Christmas, Hanukah, and more are just around the corner. Scary how quickly the year passes, isn’t it? That’s why Dylan & I went to visit a local store, Stone’s Education & Toys, last month to put together our own Top Ten List of holiday gift ideas for young kids. We spent an afternoon exploring, playing and searching to find our favorites. This took a while considering Stone’s has a HUGE toy selection in their new location. In no particular order, here are our 10 favorite gift ideas:
- The Young Artist’s Coloring Gift Set from Faber-Castell features markers, crayons, colored pencils & sharpener, stickers and 25 page pad. Ages 4+
- Genius Blocks™ from Hanz. These fun building blocks can interlock to build almost anything your imagination can come up with. There are no instructions included in the kit in order to inspire free thinking and creativity. Box states Ages 8+ but Dylan (age 5) was having a blast playing with them and had no trouble.
- Playmobil sets. Stone’s has plenty to choose from whether you want a small starter set or something as large as a pirate ship. Ages 1-1/2+
- Ready, Set, Stilts! from Alex Toys grabbed Dylan’s eye pretty quickly. I’m sure if there was a demo he would have tried it out. Ages 5+
- MagnaTiles come in various sized sets for ages 3+ and feature a fun way to build with assorted magnetic shaped tiles.
- Bilibo imaginative toy. This is probably better for a slightly younger age set, but Dylan had fun sitting in it and spinning around. Other uses include a seat, a hat, and well, almost anything a child’s imagination can come up with. Ages 2+
- Marble Run sets. We saw 3 different sized sets in stock and Dylan wanted them all! Use the plastic pieces to build tracks comprised of chutes, tubes and turns then send marbles through. Ages 3+
- GoldieBlox engineering kits for girls. This was clearly one of my picks. With my own professional background in architecture and engineering, it’s great to see toys that are encouraging girls that it is fun and cool to use their brains and excel in math & science. Ages 6+
- Roller Racer is a ride-on toy that a child can move by swinging the handlebars back and forth. Ages 3+
- Squigz are fun little suction cup pieces that can be connected together to create anything your child can imagine. These caught our eye on our way out of the store and we had to spend a few more minutes trying them out. Ages 3+
A quick background on Stone’s, the store was once a teacher supply store. I remember this from my college days so suffice to say it’s been around for a long time (let’s not officially date me here, ok? 😉 ). Under new ownership, the store gradually expanded to a teacher/school supply AND independent toy store. Last year they moved to a gorgeous new building with plenty of room for both. We’ve shopped there before, but this was our first visit to the new building and Dylan was wide-eyed at how large the toy area was. Plus there are plenty of demos out for kids (and adults) to enjoy. Yes, he really did ride the Roller Racer around the store with the blessing of the owner & staff.
And, yes, Stone’s still sells plenty of teacher and school supplies. This is great for both parents and teachers. Need a gift idea for your child’s teacher? You’ll find lots of options. Homeschool or want to work with your child to improve in an area? Yes, Stone’s has everything you need to help your kids learn. Workbooks, writing tools, arts & crafts supplies, science kits, books, flash cards, etc. During our visit, the school supply section was busier than the toy section! Really. Stone’s offers such a wonderful selection, it’s not too surprising although I’m betting the toy section gets a lot busier in the next few weeks!
Mark your calendar for a couple of special events happening in store this month: Neighborhood Toy Store Day (Nov 8th) and Small Business Saturday (Nov 29th). Find out more details about these events and others by visiting Stone’s Facebook page and/or signing up for their newsletter.
Stone’s Education and Toys is located in Raleigh at 210 Hampton Woods Lane – right off I-40 exit 290. The store is open 7 days a week. Check their website or Facebook page for hours.
Disclosure: I did receive a store gift card for compensation for this post. The opinions expressed are are strictly my own.