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Neighborhood Toy Store Day is Coming Up!

Why does Halloween suddenly feel like the unofficial start to the holiday season? Isn't that dreadful?! Though I can say one good thing about this timing: I start paying attention to the toys my kids are talking about and what's really entertaining them, so that I can keep it in mind for Christmas shopping in another month and a half (because let's face it, I will be doing all of this at the last minute).

As  we gear up for the holiday season, I wanted to share some fun news: Saturday, November 12th marks the 7th National Neighborhood Toy Store Day! This annual celebration by independent toy shops kicks off the holiday season with special events like face painting, live performances & more to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local.

While shopping local supports the community by creating jobs and preserving neighborhoods, the benefits only continue. Local toy stores source products from both big brand manufacturers and small entrepreneurial companies, introducing children to a world of toys that aren't available elsewhere. Many store owners participating in National Neighborhood Toy Store Day have earned the ASTRA Certified Play Expert (CPE) designation, so rest assured, your shopping experience will be in good hands.

Vivian with her Fuzzeez Husky
Check back in a month to see if we've conquered this Rubik Cube!
Loving this balance game! Thinking of getting one for Vivian's classroom... 

The gals are loving playing with some of this year's top toys for kids, so I've officially begun keeping my eyes and ears open for this year's Christmas shopping -- which I'll be doing locally, of course! To aid in your holiday shopping, see the below list for top toys of 2016, and if you need help finding your local toy store, try HERE.

2016 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Award Winners:

Active Play:

Kidoozie Counting Pogo Jumper
International Playthings

Slackers Ninjaline Intro Kit
b4Adventure - Brand 44 LLC

Choose Your Own Play:

Rock and Roll It! - Piano
MukikiM Toys

Sneaky Cards
Gamewright, a div of Ceoca

Classic Play, O-7 Years:

Rat-A-Tat Cat
Gamewright, a div of Ceoco

WOW Flip 'n' Tip Fred
Reeves International, Inc.

Classic Play, 8+ Years:

Snap Circuits
Elenco Electronics

Rubik Cube 3x3
Winning Moves

Constructive Play, 0-7 Years:

Robot Engineer
Thames & Kosmos

Thames & Kosmos

Creative Arts Play, 3-7 Years:

Craft-tastic Kindness Kit
Ann Williams

Fuzzeez™ Husky
The Orb Factory

Creative Arts Play, 8+ Years:

Peacock Silk Painting

Sew Mini-Treats

Early Play:

Fat Brain Toy Co.

Game Play, 3-5 Years:

Little Red Riding Hood

Balance Beans

Game Play, 6+ Years:

Happy Salmon
North Star Games

Game Play, 8+ Years:

Dr. Eureka
Blue Orange Games

Learning Play:

Code & Go™ Robot Mouse Activity Set
Learning Resources

Pretend (Doll Play):

Folkmanis® French Bulldog Puppet
Folkmanis® Puppets

Pretend (Fantasy Play):

The Irish Fairy Door
The Irish Fairy Door Company / License-2-Play

Pretend (Role Play):

Calico Critters Seaside Ice Cream Shop
International Playthings

Scientific Play:

Hot Ice Crystals
Thames & Kosmos

Happy (local) Shopping!

Disclosure: I am a Neighborhood Toy Store Day Blogger Ambassador. This post is part of a sponsored campaign. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own. 

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