Giant overstuffed plush toys, fun interactive games, and gadgets allowing a child’s imagination to run wild fill one shelf after the other. The charming atmosphere, warm welcome as you walk through the door, and the magical twinkle you see within a child’s eye as they dream about Christmas day is all just a small part of what your local toy store has to offer. Unfortunately, small neighborhood toy stores are becoming a thing of the past and greatly depend upon the support of the community during the holiday season to be able to survive.
The 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day is coming Saturday, November 10, 2012. Celebrating the day is a wonderful opportunity for you to get involved and show appreciation for your local toy store. Participating stores will host local in-store events for families such as activities, craft projects, live performances, and special discounts. Coordinated by the non-profit organization ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association), the thrilling event will help kick off the holiday shopping season and celebrate the joy of shopping for toys. The special fun filled day is also a delightful way to introduce families to the excitement of shopping locally and commemorates each toy store’s dedication to the community.
There are numerous benefits of shopping local. For instance, did you know that according to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 goes back into the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more—-in comparison to only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain? Additionally, shopping locally promotes a sense of unity and provides the following advantages:
- Economic Stability
- Community development
- Reduced environmental impact
- A diverse product selection
- Better customer service
Plus, independent toy stores tend to stock many of the high-quality, boutique and specialty products not typically found at the big box stores.
To find a local Neighborhood Toy Store Day event in your area, visit yourneighborhoodtoystore.org. The new website is an online resource for parents interested in learning about the best engaging toys on the market and where to find them locally. With the mission to help parents discover the “woohoo factor– or the delight, the joy and the excitement – of finding and playing with today’s best toys,” yourneighborhoodtoystore.org features articles with expert advice on toys and play for children of all ages. The site is a good way for consumers to find the perfect age appropriate toys for their youngster this holiday season. It also contains a local store locator, toy buying guides, up-to-date news on toy trends, and more!
4 of ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids 2012”
My family was lucky enough to be sent a box packed with four award-winning toys from ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids 2012” list including Ogo Sport by RAQ, Puppet-on-a-Stick by Educational Insights, Kidoozie Deluxe Build-A-Road with Elevator by International Playthings, and Feed the Woozle by Peaceable Kingdom.
About Ogo Sport RAQ by OgoSport (Category: Active Play)
This fun outdoor game will get the whole family up off the coach and outside for some healthy exercise! Combining discs and racquet play, players can throw the racquets like flying discs, throw and catch the flux ball with the racquets, or use their imaginations to invent their own game with water balloons, baseballs, or tennis balls. The possibilities are only limited by the players’ creativeness.
The Ogo Sport RAQ includes two racquets with elastic mesh nets and a flux ball with movable tail parts. The toy is suggested for kids ages 6 and above and retails for $34.99
About Puppet-on-a-Stick by Educational Insights (Category: Pretend/Doll Play)
Stimulate your child’s imagination with Puppet-on-a-Stick! These adorable puppets will make the boring ride to grandma’s house enjoyable as the riders can create their own entertaining masterpiece show. One of my favorite out of the 4 toys received, the puppets feature oversized heads, wacky googly eyes, movable mouths, and a long easy to grip handle for little hands. Use them for puppet shows, pretend play, storytime, and more! They would also be great for wacky YouTube theater!
Puppet-on-a-Stick by Educational Insights is for kids ages 4 and above with a suggested retail price of $9.99
About Kidoozie Deluxe Build-A-Road with Elevator by International Playthings (Category: Role Play)
Kidoozie Deluxe Build-A-Road with Elevator is an amazing toy that allows children to create and play with their own roadways. The fun set includes over 240 pieces, over 12 feet of interchangeable, flexible track and two battery operated cars. The kid-friendly assemble (no tools required) features an exciting elevator lift, turnaround, overpass, ramps, and a large amount of colorful track for the cars to zoom around! The best part is the track’s pieces can be put together in an infinite amount of ways, so the user can allow their imagination to pave the roads for endless fun.
The toy is recommended for ages 3 and up and retails for $49.99
About Feed the Woozle by Peaceable Kingdom (Catagory: Game Play)
Looking for a fun interactive game to encourage your child’s developmental skills to grow? Grab the Feed the Woozle cooperative game! The object of the game is for players to feed the hungry Woozle 12 silly snacks such as Cheesy Slipper, Lemon Flavored Underwear, and Fishy Cupcake— just to name a few. Players roll the die, put that number of silly snacks on the spoon, and spin the spinner. The spinner adds a gross motor movement like walking backwards, hula dancing, or doing a bunny hop. The player must complete the skill without letting the snacks fall off the spoon before feeding the Woozle. The game helps build confidence, promotes inclusion, and teaches kids how to cooperate. Additionally, children will practice counting, dexterity, body awareness, gross motor skills, and more.
1 stand-up Woozle
24 silly snack tokens
12 yummy cards
Instructions for 3 game levels
“All Peaceable Kingdom games are printed with soy-based inks on FSC paper and include parts made only with recycled plastics.”
Feed the Woozle is recommended for children 3 to 6 years old and retails for $19.99
All the games above were chosen for their ability to promote open-ended and creative play, creative design features, and exceptional safety standards. They can be found at independent toy store nationwide! For more information about the toys listed above and other quality toys recommended on ASTRA’s “Best Toys for Kids 2012,” visit http://www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org.
Like TheWoohooFactor Facebook page
Follow TheWoohooFactor on Twitter @TheWoohooFactor
Support by Tweeting!
Would you like to show your support for ASTRA and the Neighborhood Toy Store Day? Tweet these messages below!
- Discover @TheWoohooFactor at a new site for parents: http://www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org #toystoreday
- I support #shoplocal efforts. Follow @TheWooHooFactor for info on #toystoreday http://www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org
photo credit: alyna.waters via photopin cc