Have you noticed there has been a revolution in transportation? Everywhere you go people are riding scooters! Scooters have been a hugely popular means of transportation in Europe for a number of years and now kids and adults in Toronto and across Canada are catching on. And why not? Scooters are an easy and efficient way to get around especially in neighbourhoods like ours -the Danforth. Scooters are a great alternative for young kids who don't want to sit in a stroller but can't keep up with Mom and Dad when they are running errands in the neighbourhood. They make getting to school fast easy in the morning and they're tons of fun to race around the block on the weekend. Since they are less bulky than bikes, scooters can be easily looked up outside or folded to fit in your trunk when your going on a road trip.
Designed in Switzerland, Micro Kickboard Scooters have taken over the market in Toronto. Micro has a scooter for every age and skill level, whether your looking for a fun ride for your toddler or a street-carver for your teenager. The three wheel Micro Kickboard Mini and Maxi scooters feature a unique lean-to-steer that allows children to use their body weight to steer the scooter and is great for beginners to older kids who want a smooth, stable ride. The Micro Kickboard Sprite is a two wheel scooter that is lightweight, durable and offers a quiet, smooth ride. The more advanced Micro Kickboard Rocket features extra fat wheels, high performance bearings and a wide aluminum deck making it a super-comfortable and cool ride. All Micro Kickboard Scooters feature a modular construction and components can be replaced if necessary. These scooters are built for fun and durability!
After a taste of spring last week it has been a little hard to adjust to having to stay inside on a wet, cold day. But it is April and we have to be prepared for a few rainy days. Here is our top 10 list of things to do on a rainy day:
10. Have fun with stickers. These Melissa and Doug Reuseable Sticker Pads are loaded with over 150 stickers that will keep your kids busy for hours! Ages 3+
9. Play Pop-Up Pirate - who doesn't love this game? Ages 4+
8. Do a puzzle. Challenge your little ones with a puzzle like this beautiful Puss 'n Boots Silhouette Puzzle from Djeco. Ages 5+
7. Try some new food. Spend the afternoon making hamburgers, pizza, ice cream or donuts with Tutti Fruiti dough sets. Ages 3+
6. Get creative. The art kit from Alex will have you and your kids creating stunning works of art. Ages 3+.
5. Discover some scientific wonders. Scientific explorers sets will amaze you and your kids with the wonders of light up ice putty, gross glow bouncers and (my favourite) hydro super sand! Ages 6+
4. Build something new. Klutz Lego Chain Reactions is packed with instructions and ideas to build amazing Lego machines! Ages 8+
3. Start a band. This Hape Early Melodies Rhythm Set will have everyone dancing the afternoon away! Ages 1+
2. Read a book. Cuddle up with a good book, or two, and enjoy spending time together. All ages!!
1. And our favourite activity for a rainy day..... visit Treasure Island Toys!!! Get out of the rain and come in and play at your local toy store!!
As I bundle up to take the dog for a walk in the evening, my first thought is, WOW it is cold out! But as I walk I see the moon is bright, the snow is sparkling and there are still a few Christmas lights twinkling! My thoughts change to the fact that we live in Canada and it is winter, so let’s enjoy the weather because it can be quite beautiful!
Of course there are days that I just can’t take the cold anymore and it is too much to bundle up and go sledding or skating or outside at all! That’s when I love to pull out the games we got for Christmas or ones we haven't played in a while!
Some of our favourites are:
The Game of Life! Ages 10+
I loved this one when I was young and I still enjoy playing it with my 12 year old daughter and her friends!
A new one this year:
Eye Know a Trivia Game, Ages 14+
We play this with the whole family even my 9 year old son and 12 year old daughter. You put your visual memory and general knowledge to work with this one!
One that is quick and simple:
City Square Off, ages 8+
Place your building strategically on the grid board and start flipping shape cards to place your tiles on the grid. When you have no more room to place a tile your opponent wins! Can be played over and over and never gets old!
