I’ve teamed up with Astra to bring awareness around Neighborhood Toy Store Day on Nov 11th, 2017 & The Best Toys for Kids Winners of 2017! #NTSD17 #NeighborhoodToyStoreDay
Now that Halloween is over it’s time to start getting serious about the Holidays. My kids always have a list a mile long of things they would like, from brands big and small. When doing my holiday shopping I support a variety of retailers, like our local toy store. I’m not talking about the big box toy store, but the small independent ones. Where you get good customer service, they really help you to pick out the perfect gift, and that carry a variety of brands from big to small.
On November 11th it’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day. It’s an annual celebration in which independent toy shops kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local. kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local. The events include child-friendly activities such as face painting, craft projects, live performances and, in many toy stores, a charitable component to give back to their local communities.
In 2015 study of local businesses vs. national chains, local businesses were seen as far outperforming national chains in a number of areas. 96 percent of respondents felt local businesses were better at personalizing service. It’s that personalized customer service – and knowledge about how to choose the right toys — that distinguishes small toy retailers from mass merchants. Have you ever walked into a big box store and asked for advice on the perfect gift? Many times they’re not very helpful, but your local independent toy store can be.
“Neighborhood specialty toy store owners are the real experts when it comes to choosing toys for kids,” said Kimberly Mosley, ASTRA president. “Because they spend time with kids on a daily basis in their stores and participate in certification classes to learn more about childhood development, they understand the value of play and what types of toys encourage playtime.” These stores carefully curate their selections, tending toward unique designs from smaller, more innovative companies–guaranteeing that customers will find high-quality items that delight and foster healthy, active play, without having to comb through the aisles.
Specialty stores also often let kids try out the toys before buying, while gift wrapping services save time for busy moms and dads. For more information on Neighborhood Toy Store Day and to find your neighborhood toy store, visit http://ntsd.astratoy.org.
The Best Toys for Kids
There are so many “Best Toy Lists” available these days. Which ones can you trust? Organizations that review toys and create “best toy” lists are an important resource for holiday shopping
ideas. But it’s critical that their judges are well qualified and unbiased and that their criteria for reviewing and rewarding toys are relevant, well thought out, and designed to support play.
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), recognized nationwide for its prestigious annual awards program, has announced its 2017 Best Toys for Kids Awards. Eighteen winners in 17 distinct categories are chosen by specialty store retailers – hundreds of men and women who understand the value of play and, day in and day out, have hands-on experience with how kids
play. As a result, the annual Best Toys for Kids Award makes it easier for moms, dads and other gift-givers to make smart buying decisions for their kids.
The Best Toys for Kids Award honors the new and improved toys that promote open-ended or creative play, incorporate innovative design features and maintain exceptional safety standards. The winners of the 2017 ASTRA Best Toys for Kids Awards are:
Laser X 2-Pack
Smart Bot Robot
CHOOSE YOUR OWN CATEGORY
Zipes Speed Pipes Performance Pack
CLASSIC 0-7 YEARS
CLASSIC PLAY 8+ YEARS
Doink it Darts
Remote-Control Machines: Construction Vehicles
Thames & Kosmos
CREATIVE ARTS PLAY 7+ YEARS
Linkt Crafts Kits Bubble Loops
CREATIVE PLAY UNDER 7 YEARS
The Ultimate Brick Maker
Rahel from Ethiopia
Hearts for Hearts Girls
SmartMax My First Safari Animals
Smart Toys and Games, Inc.
FAMILY GAME NIGHT
GAME PLAY 2-5 YEARS
GAME PLAY 5-8 YEARS
Go Go Gelato!
Blue Orange Games
GAME PLAY 8+ YEARS
Blue Orange Games
Roller Coaster Challenge
PRETEND – ROLE/FANTASY PLAY
My Magical Sound & Lights Unicorn
Snap Circuits STEM
See the list of this year’s winners and past winners at http://besttoys.astratoy.org.