It’s that time of year once again and what better way to start off the holiday shopping season than with the 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Saturday, November 10th 2012. During Neighborhood Toy Store Day families will be introduced to the fun of shopping locally while benefiting their community. Did you know when you buy from locally-owned businesses like toy stores that are members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), more of your dollar stays in your community? For every $100 spent in a local, independent-owned store, $69 returns to the community, compared with just $43 dollars being returned when you shop at a national chain store.
For the 3rd year in a row ASTRA – a non- profit organization - will help you kick of the holiday shopping season by coordinating Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Allowing you to enjoy everything local shopping has to offer, kicked off by wonderful in-store activities and festivities. The festivities will highlight local talent and bring neighbors together in the spirit of giving. Last year's programs included crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and charitable donations.
Check out yourneighborhoodtoystore.org to find participating stores in your area, and to use as a reference for parents interested in learning more about the best toys on the market and where you can find them. I bet you would be surprised to know that most big box stores don’t typically carry many of the high-quality, boutique and specialty products found at independent toys stores. And you can be sure the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), is commit to the “woohoo factor” helping you, the parent, find today's best toys that are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. Basically, products are about the features of the play more than the features of the toy.
I was sent a few examples of some wonderful products bringing the “woohoo factor” to our home and my children’s imaginations.
PLAYMOBIL has always been a brand high on my list for stimulation, fun and delightful creative play. The E-Rangers Headquarters by PLAYMOBIL is a proud recipient of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids award in 2012 and it’s easy to see why.
The E-Rangers Headquarters by PLAYMOBIL was chosen for its ability to promote open-ended creative play, with a creative design and exceptional safety standards. PLAYMOBIL playsets are a great choice this holiday season and can be found at many of your local independent toys stores. SRP $129.99
Mindware is also a winner of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kid award in the category: Game Play/ Ages 3-7. Mindware was chosen for its ability to also promote open-ended creative play, creative design and top-notch safety standards.
We received Mine Shift, the maze, by Mindware. It’s a game of shifting strategy in which you must be the first person to move all of your jewels into your opponent’s home tile. Shift a game tile to move a mine wall and allow your gemstone through. Or you can rotate tiles to prevent your opponent from moving. You’ve got to put on your strategic thinking hat to move through all the walls.And since the 27 board tiles are set up differently each time you play, you have to constantly come up with new strategies to beat your opponent. SRP $19.99
Lastly there were Nanoblocks which my older boys really enjoyed because of their love of building. Nanoblocks put a new spin on traditional block building sets with micro blocks that allow kids to build in incredible detail.
The Nanoblocks Electric Guitar building set is also a recipient of ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids award in constructive play, inviting kids to build a detailed 3-D electric guitar using micro-sized building blocks and containing over 160 pieces! Of course I wouldn’t recommend this product for children under 8 or homes with babies/toddlers, but for older children Nanoblocks are a challenging delight. SRP $12.99
Check out yourneighborhoodtoystore.org to find local stores participating in the 3rd annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Saturday, November 10th, 2012. Find the best holiday toys while fostering your community. And remember, for each dollar you spend at independent businesses in your community, three or more times as much typically goes back into the local economy compared to a dollar spent at retailer owned by a chain.
Shop Local, Shop Smart!
Stay up-to-date with National Toy Store Day by following @WoohooFactor on Twitter or joining the on facebook.
I received above mentioned product(s) for free through Team Mom and or above mentioned comapny, for review purpose. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My opinion is always my own and it no way influenced. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.