Cute first game:
Peek-a-doodle-doo, ages 3+
This is an “egg-cellent first game for your little one. It is a fun interactive memory game that everyone will enjoy.
We are always on the lookout for new and unique games to bring into the store, and our staff, who love to try them all, can help you find the right ones for the right ages for the right occasions! If you can’t make it into the store because it is too cold (haha!) you can shop conveniently online!
It’s official, the Holiday Season is here! The first signs for me were the red cups and cranberry bliss bars at Starbucks. Now everywhere I go, it’s looking more and more like Christmas! It’s also feeling more like Christmas, and as much as we may try to deny it, it is time for winter coats and hats.
In our official role as Santa’s Helpers, we are thrilled to share this magical season with our customers and friends. We have worked really hard putting together a list of our favourite toys and are so excited to present our very own 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. All year long we have looked for fun and unique items to fill this guide and it was really difficult to narrow down our selection. From some of the most popular brands like Lego and Playmobil to specialty items from Kathe Kruse and Sandblox, this guide truly has something for everyone.
Every year we are asked what are the hottest toys of the season. This year Minecraft and Frozen toys will be at the top of many wish lists. As parents we understand the popularity of these brands and we love how they spark a child’s imagination and creativity. How many Elsa’s did you see on Halloween? And what exactly is an Enderman??
After the Rainbow Loom craze last year, there is a renewed interest in crafting. Some of our favourites are the new String Art Kit, Loopdeloom Spindle Weaving and The Pom Pom Kit. All of these are from the same people who brought us the Loopdedoo Bracelet Kit and they all make beautiful, hand-crafted works of art that your children will be proud to wear and display. I love them so much I can’t wait to start creating my own pompoms and scarves!
We have also seen an increase in parents looking for toys to keep their children active this winter. The new Slackers Balance Blox Set is sure to be popular this season. Following the huge success of Slackers Slacklines last summer, this set can be used in your home or backyard (for those of us who don’t have a backyard big enough for the original Slackline). With two balance blocks for support, this slackline hangs closer to the ground and is ideal for younger kids but it will hold up to 125 lbs.
There are so many new toys this season and the store is constantly changing. So come in and visit, talk to our elves and check us out online. We are looking forward to helping you with your holiday shopping and putting in a good word for you with our friend in the North Pole!
Getting kids to read in the summer can be a challenge. There are so many other temptations – ipods, Wii, Netflix. I admit it, the first thing my kids want to do when they get up in the morning is turn on the T.V., an indulgence they don’t get during the school year. So how do you get them to turn off the devices and pick up a book? I let them have some time in the morning to do what they choose, even though I cringe every time they say the word “Minecraft”. I also make sure we find some time during the day to read. Maybe after lunch, or before dinner. Always at bedtime, and since they don’t have to worry about getting up at 7:30 in the morning, they can read as long as they want!
The biggest trick to getting them to read, however, is finding the right book. With so much to choose from, this can be hard, but it is important to keep trying different styles of writing, genres and subject matters until to find something that speaks to your child. My oldest son will read just about anything and love it – especially if it involves mythology or legends (thanks to Percy Jackson!). My second son is much pickier, he went through a graphic novel-only phase until he finished all the Amulet books, now he is searching for something he likes just as well. My youngest is a bit of a reluctant reader, going into grade one in September, we are working on small chapter books that capture his attention and encourage him to read.
So, this is what we’re reading this summer:
Parker (age 11) – The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
After a few of his friends read this at school, Parker couldn’t wait to start reading this series. Part way through the first chapter, I could tell Parker was hooked (and so was I!). It’s about a secret society for gifted children who go on a mission that only the “most intelligent and resourceful children could complete”. The book opens with Reynie, a particularly gifted eleven year old boy, going to take a test in response to an advertisement in the newspaper (“ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?”). Parker and I both laughed at the part about the newspaper headlines that described “The Emergency” and how “the school systems, the budget, the pollution, the crime, the weather…why everything, in fact, was a complete mess” and that everyone had been demanding “Things must change NOW” for a very long time. Sound familiar? It did to both of us!! I’m looking forward to reading more of this book with Parker, and I’m sure he’ll fill me in on the details as the summer goes on.
