ASTRA Best Toys for Kids

Ever since becoming a mom - toys have been in the picture.  Oh heck.  Who am I kidding.  I've always loved toys! ha.  One of the things I really try to do is focus on buying toys at local toy stores and avoid the big box stores.  I totally believe in buying the smaller shops.  They need our support to keep up with the huge chains!  

A couple favorite stores I love are very active in ASTRA.  ASTRA is the 'American Specialty Toy Retailing Association'.  Specialty toys always feel like there is more love in the development of them. They are 'special' in so many ways of the word!

Coming up in November is the National Neighborhood Toy Store Day.  NOVEMBER 9TH to be exact!!  Save that date.  Make it something to look forward to doing with your kids.  Give them a reason to 'be good' so they can get something special that day! lol

It's the little mom and pop crew of toy stores that I love.  You know!  Like O'Doodles in Chestnut Hill.  Or Lucky Duck toys in Haverford.  I've gotten to know both the owners of these stores and they are so informative on their products!  So, if you're ever looking for something special for a favorite kid in your life-they are both great at recommendations.

Another great place to find toy - gift - ideas is ASTRA's BEST TOYS FOR KIDS list that recently came out!  I love this list for so many reasons - but the biggest reason is that they focus on all ages and stages of children and their level of play. 

These toys were handpicked by all the toy stores within ASTRA - over 550 of America's top independent toy stores.  With a new baby in the house - it was great to get the chance to review some of their pics for his age and stage.  I was sent to review Skwish - a fun, wooden toy that has stood the test of toy time for over 30 years with Manhattan Toys.  This classic toy was a big winner in the 'classic toy' category as well.

Another great toy I was given to review for my 8 month old was the Seaplane Slider created by Green Toys.  I am a mega fan of Green Toys because they are one of the very few toys in the country made IN THE USA!!  And if you know my love for USA made know I'm about supporting Green Toys. This fab toy is made in the USA from 100% recycled milk jugs!  Cool, right?  It floats...AND..are you ready for this?  You can WASH IT IN THE DISHWASHER!!  Seriously awesomeness with my drooling dude.  Keep in mind-this product is meant for children 1 and up - so an 8 month old isn't fully recommended without supervision.

The last awesome ASTRA Best Toys for Kids I was sent for review already has be used 25 times since arriving to our house!  When I first got the Zingo! Sight Words game created by Thinkfun I wasn't exactly sure what the game was about. Albeit, my 5 year old jumped for joy when he saw the box!  He has been playing Zingo! at pre-school for the past year - and now as a kindergarten kid - sight words are a must know!  We have played the daylights out of this game thus far.  I LOVE the game Bingo.  Always have.  And this game is just like Bingo - but used with sightwords instead of actual bingo letters/numbers.  So fun and so easy to waste some time on a rainy afternoon!  Play and learn. 

I hope you will support ASTRA and their efforts to really give love to the local, neighborhood toy stores and the Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 9th.  So, pick out with your kids a great toy from the Best Toys for Kids list and head to your local store!  Oh yeah... and be sure to register to win their AWESOME 'I Heart My Neighborhood Toy Store' giveaway going on now!



*This is a sponsored post - but if I didn't fully believe in the AWESOMENESS in buying local and supporting the small businesses in our area - I wouldn't signed on for this campaign.  These local stores NEED our support!