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Why I Love My Neighborhood Toy Store: Their Commitment to Community, Generation After Generation
by Karin Sheets   |   October 13   |   0 Comments

There’s nothing like a toy store to bring out the kid in you.  But some are special, once inside you always stay longer than you planned, time passes unnoticed as you find more and more toys that need to be played with.  We are lucky enough to have a magic place like this in our neighborhood.  Teaching Toys and Books is more than a toy store, it’s a creativity-inspiring time machine where you can get lost in your imagination. 

My children and I love spending time exploring this toy store.  There are so many quality-made, unique and interesting toys out, open and available; we wander through and cannot help but play with everything.  This is one of our happy places.  I also appreciate that I can count on the sales staff to help guide me on gifts.  They’ve played with the toys and read the books.  Knowledgeable and friendly, it’s easy to see that they are driven by finding solutions for children.
Owner Melissa Tennile expressed the fulfillment she finds, saying, “It is a good feeling to think I helped a child learn to tie their shoes or engendered a love of mystery novels in a young woman who thought she hated reading."

This store resonates with children of varying abilities.  My youngest has special needs and finds more toys that connect with her here than anywhere else.  It turns out that there is a good reason for this.  Over 30 years ago Teaching Toys and Books was started by a mom with a special needs child who had a hard time finding toys her child could connect with.  That quest created a foundation that has been built upon by the current owners, adding layers of toys that touch many children to learn through play. 
Their passion is clear and their commitment to the community has impacted more than a generation.  Those who shopped here as children are now shopping for their children - and those who shopped here for their children are choosing quality playthings for their grandchildren.  They are involved in fundraising for local schools, parent groups and non-profits, driven by the ability to support those agencies out there changing the world for the better.  It’s a wonderful legacy.
They bill themselves as “the best toy store in the galaxy” and I think I have to agree.
Teaching Toys and Books
2624 North Proctor Street
Tacoma, WA 98407

Teaching Toys, Too
4635 Point Fosdick Drive NW #300
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
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Karin Sheets is a mom of two who writes to inspire travel with a special needs child at

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