Testimonials


TEACHERS

“The kids were very sincere in voting you the “most fun” this year. When they can learn, create and take home a lasting memory that might spark another, it is money well spent. It was great!” -Shana Sackett, Teacher, Madison Elementary, Mount Vernon

“His demeanor was quiet and calm and he had the children on the edge of their seats for an hour and a half. His presentation was one of the main highlights of the year in my classroom!” -Anne Boyer, 2nd grade teacher, Clyde Hill Elementary

“When I asked my kids what they enjoyed most about the assembly they enthusiastically said ‘EVERYTHING!'” -Heather Neel, 3rd grade teacher, Serene Lake Elementary

“Hands down one of the best presentations the kids in my classes have had! After the workshop my students looked at toys with new eyes. They now see themselves as people who can also come up with a great idea!” -Susan Brown, 4th/5th grade teacher, Medina Elementary

“You could almost see and feel each mind spinning while he calmly spoke, giving information and asking specific questions to entice the children to offer their own thoughts and information. His program is geared so that each child was successful.”-Normandie Callahan, 2nd grade teacher, Clyde Hill Elementary

“Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with my class! Your workshop emphasized skills needed for success in all subjects: problem solving, flexibility, creativity, listening, and following directions. Your warm and generous teaching style helped the students make beautiful creations!” -Sue Shannon, 2nd grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“We were VERY impressed with your program. The kids still talk about you and what they can invent next! I would recommend ‘The Toymaker’ to any school–any age. Thanks!” -Malanie Schlotfeldt, 1st grade teacher, Somerset Elementary

“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! What a great day we had… You inspire us every year.” -Georgia Guernsey, 2nd grade teacher, Madison Elementary, Mt. Vernon

“WOW!!! The kids had a wonderful time building their balancing toy. They went back to the classroom and wrote an expository story about their experience. You have a knack about involving kids in active learning while integrating various curriculum areas. Great job!” -Jackie Mutcheson, 2/3 Quest, Ben Franklin Elementary

“You are definitely a pied piper! The children loved all the measuring, sawing and hammering. The experience was truly a value to their learning!” -Phyllis Richardson, 3rd grade teacher, Clyde Hill Elementary

“The students were totally attentive & entranced. Excellent hands-on experience.” -Shirley Timson, 4th grade teacher, Endeavour Elementary, Issaquah

“This was a delightful experience for all my third graders. Because many of them lack parent involvement, it was a time to observe Rick’s excellent modeling of enthusiasm, knowledge and skill. Participating in building actual toys they can use was fantastic! In their technological world, they are enthusiastic about creativity.” -Gretchen Wheeler, 43rd grade teacher, Jefferson Elementary, Tacoma

“A fabulous experience for our kids! As a former teacher, you have excellent skills with children and presented a thorough lesson that complimented our WA history unit beautifully. It was fun to see all the kids playing with their toys at recess!” -Jennifer Velling, 3rd/4th grade teacher, Phantom Lake School

“Many many many EALRs (Essential Academic Learning Requirements) were incorporated in a very natural way. If there were EALRs on behavior, self-esteem, and project completion, those would have been successfully accomplished as well.” -Nancy Simson, Wing Luke Elementary, Seattle, WA

“Thank you so much for the toy lesson! Your manner is so gentle, yet firm with the children and your lesson was very appropriate to what we had studied. It was a very successful experience for us!” -Shelley Perkins, 4th grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“Spectacular! I hope to have you back next year. I think what you do is fabulous and the kids just love it!” – Lucy Anderson, 3rd grade teacher, Lakeridge Elementary, Mercer Island

“We so enjoyed your toymaking session! The kids absolutely loved it. Hope to see you back” -Bobbie Beatty, 1st grade teacher, North Star Elementary, Bethel School District

“Thank you for coming to Maple School. My 1st grade class really enjoyed your presentation. It was a memorable experience. They wrote lengthy, detailed stories about their day which 5th grade Book Buddies have helped edit. They are very proud. I highly recommend your workshops.” –Chris Horner, 1st grade teacher, Maple Elementary

“It was the perfect book buddy activity!” –Elyse Litvack, 5th grade teacher, Maple Elementary

“What a great experience, both for kids and teachers. It’s wonderful to see the kids playing with their own creations rather than today’s expensive commercial toys. Everyone was successful and totally engaged. The tie-in with WA state history was meaningful for kids.” -Patsy Jackson,3rd/4th grade teacher, Phantom Lake Elementary

