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More and more Utah banks are purchasing toys as an incentive for children to save money, and other businesses are purchasing toys as a donation to child care centers, hospitals, shelters for abused children and shelters for the homeless.

Selling Discovery Toys to the banks and businesses is Tamara Thompson, 7528 W. Washington Road. The Magna mother of two started with Discovery Toys four months ago "because I just didn't want to sit home anymore."Her interest in Discovery Toys began when daughter Geena was born with a thumb and several short finger stubs on one hand. "Rather than sitting around wondering how a parent can meet the demands of a special needs child, I learned that Discovery Toys were what we needed. So I decided to be a distributor, and it turns out that businesses are buying toys for various reasons," Thompson said.

Discovery Toys are the innovation of Lane Nemeth, a day-care instructor who was pregnant and wanted more educational toys for her baby than were on the market at the time. The factory is in Livermore, Calif.

Each toy is tested by children under supervision, and if a toy breaks during testing it is discarded. Games, books, puzzles, cassette tapes and the Book of Knowledge are in the Discovery Toys line.

Among the toys is a tower on which marbles are placed to work their way to the bottom, going around corners, dropping through holes and turning little wheels. This tower is in brightly colored plastic pieces that can be assembled and taken apart hundreds of times.

Other toys include a series of cups with faces of animals and numbers on them to teach children their animals and numbers and an "A B Seas" game that teaches children the alphabet. Toys for older children include a BanKit game that teaches children responsibility with money. These have been popular with banks as incentives for children to save, Thompson said.

On Saturday, April 25, at 9:15 a.m. in the Clarion Hotel, 999 S. Main, Thompson will hold a seminar for those who might want to be distributors.