From Toy Stores in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor
Bring all the smiles but none of the pain to the wallet this year by shopping local. Use this guide to help you.
By Mervit Sam
A tip for gift givers this holiday season: shop early and shop local. Waiting until the last minute will only turn up limited options as every part of the consumer goods supply chain seems to have been impacted by production and shipping delays. Local shops are known for their friendly, personal service — they can help you discover unique items and new toy makers. They are also the go-to for all of the classic games and toys that have stood the test of time, or been reintroduced to a new generation.
For this roundup, we kept the budget under a $50 price point, but there are plenty of options available beyond that if you are looking for more of a big ticket item. On the other hand, there are also lots of fun smaller items at lower price points that make great add-ons or stocking stuffers.
In the season of giving, it’s a good reminder to have extra patience and understanding. If an item you’re looking for is not available, the nice thing to remember about shopping local is that personalized service where they are happy to offer up other suggestions.
Where We Shopped
Find holiday gift ideas for:
Infant -1 yearBabies
Ebba, My First Pet Stuffed Animals and Carrier Set
Little ones will love playing with the soft stuffed dog, cat, bunny and bird, each with a special interactive sound feature like a rattle or a squeaker. It even includes an adorable little house with a handle – perfect for carrying their new buddies anywhere they go. $29.99
Available at: Genuine Toy Co.
Lalaboom Toys, 5 in 1 Snap Beads
Discover the world of the forest with this set of educational beads and accessories. Large educational and evolutionary beads, of different shapes, colors and textures to develop fine motor skills and cognitive abilities of your child step by step. $24.99
Available at: Toyology Toys
Quercetti PlayBio Spiral Tower
The new marble run for small children, Quercetti Spiral Tower lets you build high towers and launch colorful balls with rattles that chime as they go down the ramp. The PlayBio line is made of wooden fibers and plastics that come from certified eco-friendly forests. $23
Available at: Mudpuddles (another version also available at Toyology Toys)
5-7 yearsEalry Elementary
Retevis, Kids Walkie Talkies / Flashlight Sky Blue
This 22-channel walkie-talkie features clear, crisp sound, with a keypad lock to prevent accidental changing of the channel. And, there is no limit to the number of people connected – as long as the walkie-talkies are on the same channel! $29.99
Available at: Toyology Toys
The Happy Puzzle Company, The Genius Square
The aim of each of the 62,208 possible puzzles is to complete the square using the nine colored shapes, once the seven ‘blockers’ have been positioned. There may be times when it seems impossible, but there will ALWAYS be at least one solution… and that’s why it’s called The Genius Square! $26.99
Available at: Toyology Toys, Mudpuddles
8-10 yearsLate Elementary
SmartLab Toys, Tiny Baking!
As seen on popular YouTube channels, bake miniature versions of your favorite recipes using your Tiny Baking! Set. Make minuscule muffins, pint-sized pies and much more. Other Tiny STEAM based kits available like Tiny Robot!, Tiny Science! and Tiny Ice Cream! $19.99
Available at: Funky Monkey Toys, Genuine Toy Co., Mudpuddles
10+ yearsTweens & Teens
Schylling LAVA, ColorMax Lava Lamp
Lava Lamps have continued to captivate for more than 50 years. They produce a soft warm light and mesmerizing visuals of ever-changing, moving wax, gently rising up and down. $34.99
Available at: Whistle Stop Hobby and Toy, Toyology Toys, Mudpuddles, Genuine Toy Co.
Kids with Special NeedsAll Ages
Store owners encourage having a conversation with them about your child’s specific needs to help you find the best options for your child.
Schylling, Speak and Spell
This retro educational toy from the ‘80s helps your child learn more than 200 commonly misspelled words with multiple play modes and levels of difficulty. Great for children with learning disabilities or anyone who just needs a little reinforcement! $34.99
Available at: Funky Monkey Toys, Genuine Toy Co.
Win a $250 Gift Card from a Metro Detroit Toy Store
To spread even more joy this holiday season, we’ve giving one lucky winner a chance to win a $250 gift card from one of the local toy stores mentioned in this gift guide. Enter the form below by Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, for your chance to win.