“Thanks for a wonderful experience! It was a great way to extend our learning about pioneer life and gain some first-hand knowledge of what pioneer children might have experienced.” -Ann Lantis, 3rd/4th grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“Your assembly was PERFECT! You are an excellent motivator while keeping control of the crowd. The workshop this morning made the rest of my day SO much fun. The kids were so proud of their toys that they put extra effort into the rest of our activities for the day.” -Cara Haney, Kindergarten teacher, Panther Lake Elementary

“The show and workshops were excellent! We loved your humor. THe workshops really tied in to our science Curriculum.” -Lynn Thompson, 3rd grade teacher, Panther Lake Elementary

“The kids loved making the toys and they talked about the assembly for days after.” -Carolyn Hunt, Kindergarten teacher, Panther LakeElementary

“WOW–my students had so much fun! It was such a good experience for my students to use hammers and build their own toys! We need more programs like yours! This program inspired me to use more imagination in my classroom!” – 1st grade teacher, Panther Lake Elementary

“It is obvious that Rick is used to working with children. He is organized, well-prepared and his activities are developmentally and age appropriate. The children were attentive and cooperative from the beginning. Every child was successful and proud of his/her accomplishments. I know the adults had as much fun as the children. I highly recommend this workshop.” -Liz O’Connell ,1st/2nd grade teacher, Wing Luke Elementary

“Ninety minutes and not one student off task. Focused hands-on learning. Fun activities — everybody gets finished and walks home with tools and toys!” -Pat Wight, 3rd grade teacher, Friday Harbor Elementary

“Bravo – Excellent – Kudos to Rick Hartman! The children learned so much about themselves as creators and inventors – through the magic and fulfillment of making objects that work and generate interest, involvement, satisfaction and joy in the process. I will ask Rick to remain an available resource for our school for years to come. ” –Carolyn Lewis-Carter, K-1st teacher, Spruce Street School

“Thank you for encouraging the students to think, imagine and create new things. You guided them into a new area of excitement in our classroom. They are all inventors and creators of toys!” –Shelly Bouse, 3rd grade teacher, Medina Elementary

“Very educational (scientific principles involved) and creative. Children were thoroughly engrossed and had to problem-solve along the way to construct their toy.” -Veronica Mratinick, 1/2, Franklin Elementary

“What a valuable, academic and fun program for our students. They were totally engaged. We hope to have you back next year!” – teacher, Somerset Elementary

“What a tremendously successful and wonderful workshop! My students, parents and I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful experience. Your toymaking workshop supported our kindergarten science curriculum which focused on exploring the properties of wood. I look forward to working with you again next year Muchas gracias.” -Nancy Penate-Bush, SIP-K, Sunset/Puesta Del Sol

“I am always impressed with how well you guide children and help encourage their creativity and tap into their sense of fun. Your workshop is a great chance for my students to become inventors!” -Lori Renner, 3rd grade teacher, Stevenson

“This was a fabulous experience where all children felt successful and excited about becoming inventors.” -Judy Menlove, 1st grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“The toymaker program combined great elements of creativity and invention with design. The students were actively, enthusiastically engaged in all parts of the workshop. I appreciated your calm, positive approach, preparedness, and excitement for the subject!” -Keli Gump, 4th grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“Developmentally appropriate, great communication and very clear directions. The kids had a great time!” -Anne Gibson, Kindergarden teacher, Somerset Elementary

“The Toymaker program was fabulous! It fit in so nicely with our Wood Science unit. The kids were totally involved throughout the entire 1 1/2 hours. Excellent variety of activities. Your manner with them is great – so patient and caring. Thank you sooooo much!” -Chris Cox, Kindergarden teacher, Somerset Elementary

“You were wonderful, well-prepared, and made our toymaking experience fit our Foss Landforms unit. Way to go!” -Melissa Slater, fifth grade teacher, Somerset Elementary

“The program was exceptional. My students are excited to go and invent.” -Tanya Lindsey, Kindergarden teacher, Somerset Elementary

“The workshop was excellent. The students loved it and so did I. Your management and organization made it even more enjoyable for me. This is something I definitely want to become an annual event! Thank you.” -Julie Pietsch,1st/2nd grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

“Thanks for your great workshop! The kids LOVED it!” –Jocelyn Benford-Ahn, 2/3 teacher, Eastgate Elementary

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PRINCIPALS

“Outstanding assemblies appropriate to all grade levels. The students were mesmerized! The evening workshop with parents was fabulous! Many of the students shared their toys the next day with their classmates.” -Joy A. Lansdone, Principal, Glenwood Elementary, Lake Stevens

