Neighborhood Toy Store Day This Weekend

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Why shop for toys locally instead of at a big chain?  The reasons are as many and varied as the toys that you can find inside your toystore, but my personal favorite is that there is just better customer service most of the time.  The shops really get to know the area that they reside in, and their customers and what they like.  And if you can’t find what you are looking for, they will get it for you.  Many shops even offer awesome extras like gift wrapping and party invitations (which you can do online or have your child make “wish lists” for relatives who would like a few ideas to choose from).  I love all the options- and they toys are of good, quality material I know I won’t have to take back and exchange because they broke in a week.

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Neighborhood Toy Store Day

Did you know this Saturday, November 9th, is Neighborhood Toy Store Day?  Perfect reason to get out and support those who support your town.  If you would like to find an event near you, go to

You will find unique and different products then you would at a box chain, as well as the benefits to the community such as jobs, community support, a thriving neighborhood, the availability of specialty brands that can be harder to find, a wide variety of educational (yet still fun) toys your kids will love to get their hands on, and even environmental benefits like less traffic and carbon use.  Need some more reasons to shop locally?  Take your kids inside- you won’t be overwhelmed immediately and stressed out, ready to leave as soon as you get what you came for.  You won’t even mind browsing for a while (you might actually enjoy it- promise).

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You can find many of the ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids in local stores, since the quality is better, and ASTRA only chooses the best and most intriguing toys for kids.  Non-Profit organization ASTRA helps parents and people with kids in their lives easier by compiling a list of the year’s best toys that they can refer to, based on a panel of 650 expert judges.

Some of the included toys this year are (click here for the full list of toys)-


Squigz are fun little suckers- as you apply pressure to two or more, the air goes out and they connect to each other.  They also connect any solid surface, flexible and sticky- but not “sticky” with the gross factor.  When they pull apart, they POP with quite a sound.  Creative and fun, you and your child can build creations, cars, houses, horses, spaceships- you name it.  Or just make a lot of popping noise (which may not at first sound enticing, but how much fun do you have with those plastic popper sheets you get in the mail?  Don’t deny it!)

You can even let the kids bring them into the tub for “good, clean fun” (but really- they work in the tub).


  • Starter Set = 24 Pieces
  • Deluxe Set = 50 Pieces
  • A lively toy innovation – new Suction Construction!
  • Encourages creativity, fine motor skills, interaction, playful experimentation
  • Provides relaxation and sensory stimulation
  • Pieces connect easily and POP! apart
  • Gratifying fun for bathtub, walls, windows, school lockers, tabletops, desktops
  • Flexible, pleasantly pliable
  • Generously-sized components
  • Eight different, versatile shapes
  • High quality silicone rubber
  • Leaves no residue or marks on surfaces
  • Enjoyment for a wide range of ages

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Pulsar Power Balls

You and your child can make 5 Pulsar Powerballs that really work and bounce.  What’s that?  It’s SCIENCE! (If you know what I am referencing, then you know you will enjoy this.  If not- then you will still enjoy this, but you don’t get your geek on often enough, LOL.)

Not only are they fun to make and play with, but Pulsar Powerball lights illuminate the play experience for extra coolness.

Curiosity Kits Pulsar Powerballs

  • Makes up to 5 super-high bounce Balls with bright LEDs!
  • 1 large Pulsar Powerballs™ mold
  • 1 small Pulsar Powerballs™ mold
  • 2 Pulsar Powerballs™ lights
  • 8 bags of colorful crystals
  • 3 resealable storage bags
  • Illustrated instructions

ringstix lite

RingStix Lite

This game is easy to learn and you can play it alone,in doubles, or in a larger group. It encourages outdoor play, getting kids (and parents) moving and interacting together, and they are easy to take along to the park, the beach, or wherever your travels take you.  It is fast and easy to learn, kids can figure it out in a matter of minutes.  So can mom and dad, which is a total bonus.  All you need to do to play, is pass the ring back and forth using two sticks per player. Then you  launch the ring.  That’s it.

Full set for two players, includes:
4 Stix (one orange, one purple, one blue and one green stix)
1 Red Ring

Check out to win an amazing sweepstakes.  You can also find out more about great toys and where to find them, local toy store locator, and a calender of events.  (Good site to bookmark.)  These photos were taken at one of our favorite toy stores, The Learning Express of Wayne, NJ in the Preakness Shopping Center, during a Halloween event.  (Yay for community involvement!) They not only handed out candy, but did tattoo stickers for kids, gave out crowns, and a craft activity as well.

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Enter to win some toys and get ready to play.  Six individual winners will be selected to win one of the following featured prizes:

You can even win a trip.

Thomas & Friends invites you on the family vacation of a lifetime at select all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Note: This Sweepstakes is open to legal U.S. residents except for residents of Florida,  Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and other foreign United States  territories. Click here to view the official rules and regulations.

Good luck everyone, and enjoy your local toy stores.

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