Neighborhood Toy Store Day: Nov. 8, 2014


It’s almost that time again!  Every year, members of the “ASTRA” (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) participate in Neighborhood Toy Store Day.  Saturday, November 8th, is the date of this year’s Neighborhood Toy Store Day.  ASTRA retailers across the nation will be hosting special events to mark this annual shopping day.   From entertainment and crafts to scavenger hunts, ASTRA retailers will have a plethora of fun activities and events taking place this November.…

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How to Encourage Imaginative Play


Imaginative play is essential for children and their key to engaging and making sense of the world, because children learn best from experience: from what happens around them, what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch.  To truly absorb these skills they need to act out various experiences they may have had or something that is of some interest to them, so they can experiment with decision making on how to behave and practice their social skills.  Often adults under value imaginative play, and with Halloween almost here the holiday to truly imagine yourself as anything else and role play at all ages, we’re here to help and give you some suggestions on how to encourage and inspire imaginative play in your home.…

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Teach Kids Responsibility Through Organization & Chores


As a parent, you have a job to teach your child valuable life lessons. One of these important lessons you must teach your child is how to be more organized. Let’s face it — not all kids are naturally organized (oh how the world would be so much easier if they were!), so it’s your job to help your kid learn good organizational skills. Not only do good organizational skills keep things neat and tidy in your home, but they can also help life feel calmer and more controlled. Rather than picking up after your kids, follow these tips to teach any child to be more self-sufficient and organized!…

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Don’t Forget the Toys


When planning for your first child there are many things to consider adding to your baby shower gift registry.  From the car seat and crib, to clothing and diapers, there are so many things to think about.   All parents want what’s best for their baby, from the best pacifier to the stroller.  But, while you’re registering for all the newborn essentials, you can’t forget the toys!
Within the first weeks and months of life, newborns transition through many developmental stages.  From changes in vision to muscle control.  Toys play a crucial part in these early stages of development by providing the necessary tools and stimulation needed to support their growth.…

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Playing with Baby


Playing?  With a tiny baby?  Some of you may be wondering exactly how to when humans are that young.  Babies are tiny and fragile – but not easily breakable.  And truly, playing is essential to a baby’s development and initiating early learning skills.  In honor of Baby Safety Month we want to take a moment and share some fun, safe and creative ways to play the youngest of us.…

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Introducing Little Ones to a New Sibling


I’m currently expecting my fourth child and know from past experience several times over how important it is to make sure that older siblings don’t feel pushed to the side when a new baby arrives.  Showing the big sister/big brother lots of love is of course the absolute most essential thing that parents can do to ease the growing pains of a growing family, but the reality is that babies take a lot of time and parents of newborns are inevitably, irrevocably tired and don’t always have the time, energy, or patience to spend as much time with an older sibling as they would like.  What’s more, friends and family are usually thrilled to snuggle with a newborn and often show up with an adorably baby toy, which can make the older children feel even more left out.…

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And the Race is On!

customize and play

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


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


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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