And the Race is On!

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Throughout the month of August, Manhattan Toy has been partnering with bloggers across the country to host  MOTORWORKS 500 events: a day dedicated to play, creativity and of course car racing!
MOTORWORKS is the only line of customizable wooden toy vehicles, accessories and play sets. The collection includes three different vehicle trim levels: Street Series, Speed Series and Extreme Series. It also offers vehicle accessory kits, custom car decals and play sets. 
Each MOTORWORKS 500 event celebrated imagination and innovation, as the customization and variety of MOTORWORKS accessories and vehicles allows young minds limitless possibilities for creativity.  After each guest at the parties designed and named their own vehicle, it was time to race against the others!  Check out some of our favorite party pics.…

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A Grand Day

Happy Grandparents Day from Manhattan Toy!

If you’ve ever turned to your parents or your partner’s parents for advice or help with parenting, you know just how important and wonderful grandparents are.  That’s why grandmother Mariam McQuade of West Virginia had the great idea of starting a day to honor these very involved family members.  She herself had 40 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and in 1973 established the holiday in her home state.  Then, in 1978 Congress passed legislation to proclaim the first Sunday after Labor Day National Grandparents Day.  McQuade passed away in 2008, but wanted the holiday to serve as a time for children to recognize, appreciate and embrace the wisdom carried by their grandparents.  However, seniors with grandchildren were not the only ones she wanted to honor with the day.  …

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5 Ways to Beat the Labor Day Blues

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Labor Day is Monday.  That means the carefree, warm days of summer will soon draw to a close… and so does the freedom of kid’s schedules.  Sadly, less time will be spent outdoors as the temperatures cool off and the days get shorter.  Often as seasons change from summer to fall, a more somber mood overcomes everyone, including little ones.  Help your whole family, kids especially, beat those autumn blues with our five suggestions.…

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Playful Learning

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Spotlight: Preschool Teacher Mrs. Mandi Sauer shares how she prepares for the school year and the importance of play in the classroom
Most schools in Minnesota start the day after Labor Day. It’s a busy time of year for students, but especially for all the teachers, as it means a lot of prep work and planning. Have you ever wondered how teachers prepare for the school year?  Or perhaps, how they manage to make learning “fun” for their students?  Manhattan Toy decided to seek out the answers by meeting with a local MN teacher, Mrs. Mandi Sauer!  Mrs. Sauer is a local Spanish Enriched Preschool teacher at St. David’s Center in Minnetonka. Here’s the inside scoop on how she prepares for the year and how she incorporates play into her lesson plans.…

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Retailer of the Month: Brilliant Sky Toys

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This month’s featured retailer  is Brilliant Sky Toys and Books.   Director of Vendor Relations, Whitney Hall has worked at the Brentwood, TN location since it opened in 2010.  This August marks the four year anniversary of this franchise location.  As a young and up-and-coming store location, they have had great success in selling a variety of imaginative toys, including Manhattan Toy, that cater to nearly every age range.…

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Family Road Trip Take‐Alongs

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It’s not too late for a warm-seasoned family road trip of weekend vacation.  Summer is still here!  In fact, with the increase in flight prices more and more families are spending time on the road in order to vacation this year – one in four according to AAA. Long travel times are hard on anyone – but especially children.…

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A Sweet Year for Groovy

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We’ve been honoring Groovy Girls Sweet 16th Birthday all year long and are proud to have recently worked with some amazing bloggers to host birthday parties for the girls to celebrate our stylish and independent dolls. Sixteen years ago the Groovy Girls was created by Manhattan Toy, it was made to celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of each and every girl with a wholesome appeal.  They were cutting edge and the first of their kind.  Since then, the line has done that and beyond and offers a full range of dolls, clothes, furniture and accessories. Hooray and wishes for many more fabulous years of Groovy Girls, both our dolls and all the awesome ‘groovy girls’ around our planet! Just like our dolls, we love that each blogger put their own unique spin on their party. …

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The Stages of Play

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Developing play skills is an essential part of childhood. Through play, typically-developing children acquire the skills necessary to communicate with others, express and understand emotions, physically manipulate a variety of items of all sizes, build strength and endurance, and gain the cognitive skills to understand their world. As children mature, their play skills move through specific stages: solitary play, parallel play, symbolic play, and cooperative play.

The first stage of play is solitary play, which typically lasts from just a few months old until about 18 months old. During this stage, children tend to play alone or possibly with adults, with limited interest in interacting with same-age peers. They generally prefer basic cause-and-effect toys that meet their sensory needs, including those that spin, light up, and make sounds, and toys they can easily mouth.…

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Retailer of the Month: ABC & Toy Zone

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ABC & Toy Zone in Rochester, MN has been in the business of selling toys for almost 20 years and has a bright future. And, we’re extraordinarily proud to say that Manhattan Toy has been working with them 18 of those years!It all started when owner Rene Nordhus and her husband started a small toy section in her in-law’s store in Iowa.  After getting a taste of selling toys, Rene and her husband decided to open their own toy store in their town of  Rochester, MN.  Since the Rochester store opening, they have opened three other Minnesota locations in Chanhassen, Richfield and Burnsville.
ABC & Toy Zone has a wide selection of imaginative and educational toys as well as teaching supplies for the classroom. …

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Our blog is moving next week!

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We are thrilled to say some blog changes are happening at Manhattan Toy, and all for the better!  We’ve been so happy to get our blog up and running on Blogger, but now after developing a good editorial team, content calendar and building our readers up – we’re more than ready to move to the official Manhattan Toy website!
For you, nothing will change but the overall look.  All past posts will be directed to new homes on our new blog living on the company website, but we just want you to be aware these changes are in progress and to be excited too!
Please stay tuned and look for our blog updates the same way as you always do.  We look forward to creating even more timely, interesting and creative blog content that includes product development, educational posts and more guest features!…

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