Cincinnati Family Magazine

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March 26, 2023

Mom Report: Happen’s Toy Lab

Three words. Happen’s Toy Lab. If you haven’t been there, what are you waiting for?! We made our first trip to this “one-of-a-kind” laboratory and we are already planning our next trip back. For $10+ tax you can use your imagination and create your own toy! The cost of your toy goes to help Happen, Inc. continue to offer free activities to the community.

We were greeted at the door by a Toy Lab professor and given directions on what to do. It is pretty simple! Find seven pieces that you would like to use to create your one of a kind toy. Best part … the pieces are up-cycled! Instead of filling landfills with broken and unused toys, you can donate them to Toy Lab! They accept toy donations on Saturdays and Sundays during their normal business hours.

My son began digging, and digging, AND digging through the bins to find seven “just right” pieces for his new toy. We chuckled at the random mix of toys and how we could put them together. I was a fan of putting a duck head on Spiderman’s body, but he wasn’t interested in that pairing. After locating two wheels, a cube, a rectangular piece he said would make a great car body, a rock, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and a headless toy that he decided would “signal right or left” for Mr. Peabody, we were ready to visit the professor.


Your new toy is put together EXACTLY how you want it. You can watch the professor use the drill, hot glue gun, and more as he puts together your one of a kind toy. While we were waiting we got to look at pictures of some of the 13,500 unique toys that have been made at Toy Lab. There are some great ones! We also got to watch a 3D printer in action.

When your toy is complete, you get the honor of naming it and giving it special powers! A picture of it is taken and it is posted on the online toy gallery!!toy-gallery/c21kz Your toy also gets a special tag with your toy number! My son built toy number 13, 511! Which he named Baby Boo Boo. Baby Boo Boo has special powers of flying and throwing the boulder. Did I mention you can book Happen’s Toy Lab for your creative kiddo or for your own birthday party?! How fun!


When we were finished we walked NEXT DOOR to Happen, Inc.! They were hosting a FREE open studio! They provided all of the materials and guided my son on how to make the project. He learned how to weave and made a necklace! It was a fantastic time bonding and creating art together with my son.

Before we left we met the founder of Happen, Inc. He shared all of the amazing things that Happen, Inc. has to offer. He obviously has a love for family and community. My son and I look forward to many of the activities he shared with us!  I want to head back down for one of their pottery days, and on our next trip I want to check out the community gardens too!


For more information about Happen’s Toy Lab:

Check out for more information about the free community outreach activities.

To donate to an amazing non-profit!donate/c1ghi

About the Author

Tina Pratt

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!