that you wish them luck and happiness from the bottom of your heart.
Sometimes, as a lucky charm, we also give those charming companion dolls, the guardian angels Toni and Tine. Children often sleep better when cuddling them, because they feel protected. Guardian angels also feature on various everyday items such as plates, bowls and drinking cups.
Just keep your eyes open, dear Mali, and you will see many examples of lucky symbols.
There are various reasons – often historical – why certain things are considered to bring good luck: four-leaf clovers, for example, are very rare, so it takes a lot of luck to find them. The chimney sweep was an important figure in people’s lives when they were still heating and cooking with an open hearth because, by cleaning the chimneys, he made sure that the fire did not go out and that it was always warm in the house. The luck that he brought extended beyond the winter months. All over the world, people want good luck. Although the customs and symbols vary from country to country, it is always the same basic idea.
If you ask people today what luck and happiness mean to them, they will give you very different answers: a loving family and loyal friends, good health, enough to eat, success in life, sunshine after a long rainy spell, or maybe longer summer holidays if they are school-age children. It all depends on their life situation. If you asked people from many different countries about their personal happiness, you would get a wide range of answers.
If you want to give your mum or dad a lucky charm, a good choice would be the threading game Lucky Charm. They will certainly be delighted to receive a bracelet or a chain with a shamrock, lucky mushroom or ladybug.
So you see, even if you don’t have the power to give luck, you can still make others very happy with these small tokens.

On that note, I wish you and your family a happy New Year.

Katharina