Do you remember wandering the aisles of your local toy store growing up? Dreaming of what you might ask for on your birthday or for Christmas. The person behind the counter probably knew your family and said hello to your mom when you walked in. These stores still exist and this Saturday you are encouraged to shop at one of them on the 3rd Annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Thanks to ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) and their new website which contains all sorts of articles, creative play ideas, tips by experts, and the store locator so that you can find a neighborhood toy store near you!
There are so many benefits of shopping local. For every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more! Shopping locally fosters a sense of community and provides the following benefits:
- Economic stability
- Community development
- Reduced environmental impact
- A diverse product selection
- Better customer service
Not only that but there is such a wide variety of quality toys that you don’t find at big box stores. I have as much fun in these toy stores as my girls do! There might be a neighborhood toy store in your city and you don’t even know about them. Just visit yourneighborhoodtoystore.org to find one close to you. Participating stores will host some local in-store events this Saturday for families (craft projects, live performances, maybe special discounts) to help kick off the holiday shopping season and celebrate the joy of shopping for toys.
My family was sent a few toys that you might find in a neighborhood toy store. First off I want to talk about the Loopdedoo by Ann Williams (winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 Award Category: Creative Arts Play).
My oldest daughter is a crafter at heart. She will spend hours doing projects at our kitchen table. The Loopdedoo is perfect! She is on the young side of the age range as it is 8+ but I only see her getting better at it and tackling the harder twists. You get the Loopdedoo Tool, instructions, embroidery floss, and 2 alligator clips. My girls have been making bracelets for their friends and cousins in other cities. My middle daughter who is 5 was able to make herself a bracelet with me nearby but she did it herself.
If you have a 7+ year old on your list this Christmas I would HIGHLY recommend the Loopdedoo. We have already gone through the 18 skeins of embroidery floss it came with and have to go to the store to get more, thankfully embroidery floss is fairly inexpensive so I don’t mind at all.
This would be such a great gift!
We were also sent Tenzi by Carma Games. Every person in my family could play it (although not at the same time since there is 5 of us) and we had a ball the whole time! Tenzi comes with 4 sets of colored dice (10 each) and the idea is to roll the dice until you get all 10 of them on the same number.
It is fast, dice are flying (maybe it was only my 3 year old’s dice that were flying), and everyone had a turn winning. Tenzi also is a winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 in the Game Play/8+ Category. I totally get how a 7+ year old would find it more fun than the younger crowd but when done in a family setting everything is fun to kids.
With Christmas right around the corner (7 weeks but who’s counting?) visit a local toy store in your area and see all the fabulous things that they hold inside. Discover The Woohoo Factor on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t forget Neighborhood Toy Store Day is Saturday November 12, 2012 but don’t just shop on that one day, shop local to support your neighbors and community!
*Jessie received the above product(s) free of charge, to facilitate this review. All opinions are those of reviewer only.