Tomorrow is the 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day! Sounds wonderfully fun, doesn’t it? But what is it? The Neighborhood Toy Store Day is a day established by the non-profit organization American Specialty Toy and Retailing Association (ASTRA) as a way to encourage families to shop at their local toy stores. Participating toy stores will host fun activities for families such as crafting, face painting and discounts.
“Neighborhood Toy Store Day provides families with an enjoyable and exciting way to support their local toy store,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of ASTRA. “Local toy stores add charm and character to neighborhoods across the country and provide children with a wide variety of unique and quality toy options typically unavailable at big box stores. Retailers look forward to this special day as a way to celebrate with the community and the customers they value.”
Shopping at local toy stores not only promotes a feeling of community, but it also provides economic advantages in the area. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more— in contrast with only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain. In exchange, customers get great customer service and a selection of high-quality toys chosen just for the specific community.
We were sent an amazing box full of toys, all of which won ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids awards in 2012. All of the following toys are much like the ones you will find at your neighborhood toy store!
The ZOOB 125 Piece Set is quite possibly our favorite game right now! It is an amazing constructive set that will be hours of open-ended creative fun for the whole family. And if you prefer, the set comes with instruction guides on how to build crazy creations including a: giraffe, bionic hand, Pterodactyl, crown, fly, robot, star ship, chicken and SO many more! The brightly colored pieces pop easily together in kid’s hands!
Move the little plastic vehicles around the game board fighting gridlocks of varying difficulty to free a specific car. It seems easy, but it’s not! It really gives your brain a work out while having fun!
Twist and turn the clear plastic ball to line up the colorful tracks to avoid traps! This is a definite hand and eye coordination builder! My six year old loved the challenge, and I did too!
My husband and I are big fans of the traditional Rubik’s cube and we were ecstatic when we saw this newer version! To play, scramble the bright rings, then restore to it’s original state. Sounds easy? It’s not! But it is a lot of excitement.
We have a 2, 4 and 6 year old and it’s really hard to find games that really appeal to all of us at once. Pajaggle! is one of the best! It has so many versions to play! It is a game, a puzzle and a brainteaser at the same time! My kids are developing spatial recognition along with dexterity with Pajaggle!
Rotate the tiles to allow the gemstones to move across the board in a race to the other side. It’s a perfect two player game and with 27 tiles, the game combinations are endless! It was fun watching my kids plan their next moves, learning how strategy works!
Be sure to check out the Your Neighborhood Toy Store website. It has wonderful articles on how play encourages imagination, creativity and even literacy. It also has ideas for fun family projects, recipes and adventures! The website also has helpful information on avoiding toxins and other safety hazards.
Now go make plans to celebrate at your local toy store tomorrow!
Disclosure: I received the above toys to facilitate this post. All opinions are honest and my own.