Neighborhood Toy Store Day

Philadelphia and South Jersey Areas

Supporting local businesses benefits the consumer and the community in many ways. The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, a non-profit trade organization that promotes independent toy stores, knows this better than anyone. On Sat., Nov. 12, ASTRA brings the seventh annual National Neighborhood Toy Store Day to independent toy stores in the greater Philadelphia area. This event  celebrates local independent toy shops and launches the holiday season with special activities for customers.

Benefits of shopping local

Local businesses create jobs and put revenue back into the local economy via taxes and salaries. However, the advantages of supporting independent toy stores are more than just financial. According to Kimberly Mosley, the president of ASTRA, neighborhood store owners and employees are the real experts on choosing toys for kids. These people see kids come in and interact with their toys on a daily basis. Additionally, some participating store employees have even researched how playtime affects a child’s brain development and earned the ASTRA Certified Play Expert title. This extensive research and quality time with children results in personalized attention and product selection tailored to the individual needs of the child and the community.

Local independent toy stores stock their shelves with a combination of mass-produced products and lesser known toys from smaller companies. Unlike larger toy retailers, these stores have no national sales plan to dictate which toys they must promote. This results in a truly unique shopping experience for parents and children since they may be introduced to products that can’t be found anywhere else. This customization allows parents and other gift givers to rest assured that the child will love the toy because it has been selected based on his or her individual wants and needs.

Participating stores

More than 1,800 independent retailers will celebrate National Neighborhood Toy Store Day. This means that you have a few locations to choose from. All of these local stores have one thing in common: they sell toys that promote open-ended playtime and creativity for children. Also, many of these stores even offer complimentary gift-wrapping!

Visit your local toy store on Nov. 12 between 10 AM and 6 PM to browse a great selection of toys and games and to learn more about shopping local. Many stores will host activities including face painting, crafting tables, glitter tattoos and scavenger hunts. For more information and a full listing of local events, visit Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

Ariana Annunziato is a journalism major at Drexel University and a co-op intern at MetroKids.


Categories: MK Memo