Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Retailer of the Month: ABC & Toy Zone

By Manhattan Toy Editors

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.  They pride themselves in mixing play and education, which perfectly fits their slogan: "where education and play come together”.  Not only do they provide a mix of toys and teaching aids to their customers, they also plan monthly free public events: craft corners, story-time, music programs, canvas painting and... appearances from Groovy Girls!

Over the years, they have enjoyed seeing repeat customers come into the stores; each with their own fond memories and bitter sweet stories of visiting the store as a child.  But now, these loyal customers come in search of toys for their children. 

This past June, ABC & Toy Zone in Chanhassen hosted a fabulous Groovy Girls party for Groovy's 16th birthday.  It was the perfect atmosphere to play, make memories and celebrate every girl's individuality!  It was super exciting to have Groovy Girls Lakinzie and Oki, stop by for pictures, and crafting fun.

The Rochester Location will be welcoming a few more friends from the Groovy Girls line later this year, so be sure to check out their facebook page to find out the dates!
ABC & Toy Zone Locations

122 17th Ave. NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Ph: 507-286-8440

860 West 78th Street
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Ph: 952-474-4366

2908 W. 66th Street
Richfield, MN 55423

14003 Grand Ave. S.
Burnsville, MN 55337

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Our blog is moving next week!

By Manhattan Toy Editors

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!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Fourth of July Adventure

By Manhattan Toy Editors

The Fourth of July is next week already, so we’re feeling all sorts of silly! 
We’ve cooked up a Fourth of July themed Mad Lib for the whole family. Ready for to have a _______ (Adjective) time?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#ImaginationsAtPlay Instagram Photo Contest!

By Manhattan Toy Editors

Our summer fun photo contest starts in just 2 days!

In just 2 days we're kicking off our summer celebration of play and imagination!

We already see you taking lots of photos playing with your loved Manhattan Toys, so we're having a contest!  For 10 weeks take as many photos as you want, the more photos you take the times you'll have to win, upload it to Instagram and include the hashtag #imaginationsatplay so we can find it. The Manhattan Toys can be new or old!  Winners will be announced each Friday and will get to pick 1 of 6 awesome prize packs.

See our website and below for more information and all you need to know.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Playtime with Dad is so Important

Guest Post by R.C. of Going Dad

When our daughter, Avery, was born, I instantly transformed into a new man. Not that I was a bad one to begin with, but now I was “Dad”; small word with an enormous meaning! I was ready to start playing the first day we brought Avery home, but my wife kept me it check and let me know I must have patience.

But when it comes to playing, patience is one thing I lack. I waited 9 months to see our precious girl and now I have to wait even longer before we can play? Absurd. 

At that time, I was preparing to leave my current job to become a stay-at-home dad, so I had to make sure I had an active playmate! I did whatever I could with our newborn daughter as long as it was safe. For the first few weeks, this just meant holding her and singing while I swayed around the house. I played peek-a-boo and tried tickling her, but was only met with an empty stare.
Not being one to just give up, I continued to try amusing Avery whenever I could. A little past two months and I was now a full time at-home dad. Avery was finally acknowledging some of my playful efforts and evening responding with my favorite thing; smiles!
Now she’s 6 months old and full of personality, and I’m getting a hang of my role as a stay-at-home dad. I used to think of playing with my daughter as just something parents do, but it turns out that it has a profound influence all the way into adulthood!

The role of a father in general, influences a child’s emotions, as well as their social and academic behavior. Since playtime with daddy usually means more “rough-housing” (safely, of course), this helps your child learn to regulate emotions and even control aggression. And, for all fathers with daughters, being active and involved in her life will help your princess grow up to have a healthy relationship with and more positive opinion of men.
 I don’t want my sweetheart finding some ill-meaning guy years from now, so I am making it a point to be a positive and fun father figure! In addition to all of this, an active and engaging father increases the likelihood that their children will have better vocal skills and achieve higher scores in school. So, how can a father ensure they are active and nurturing for their child? With play!

Playtime with your baby doesn’t have to be complicated, just talking to them and telling them about their surroundings is a great start. Your baby, like mine, may not look like they are getting any of what you say, but they are absorbing everything. For one thing, they are getting to know your voice, recognize their daddy’s face, and even your touch.

I found that using toys from The Manhattan Toy Company has truly helped me create ways to play, engage, and teach Avery at the same time. I enjoy using their Skwish Stix and Winkel products to teach Avery the primary colors and about different shapes and sizes.
The Skwish Stix are great for when Avery is sitting in her booster seat since they have a suction cup base. She loves pulling and stretching the contraption and watching it snap back into its original position. By naming the shapes and colors for her, Avery is getting comfortable with daddy’s voice and learning at the same time.
The Winkel is perfect for a teething baby since it can be chilled for them to chew and soothe their painful gums. When Avery is chewing on a certain loop, I let her know what color she is chewing on. Also, we are currently working on teaching her to crawl, so I’ll place the Winkel just a little out of her reach to encourage her to move towards it. So far she just scoots her way there, but that’s part of the learning process.
When she’s older, I look forward to taking her to the playground to run around and I’ll be sure to run around with her, not sit and watch.

Reading to Avery is something we’re already doing and plays a major role in your child’s development. TheManhattan Toy Company has many fun and educational books for babies including activity books like Where’s the Bone?. I hope to get this one for Avery soon!

So to all fathers and father figures out there, play with your kids and let them know how much you love them! We “play” a major role in how they grow up, and I want to make it a positive, nurturing experience. Now, excuse me, I have a play date with my daughter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Father's Day Cards

By Manhattan Toy Editors

June is here and that means Father's Day is a week from Sunday: June 15th in fact! What are you and your kiddos going to do to make the important men in your life feel the most loved? We've got your cards covered!  Just save one (or both!) card designs to your computer and print off as many as you want.  Have youngsters color them in and practice writing their names for a much loved Father's Day gift.

Happy Early Father's Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Newark Now Baby Shower

By The Manhattan Toy Editors

Many new expecting moms are busy with prenatal care doctor appointments, antenatal classes, shopping for new: baby clothes, room decor and gadgets, and attending baby showers. By the time of the baby's arrival they all set and really the baby is just the last puzzle piece.

However, that's not the case for all moms.  Countless expectant moms are not fully informed and family and friends may not have enough money to throw a cute baby shower.

That's why we are so proud and happy to have been a sponsor at this year's Newark Now 5th Annual Baby Shower.  Earlier this month the organization hosted a awesome event for 200 expectant and brand new moms and dads in the Newark area that really needed a day full of educational parenting workshops, information and gifts.  Every guest that attended the shower this year received one of our much loved classic Whoozit's.