Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Play Time!

We're more than just books, but I'm sure you already knew that. Did you know that we are beginning to branch out into educational toys and some other fun odds and ends? I have a lot of toy retail experience in addition to four years as a children's book seller (I still love to play with toys, too) and I'm really excited as to what we are offering. Look at all this cool new stuff we have!

 A few of my personal favorites on the table above are:

Soap Sacks
are little critters that you can put your soap in. Why would you want to do this? Well, once the soap is inside of the animal, you can scrub yourself (or your child) soapy clean without the frustration of dropping that slippery soap everywhere. Don't worry about any soap mildew building up; you can throw them into the washing machine for cleaning as needed.

Wooden Bug Blocks
are so cool! These handcrafted blocks contain letters, numbers, and pictures of bugs. Building time will never be the same. We also have a Hebrew block set, a lowercase letter block set, and an uppercase block set. The letters are carved into the wood, so when your children's children are enjoying these alphabet and number blocks and the paint is fading, the letters will still be there! All of these blocks are made in the USA.

Twig Blocks are wooden building blocks with a twist. These ones are designed to build AND fit inside of each other. Just think of the possibilities here.

What Time is It? I've had a lot of parents ask if we have a time telling book. I'm sad to say that there aren't many available. But, never fear, for now, we have a game! Eeboo's (which is a fabulous brand) What Time is It? is a time telling game that teaches kids how to tell time off of a standard wall clock as well as a digital clock. It takes 1-4 players and these clocks and double-sided-flashcards can be used over and over again.

The PlayMe sets above are very popular in nearby private and Montessori schools. I had a chance to play with all four of these toys and they were all really fun and definitely unique. 

PlayMe Animals Creator is great for kids who love to put things together and take them apart. Through using the enclosed wooden screws, nuts, and various parts included, you can put together animal-iffic creations. Instructions are included for creating a giraffe, ram, elephant, crab, swan, and more. There's even a bike, boat, and airplane, too! It's a 3-d puzzle without the frustration of the pieces not fitting together.

PlayMe Numeric Puzzle is great for kids learning their numbers, but do not have the dexterity to hold or use a pencil properly. Why? Because most of the wooden pieces are not complete letters. They are pieces of letters that the child must fit together. You can also make really cool designs with these pieces like faces, a house, bird, truck, an umbrella, and more. This is truly a puzzle like no other.

BambinoLuk (ages 3-5) and MiniLuk (ages 6-adult) sets are actually neat renditions of the game of Memory. Each Starter Kit contains one booklet, six tiles, and one case. You begin by placing a specific tile over the picture. Then you have to move the tile to its corresponding picture below. The first page is always the easiest, where you match the same picture. But as you progress, the puzzles get trickier. Pretty soon you have to match things like footprints with the object that made them, and cookie cutters to the right cookie shape. When each puzzle is complete, you close and flip the tray over to reveal a design. That design should match the design in the lower corner of the page. There are other booklets to purchase as you go along. These challenging games help you and your child to develop concentration, memory, motor skills, basic math concepts, and more.

PlayMe Playful Math is a neat way to learning counting as well as fractions. I really wish these were around when I was learning fractions, because they make a lot of sense. There is a set of numbered blocks, for learning addition and subtraction. And, there is a set of blocks with fractions on them for learning how fractions work. These blocks are designed so that the fractions match up to one whole block. So, two 1/6 blocks together are the same length as one 1/3 block. Likewise, four ¼ blocks together are the same length as the 1 block. In between all that learning, this educational tool doubles over to make great building blocks.

All of our toys meet all of the safety standards and are non-toxic. I would also like to point out that two of our buyers, who are selecting these items, have young children and naturally have the same concerns as all you parents out there as they order.

Come on by and check out our new sources of fun and learning. Don't worry, we're NOT pulling a Barnes and Noble -- we will mainly be carrying different stock from our neighborhood stores. Think of our selection as a new flavor in the toy and bookstore world. And, in the words of Paul, author of our weekly B-Mails, "We are banking on the belief that you like your children, you want them to have fun, and you think that they might be smart. That's because we see them in the store all the time, and we think they're smart, too! We have the finest in classically crafted wooden toys and mentally challenging games and puzzles for kids from ages 0-infinity. More will be coming in soon, but you should definitely stop in and see all that we have to offer, and pick up a gift for the bright young mind in your life!"

Delightful reads, endless creativity, and fantastic discoveries are waiting for you. :)

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