Monday, May 7

Mother's Day Craft this Friday

This Friday, kids can come in from 6:30pm to 7:30pm to make a fun gift for Mother's Day.  We won't give all the details, (shh... it is a surprise for Mom).

Perfect for kids ages 4 to 12 years old.  Please RSVP to us by email or by phone (330-650-1295), so we can plan to have enough materials.

Craft will only take about 15 minutes to finish.

Wednesday, February 8

2012 - New Toy Hunt in New York City

It is pre-toyfair week. I am gearing up to head out to New York City this weekend for my annual hunt for new toys. It is always so exciting to see all the new toys that 2012 has in store for us.

Many people will ask me what is the hot new toy for 2012. But that is not what toy fair is about for this small toy shop. Instead of looking for that HOT toy (which by media and hype standards usually includes lots of bells, whistles, lights, batteries and such), we are out looking for that innovative toy that invites kids to be imaginative and use their little noggins. Sometimes for us the hot new toy is an old classic brought back. Some of my favorite finds for last year include the Airbolt, high powered air rocket, the Fastrack game, and Contraptions building toy.

This year I'm looking for great outdoor and active toys, new games, and new toddler toys. Keep tuned in as I will be posting throughout the trip.

Tell me what toys do you think I should carry in 2012?

Thursday, January 26

Healthy Appetite

My husband tells me I need to update my blog and then in the next breath explains that he is eating a banana for the first time in 30 years. I wonder at that. "Why are you eating a banana?" "Because it is healthy for you. And I am going to eat more fruits and vegitables." So I ask "Why not stick with fruits and vegetables you actually like, it might make your endeavor more successful?". His reply "I figured it had been so long since I ate a banana I should give it another try". He went on to inform me that he will not be eating another banana for another 30 years.

What does this have to do with toys you ask? Not unlike our bodies, our brains are in need of healthy diet (ok yes I know a brain is part of the body). As the brain learns and grows at such an incredible speed in the first years of life, this is the time to start. A child's brains need freedom of time to explore and the proper tools in which to do so. Some of these tools might include simple things around the house, like a bucket. A bucket is a perfect tool to go exploring with, and collecting delightful little finds. Other tools might include blocks or a puzzle. Blocks for creative play and a puzzle for problem solving.

I could go on and on, but instead I will quickly make my point. A child's brain needs healthy tools to aid in healthy play. AND, unlike my husband's line of reasoning, there is no need to start with the tools we dislike (bananas in my husband's case). There are so many wonderful, fun and delightful tools (and toys) that the experience can be extremely enjoyable. Amazingly it is the seemingly simple activities and child's play that do the most in building pathways in a child's brain.