When the wire is cold, you can bend it into any shape you like. When you then heat the wire above about 40 degrees Celsius, for example in fairly hot water, the wire will spring back into the position that has been set in its memory, so spelling the word HOT. To repeat the trick, just put the wire in cold water, or hold it under a cold running tap, and you can then bend it into whatever shape you wish. John Davenport bought this from Grand Illusions Ltd (www.grand-illusions.com) in 2008.

The web has extensive information about singing bowls and how to make one sing. Tuneful notes can be produced by using the correct technique to rub the stick around the outer rim of the bowl.

This ‘bare bones’ music box from Tobar Ltd, England was readily available in the UK. While not very melodious, it has the advantage that it is excellent for explaining to people how a cylinder music box works, if they are not familiar with the mechanism.

If the bird is lifted up to the top of the rod it stays there. However, if you tap it on the back of it’s head, it vibrates backwards and forwards as it descends and pecks at the rod. Supplied by Europleasure, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.

This well known toy consists of six blocks of wood taped together in a special way. The instructions on the packaging explain how to have fun and watch a block apparently flip from the top of the ladder all the way down to the bottom. Made by John Millman, Great Britain.