WOLFVILLE, NS – What if you could buy your child something that would keep their mind active but still thrill them when they open their gift this Christmas?
It’s not as impossible as it sounds, according to Inquisitive Toy Company owners and partners Jake and Miranda Rideout.
The store specializes in non battery-operated toys, unique designs and classic fun, exciting both the kids who open the toys on Christmas and their parents who bought them.
“These toys are cool – they’re different, and unique – so the kids love them, and their parents love that they love them,” said Miranda.
Classic toys still a win with kids
The shop is busiest at Christmastime, with parents coming in, asking the dreaded question, “what do I get for my kids?”
It’s a question both owners, who are expecting a wee one of their own, love answering.
“It’s so much fun owning a toy store around Christmas,” said Jake.
Among the most popular toys this year are Nano Blocks and Playmobil sets.
Playmobil is a classic toy brand that has begun branching out into new territories, offering sets themed for movies ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and ‘Ghostbusters,’ and even selling figures with specific National Hockey League logos and jerseys.
“All of the pieces move in these play sets, so it’s great for fine motor development,” said Miranda.
Nano Blocks are small, very intricate pieces that are assembled to build an object, figure or building – anything from London’s Big Ben to dinosaurs.
The toys are recommended for kids aged eight and up, and the storeowners even recommend them as gifts for adults.
“Our first order sold out within days, so I’ve ordered lots more in. They’re huge this year,” said Miranda.
Moving away from the electronics
As its name suggests, the shop is stocked full of toys that aim get kids thinking creatively.
Miranda, who is currently expecting a child with Jake, had a Playmobil dollhouse growing up, identical to the model sold at the shop, apart from its colour.
These formative experiences showed her and Jake the value of toys that last, and inspire.
“We focus toys that have longevity and value from the time kids are very young until they’re nostalgic for those toys, and pass them on to their kids,” said Jake.
“You’ve got to foster that imagination and give kids that free play.”
Both owners still get requests for the Christmas fad presents, but in a different way than might be expected – parents asking the question, and wanting the answer to be no.
“They come in hoping we say no, since they know their kid will only play with it for a little while before moving on to the next fad,” said Miranda.
“When parents walk in, they see the things they grew up with and want to share them with their kids,” said Jake.