Christmas will soon be here! (yeah, we can't believe it, either!) So we thought you might like to know what our top five most-recommended toys are for this holiday season. Enjoy!
by, The Toy Shop Mom
Check out this witch! Spooky, eh? I made this witch well over 30 years ago in Kindergarten! As you can see, it was finely crafted out of a paper plate, black construction paper, orange yarn, a piece of an egg carton, and crayons. (I was quite talented.)
My mom was so proud of me when I brought this home. So much so that this beautiful decoration, and all the other Halloween-themed art that my
brothers, sister, and I made were preserved in a special box and taped to the living room wall every year during October. There were boxes full of similar such artwork for all the other
major holidays, too.
If you ask us what our number 1 toy is for older kids (ages 8-12), the answer is easy: Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty! But what is the putty's appeal? We asked Jane, age 11. And here's what she told us--
The Toy Shop phone rings. We know what the person on the other end of the line is going to say even before we pick up: “Do you have any of those fidget spinners?”
The sudden and powerful fidget spinner craze has swept our town in a matter of a few weeks. And we’re certainly not complaining. Fidget spinners are fun, safe, inexpensive, easy-to-use, and slightly addictive toys that are great for kids and grown-ups of all ages.
But it’s not just fidget spinners that have been making waves in the toy business. All fidget toys—toys designed to keep hands busy while allowing the mind to focus on other things--are seeing an increase in variety and production. Which leads us to wonder, “Why?”
For years fidget toys have been recommended to control behavior and improve the focus of children with ADHD and Autism, as well as to soothe anxiety in those with OCD. But the benefits are not limited to people with those conditions. The truth is that the modern society we live in is rushed, impatient, and stressful for EVERYONE, including our children. And the need to relieve that stress is a universal desire. Most all of us can benefit from the act of “fidgeting”, and that will long outlive the spinner craze.
So here is our list of our favorite, best-selling, tried-and-true fidget toys that ARE NOT spinners!
Our criteria for this list are toys that are:
-no removable parts
-small enough to fit in pockets or purses
Additionally, all these fidgets encourage relaxation, sensory stimulation, fine-motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
When Duty Calls
When my wife and I opened the Toy Shop in August 2015, we couldn’t know that in less than a year, I would receive military orders to deploy to the Middle East. Over one million Americans serve in the Reserves or the National Guard, and though they include doctors, teachers, lawyers, mechanics, small businessmen, and many other occupations, they have to be ready to drop it all when their country calls. This places a heavy burden on their families, as well. Little did Erin and I anticipate that the burden she carried would include another baby! So this has been an especially challenging time for her, juggling the store and our six daughters, two of which she is homeschooling as well.