“The Family Night drew a large turnout of our highly capable families as well as our neighborhood ESL families. It was impressive to see the high interest, the enthusiasm and the cooperative spirit as families helped one another. As I walked amongst the tables, it was heartwarming to hear all the different languages spoken as families constructed their toys, passed out materials and played with their finished products. This was a great example of cooperative learning at its best!” -Linda Fisher, Principal, Stevenson Elementary School, Bellevue

“It has been several weeks now since you were here at Friday Harbor Elementary School and talk still buzzes about your being here, the quality of your assembly and workshops (K – 5), and the excitement, fun and learning you brought to us…Your message is a positive and powerful one for children to hear as you encouraged them to persevere, to create, to have fun, to see things in new ways, and learn from mistakes and from one another… Your message is more than simply making a toy. It is one of positive thinking, inventive creativity, and feeling good about one self…” -Dr. Carolyn Haugen, Principal, Friday Harbor Elementary

“Excellent! Connected to excellent message for kids and writing skills. Rick has great rapport with kids and crowd management giving students an outstanding assembly experience.” -Principal, Cathcart Elementary School

“You can tell Rick really loves what he’s doing and he does a marvelous job of sharing his knowledge and love of toys with students and audiences of all ages.” -Alan Matsumoto, Principal, Garfield Elementary, Yakima

“What a wonderful workshop. Your skill in managing students and inspiring their creativity was exceptional. Great fun too! Students were so engaged in the activities. Thanks!” -Kathy Claiborne, Principal, Jefferson Elementary, Tacoma

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PARENTS

“We had the honor of having The Toymaker at two school assemblies and a Family Fun Night. We had over 200 people participate in making their own toy. It was a great way to bring families together. I highly recommend that you take the time and bring Mr. Hartman into the lives of your children. It’s an adventure you won’t regret taking.” Lisa Graham, PTA President, Vancouver, WA

“I just wanted to tell you again how much we all enjoyed your assemblies yesterday at Challenger! You have received rave reviews from teachers and students in every grade level! The librarian said that after you were here, every class that came to the library checked out only science related books. It was a complete success!” -Katie Marvin, PTA Science Fair organizer, Issaquah, WA

“Science night was awesome. My daughter and husband had a wonderful time, and she learned so much. Her confidence in her ability to build and repair things zoomed! She has become so fascinated with how to create and take apart things — and she really gets the physical principles and troubleshooting involved.” – Parent

“Yours has been the best program that we have attended at the library.” – Sam Meyers, Parent top

STUDENTS

“You have inspired me and everyone else too! When I grow up I want to be an inventor just like you. I really liked your show!” -Danielle

“You taught me the thing every artist should know. Use your imagination and have fun.” -Marshall, 3rd grader

“I learned that I can invent!” -Gabe, 3rd grader

“That was the best assembly ever. Thank you for coming to our school.” -Jessica, 3rd grader

“I learned not to give up on the first try.” -Bailey, 3rd grader

“Your coming to our class was the best field trip I ever had. Thank you so much.” -Katie, 1st grader

“My favorite part about making toys is you can make anything out of things you don’t use anymore…I hope that I could be a toymaker when I grow up.” -Allyssa, 3rd grader

“When I grow up I will be a toymaker.” -Sam, 3rd grader

“Thank you for the Assembly and inviting us to invent. I liked the puppet and the catapult. I want to be a toymaker too. I like to make new things.” –Jessica, 3rd grader

“I liked the noise when we were hammering. I love noise!” -Jamie, 3rd grader

“I learned that you can make anything if you set your mind to it, and to be creative. Just because things can get messy that doesn’t mean you can’t invent things!” -Ashley, 3rd grader

“Thank you for coming to teach us how to make toys! It was the funnest time I’ve ever had!” From Maddie –3rd grader

“You are the best toymaker in the United States and I like the toys you made in Black Diamond! ” –Kaylee , 2nd grader

“You are a great science teacher. I wish that next year you could come back.” -Alexandra

“That was one of the best days of school!” -Austin

“That was my favorite assembly ever!!!” -Kyle

“Thank you! Dear Mr. Hartman, you have some of the best toys. You do a good thing for kids and you do a good thing for the world. ” –Shauntaea, 2nd grader

“Dear Mr. Heartman thank you for your lovely toys. When I made them, I could feel the art you where imagining. I was imagining the beauty of a toy that would spread across 100 cities day after day, day after day…” –Sharron B, 2nd grader

“I appreciate the time you donate because it could really brighten someone’s day. I wish everybody could be as nice as you.” –Connor, 2nd grader

“Thank you for teaching us that some of the best toys are the ancient ones! We had fun making our own tools and thank you for letting us keep them. We had a great time!” –Nicole , 4th grader

