If you’re anything like us you’re doing last minute holiday shopping! As speech pathologists we always need to update our therapy bags, so we do ongoing and endless research to find out where the best toys are sold. We not only want to find educational toys that promote speech and language development and foster creativity and independence, but toys that are motivating for children too! Here are our top picks below…
If you’re looking for safe and organic products for your little ones, Sprout San Francisco is totally the place to go! On their website they even give you helpful tips on how to create a healthier home. Some of our favorite toys include their stacking cups by Green Sprouts, wooden pretend play items (eg – dollhouse, farm, etc.), Tegu magnetic wooden blocks, eco dough, and veggie sidewalk chalk. If you’re looking for a gift for a teeny tiny baby two of our all-time favorite gifts to give are the Kleynimals and the Magica clutching toy! They have locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Chicago, and San Francisco!
Raising Astoria is one of our favorite spots in Queens! A lot of thought is put into what they carry in the store. They offer a wide variety of toys such as wooden toys by Janod, Y-Bike walkers and balance bikes, unique shape sorters among many other items! We also love that they offer parenting workshops to the community as well as classes for children!
Let’s start off by saying Fantastic Kids Toys has an amazing staff who is beyond friendly and helpful. The store is also very well organized by age and interest. They have it all from scooters to Magnatiles! We also love their aisle of classic games for older children. Come take a look whenever you’re on the Upper East Side!
This store is perfect for the NYC baby! Located in Manhattan’s Little Italy, Piccolini is the place to be if you’re looking for a special gift. When we go in we certainly don’t come out empty-handed! They have a fun selection of gifts ranging from their classic pretzel and hot dog “I LOVE NY” attire to city skyline glow in the dark blocks! The store also has an amazing collection of books – many of them New York oriented, which we adore since it’s our favorite city on the planet!
Boomerang is not your regular toy store, but a place that really brings novel toys to our neighborhoods. They have everything from scooters to jewelry making kits. They sell top-notch brands such as Battat, Haba, Plan Toys, and Quercetti. It has 3 locations to choose from – happy shopping!
If you’re in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Caribou Baby is a must see! They have a wide selection of toys including beautifully made wooden toys by Camden Rose, Grimm’s Toys puzzles, nesting blocks, unique rattles and ornaments, and much more! Toys aside – Caribou also offers some great classes for families such as CPR, yoga, music, etc. We love the warm atmosphere!
I think this is the ideal store especially if you want to buy a gift for a baby! Plus it’s in one of our favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods – Williamsburg! There are myriad choices and we especially love their Brooklyn onesies and huge selection of transportation items by Green Toys. Really a great one-stop shop for parents!
This is definitely not your typical toy store. Located in Park Slope, Norman and Jules has an awesome selection of beautifully crafted wooden toys and other hand-made items such as dolls, paw print sandals, gumball machine, magnetic chalkboard town set, kinetic creatures, puzzles, and more! You can also find a great selection of books, art, and other novelty items. One big plus is that it has a backyard to let your kids play! Excellent staff as well!
Dinosaur Hill is the coolest store you’ll ever step into. You can tell that someone has put in a lot of effort to make the store what it is. If you’re looking for something super unique, this is your best bet! When we entered, we found life-sized stuffed animals, wind up toys, turkey puppets, letter blocks in foreign languages, marionettes, mobiles, and more! Impeccable service, too!
We are definitely big kids at heart, so we hope that you will love these toy stores as much as we do!
Wishing everyone the best holidays with your family and friends! HAPPY 2015!!!!
Debbie Shiwbalak, M.A., CCC-SLP, has a Baccalaureate of Arts in Speech Pathology and is a graduate of Long Island University-CW Post Campus, where she received a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology in 2001. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed by the state of New York to practice speech-language pathology. Debbie has 13 years experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area. She co-authored a chapter of “Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism” and presents at parent and professional workshops all over New York City.
Alpin Rezvani, M.A., CCC-SLP, graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) and has New York licensure in Speech-Language Pathology. She has 7 years of experience as a speech pathologist in the New York City area and was an adjunct instructor at New York University. She co-authored three chapters of “Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism” and presents at parent and professional workshops all over New York City.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.