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Child's Play?

Amusing your inner child at work.

Most people believe the workplace is, well, a place for work. And because work is the opposite of play, that means leaving your toys at home, right? Not necessarily. Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes, authors of 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work (Berrett-Koehler Publishers), offer a list of the most popular office toys from surveys submitted by some of America's largest (and most playful) companies. The top 10 playthings are:

1. Koosh balls (brightly colored spheres with rubber spines)

2. Nerf guns (essential for interdepartmental warfare)

3. Nerf balls (because the real thing seems to have an affinity for plate glass)

4. Silly Putty (very useful when the copy machine breaks down)

5. Frisbees and Roomerangs, similar to boomerangs (not just for company picnics anymore)

6. Pez dispensers (when there's no time for lunch, Pez pellets can be an alternative source of nutrition)

7. Slinkies (yes, they still make them)

8. Tinkertoys (a favorite of engineer-types)

9. Yo-yos (if only they gave promotions based on who can do "around the world")

10. Pogo sticks and hula hoops (way more fun than Stairmasters)

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Child's Play?.

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