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FESTIVAL DIRECTORS

“The Toymaker Workshop anchors our annual Independence Day celebration with an innovative and hands on project. While children are having fun in creating a toy, they are also learning about math, science, and construction. I would highly recommend him for your event.” -Kris Johnson, President and CEO, Tri-Cities Area Chamber of Commerce

“WIN,WIN,WIN! That’s what we got when we contracted with the Toy Workshop. Rick was very professional, organized and creative which made it a dream to work with him. The sponsors and their employees loved presenting the activity, the families attending loved the activity — What more could you ask for??” –Robin H. Kelley, Director of Festivals Issaquah Salmon Days Festival

“Rick’s toy making activities are hugely popular with both kids and their parents… His area is the first one the children target coming through the gates and the last one for them to be pulled away from at the day’s end. If you are serious about providing a fun-filled, educational and interactive experience for young people – you can’t do better than Rick Hartman.” -Chris Clarke Vice President Customer & Corporate Communications, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi

“I was amazed at the number of kids that participated and the positive comments I received. I was so pleased with the results that I hope to make the Toymaker’s Workshop a regular venue at our event.” -Holly Kaiser, Windemere River of Fire Festival, Kennewick, WA top
CORPORATE

“For the second year in a row, you mesmerized an entire roomful of children and parents! We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about your program. It was a pleasure working with you, and I sincerely hope we get to do it again.” -Shannon Wallingford, Event Coordinator, Washington Athletic Club

“Rick was a tremendous hit with clients at our Family Art & Ingenuity Day. His unique workshop offered a wonderful opportunity to be creative and inventive, and both adults and kids were thoroughly engaged.” -Patty Bogie, Reader’s Digest Association

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MUSEUMS

“Rick is a uniquely inspiring and creative educator. His workshops foster an appreciation of the infinite variety of cultures and technologies of our world and encourage children and their families to explore together their own creative capabilities. His enthusiasm and ingenuity are infectious and we have enjoyed working with him immensely…Rick will be an asset to any program with which he is associated and he has my unqualified recommendation.” -Michael Judd, Chief of Education, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

“The program Rick Hartman presented at the State Capital Museum featured an accurate and entertaining look at historic toys of the pioneer era. Not only was our audience of children and their families intrigued with the construction of the “old fashioned” toys he brought along, but they sat in rapt attention as Hartman translated for them, in contemporary terms, the play-life of children of pioneer times. An excellent and fun program for children of all ages. Hartman is an enthusiastic and engaging performer and educator.” -Susan Rohrer, Education Curator, Washington State Capital Museum

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LIBRARIANS

“Your programs inspire kids and adults alike to explore and enjoy the enormous potential lurking inside the realm of the imagination… I honestly can’t recall the last time I’ve seen so many happy faces.” – Pat T., Children’s Librarian, Marysville Library

“Rick Hartman tells stories with a twist, a toy twist! – moving, spinning, silly, grinning toys jump with life! Rick’s imaginative knowledge of toys and toy-making and his joy in sharing the technique, inventiveness and pure fun of it all make kids clamor for more.” – Yung-Chin Wu, Children’s Librarian, Bothell Regional Library

“Rick Hartman – storyteller extraordinaire – mesmerizes and stimulates his audience simultaneously. How? Rick comes powered with energy and enthusiasm. He enjoys the self-assigned task of informing while performing. He brings science and history together as he guides his audience through history astride a magic carpet full of toys!” -Sandy Zell, Programmer, Bellingham Public Library

“Thank you for bringing the magic of toys and stories to our library. Your marvelous toys and engaging connection with our patrons made me want to sing and dance!” -Alisa McKay, Children’s Laison, Snohomish Library

“You have a gift for educating while entertaining all ages at the same time. Your creative energy is definitely contagious and inspiring.” -Maureen Zimdars, Children’s Librarian, Granite Falls Library

“You did an excellent job combining your toymaking skills with literary aspects to create an ideal library program. Wonderful work!” -Sara Doyle, Children’s Librarian, Fall City Library

“Thanks Rick for a wonderful program here at Newport. Everyone had a wonderful time and I think some even started to invent their own toys! It was a pleasure talking to you and I look forward to more of your library programs.” -Linda Ernst, Children’s Librarian, Newport Way Library

“What a great, creative program! Thanks so much! We’d love to have you again sometime!” -Carol Fick, Children’s Librarian, Woodinville Library

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ARTS ORGANIZATIONS

“What a fabulous week of Toymaking! You make it so much FUN for the kids–great projects with lots of possibilities for originality and inventiveness. Your orderliness, organization, clear expectations, sense of humor and respect for kids make it a pleasure for me to work with you and make for EXCELLENCE! Thank you!” –Betsy Smith, Founder, ArtStar Association

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