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Neighborhood Toy Store Day and Giveaway

One of the things I love about so many of the interesting round ups and products featured on Babble’s Being Pregnant column is that so many of those items are from Etsy shops and locally made. I love supporting small businesses.

That’s why when I had the chance to share about Neighborhood Toy Store Day and host a giveaway for you, I jumped on the opportunity! After all – whether you’re looking for that special toy for an older sibling to help keep them entertained, or fun items for your growing infant, shopping locally means for dollars staying right in your home town community.

ASTRA is the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association and they have some fabulous guidelines for choosing toys for young infants. They say to look for the following when selecting toys for infants:

From birth:

  • Parents who sing, talk, and read to baby
  • Well-secured, unbreakable crib and wall mirrors
  • Soft-bodied dolls with faces and without parts (e.g. eyes, hair) that can detach
  • Simple stuffed animals without parts (e.g. eyes, hair) that can detach
  • Simple hand puppets (to be used by adults) with faces
  • Simple mobiles with high contrast design—well-secured and out of baby’s reach
  • Music boxes to be operated by adults
  • Rhythmic music (e.g. lullabies)

From about six to eight weeks:

  • Large sturdy books (e.g. cardboard) with colorful pictures
  • Rattles
  • Teethers
  • Squeeze toys
  • Wrist or ankle bells
  • Simple crib and play gyms operated by movement of baby’s hands or feet (use only while supervised)

From about four months:

  • Toy keys on a secure ring
  • Simple interlocking rings
  • Texture balls and toys
  • Grip balls
  • Soft blocks
  • Large pictures of faces
  • Toys on suction cups
  • Toys that make noise
  • Floating water toys
  • Busy box

November 12th is the Neighborhood Toy Store Day being hosted by ASTRA members. Many stores will be having special events in their local store and you can visit to show your support of the local economy and businesses. As I said earlier this month in regards to shopping at local businesses:

“The local businesses know me and are willing to go the extra mile for customer service. You see the owners at the grocery store or out and about and know they are real people. And they know you and your family. It’s not something you can get at a big box store.”

GIVEAWAY!

ASTRA is giving away a $200 gift certificate to spend at your favorite local toy store and support your local community business owners!

TO ENTER – MANDATORY:

Search for the nearest ASTRA member toy store in your area and leave a comment telling us the name of the toy store you found.

Extra Entries (Please complete Mandatory Entry First):

  • Share a great experience you had at a locally owned store or business recently in the comments (leave a comment)
  • Follow ASTRA on Twitter (leave a comment)
  • Follow Untrained Housewife on Twitter (leave a comment)
  • Follow Babble Editors on Twitter (leave a comment)
  • Tweet (up to once a day) “Win a $200 gift certificate to a favorite #NeighborhoodToyStore from @AstraToy, @UntrainedHW & @BabbleEditors http://bit.ly/ASTRAToy”

ASTRA is hosting another $200 giveaway on their facebook page so join ASTRA Toy on Facebook to enter for a second chance to win! See other giveaways and information you might enjoy at the Untrained Housewife Facebook Page and Babble’s Facebook Page.

Giveaway ends November 15, 2011 at 11:59pm CST and is eligible for US residents 18 and over. No purchase necessary, chances of winning depend on number of entries received.

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