Shop Local – a collection of independent toy stores in DC

Tugooh Toys & Yiro1319 Wisconsin Ave. NWWashington, DC 20007202.338.9476Facebook

If Brad Pitt can take his kids shopping here, this toy boutique must be good. Tugooh Toys prides itself in providing educational and safe toys for children. Of all the independent toy stores I have reviewed, Tugooh Toys has the largest selection of eco-friendly items from Djeco, Villac, Grass Green, Hape, Le Toy Van, Green Toys, Sexi, Melissa & Doug, Haba, Plan Toys, Brio, and Bruder. Move over Corolle because here comes Baby Stella. The Adventures of Zylie & Friends is like the teddy bear version of American Girl dolls.

The chalk board with French writing was a unique find. They have an amazing variety of toys and original gifts for infants to tweens. Kids will have a whale of a time playing with a puppet theater, train table, pulley basket, toy kitchen, Calico Critters house and a play mat with trucks, blocks, and games. The excellent book selection had us eyeing a few favorites from Little Toot and a See & Say black and white book for babies, to a Wipe Clean alphabet book and a collection of The Adventures of Tin Tin. Beware – street parking in Georgetown is impossible.

Top toy picks: Fisher Price’s classic Chatter Telephone, Red Riding Hood pop-up book, Lego Architecture The White House and a Potato Clock.

Restroom: available for customers; no changing table available.

Labyrinth Games & Puzzles645 Pennsylvania Ave. SEWashington, DC 20003202.544.1059www.labyrinthgameshop.comFacebook

Owned by a local mom, Labyrinth is the quirky go-to store for gamers. The staff are enthusiastic and full of knowledge. You will not find any item in the store with a battery. The focus for kids is educational and cooperative board games, brainteasers, and jigsaw puzzles. The games are high quality and ones that are not found in major retail chains. Toddlers can learn fine and gross motor skills in the way of farm blocks and magnetic construction pieces by Manhattan Toy and Arx, matching games, Haba Dancing Eggs, and earth friendly, chunky puzzles.

Faves among Capitol Hill children is a math game called Sleeping Queen and Rat a Tat, a game of numbers. Suspend, created by Melissa and Doug, is a popular logic game. Similar to Jenga, players have to rearrange and stack colored pieces of corkscrew metal wires before it collapses. Older ages can find Bananagrams in three languages, Mancala, chess sets, puzzles of the world, safari animals, and the solar system. Bring your own game in and play or try a game out at the kids table before you decide to buy one. They host Pokemon classes and birthday parties.

Top toy picks: Rush Hour and Goblet Gobblers games.

Restroom: available for customers; no changing table available.

Fairy Godmother319 7th Street SEWashington, DC 20003202.547.5474

This tiny store has been in the business for 29 years. Don’t underestimate its small size. Fairy Godmother has so many interesting things that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Interesting finds include Madeline and Madame Alexander dolls, collector Beanie Babies, nearly a dozen choices for natural baby and toddler toys, spy gear, toy planes, trains, and automobiles. Fairy Godmother is what I like to refer to as a toy emporium.

My inner child came out when I saw fashion plates, and the original Duncan yo-yo, not to mention glow in the dark stars and Lego erasers. Where else are going to find an Air Force One airport play set? The small, yet diverse area of books has Learn to Read for beginners and non-fiction titles. They are located in the heart of Eastern Market. While you are there, head two doors down to Groovy DC to find a few stuffed animals and such.

Top toy picks: Djeco Farm Dominoes, Corduroy stuffed bear and Look Inside the Human Body book.

Restroom: none available.

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OK Editorial Team

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