Nate (age 8) – Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
After trying a few books that didn’t capture his attention, we decided to try something completely different and chose a classic. So far so good, Nate is loving this story and is captivated by the characters. It is also bringing back a lot of memories for me (it’s been a while since I read this book!). This is such a special book that describes friendship and affection in a way children can really relate to. I’m sure there will be many tears when we get to the end, but it will be a worthwhile journey!
Spencer (age 6) – Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey, art by Dan Santat
Spencer is just starting to read independently, and can be a little reluctant to try, so we chose a book that is fun and loaded with colourful graphics. Dav Pilkey, author of everyone’s favourite “Captain Underpants” books, wrote this book in 2000 and it was reprinted in 2014 with brand new illustrations. The first five in the series are available this year, the remaining four will follow next year.
This is the first time I’ve really seen Spencer click with a chapter book. The story of a little, quiet mouse who meets a “Mighty Robot” and takes him home as a pet is right up his alley! A group of bullies always picked on Ricky at school, but things change after he takes the Might Robot to school. It’s a fun book to read together and I love seeing Spencer reading it on his own!
We are so excited to be apart of this new part of the Toronto Fringe Festival this year! Treasure Island Toys will be participating on July 3, 5, 11 and 13! Visit us for some fun crafts and great deals.
"Brand-new this year, the Toronto Fringe Festival is proud to present the FringeKids! Club! Join us for open-air performances every day at noon, special indoor workshops every day from 2pm to 4pm (registration and payment required), and plenty of fun FREE activities, games and surprises. More information, schedule and more can be found at http://fringetoronto.com/fringe-festival/fringekids/fringekids-club/
Sunday July 6th is Kid Vendor Day -- where creative kids can sell their fabulous creations! Contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to participate, or come browse our treasures!
Friday July 11th is Fringe-O-Ween -- come down to the Club in costume and enjoy tricks, treats and surprises all day long. Help us build a haunted house! SpoooOOOOoooky!
The Club is located at Huron Street Junior Public School (541 Huron Street), and is open July 3-6 and July 10-13 from 11am to 4pm. Bring the whole family down for some FringeKids fun!"
See you at the Fringe!
Author: Joanne Bertrand, Treasure Island Toys Sales Associate.
I was reflecting last night about why I enjoy working at Treasure Island so much. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make me smile – like a little toddler a few weeks ago who was playing at our Brio train table. He was carefully pushing a train around the tracks and every now and then, he would stop and yell at the top of his lungs “All d’abord – all d’abord”! It was making many people in the store smile, in fact.
It is also really satisfying to guide customers, who are in a quandary about what to buy, to some of the toys they may not have considered. As a grandmother I, too, often wonder what will be that special and memorable gift that will most delight my granddaughter. Certainly, some of the successful choices have been things she has asked for – like her Kickboard Sprite scooter. I gave that to her on her 5th birthday and she has been riding it (with joy) for 3 summers now. She was also thrilled to be one of the first in her rural neighbourhood to get a Rainbow Loom from Nanny.
But I’ve also been surprised by her reaction to things I’ve given her that she did not ask for but that I selected myself. For example, she loved these more traditional toys that I remembered having fun with many years ago as a child myself and raising her Daddy: a snakes and ladders board game, the horseshoes game for the cottage, a harmonica and a bug viewer.
Children really do have the capacity to find fun in so many different types of activities. It’s amazing. So, it’s good to think ‘outside the box’ when choosing your gifts for them.
Don’t forget Grandparents Day at our store the last Thursday in every month when grandparents get 15% off their entire purchase.