Every parent dreams of finding that perfect place where education meets fun, where the kids play and learn with gleeful abandon. Most toy stores offer an educational section -a cubbyhole usually- in amongst the sparkling-light-up-battery-operated fluff. Who can blame a kid for gravitating towards those things? I know I get distracted by anything sparkly. It then becomes and Us vs Them struggle to find something that suits us both.
Struggle No More!
On August 9th, in Columbia Maryland, Marbles the Brain Store opened, thus putting the kibosh on the conundrum of play verses learning. I’ve got to tell ya gang I did NOT want to leave this store. Surprisingly neither did the kids. This is the genius of Lindsay Gaskins, President and CEO of Marbles the Brain Store:
“Our team is made up of smart, outgoing people who are passionate about
learning new things and creating a fun, interactive environment where any
customer can find a product designed to help their brain reach its full potential,”
With that she struck gold! Marbles is a hands-on, engaging, educational and entertaining for everyone. Yes even grownups like ME!
Angst-y-Tween Nugget stumbled upon what has become my new favorite creative toy EVER, Bucky Balls in one of the cool -creativity packed- nooks inside the store.
Lil Nugget #4 has been having issues with retaining things she’s learned. When I asked Lindsay if they carried anything that might help with that, she didn’t just tell me about a game or point me to a book. She sat down with Lil Nugget and played! They played Sherlock, a card game that hones memory and builds on number skills as well as strategic thinking.
The price point might be a bit higher than what you’d find at a ginormous chain toy store but I doubt you’ll find many -if any- of the amazing products Marbles carries at those big toy marts. One thing I can guarantee you won’t find at any of those stores is the thought and care that Lindsay and her whole team put into finding the best of the best in brain boosting products for kids from age 1 to 100. (Seriously I bought “Think Gum” there, and am chewing it now in fact)
I’m a lucky mommy -we’re a lucky family- the Columbia Maryland store is just down the road from us at The Mall in Columbia (just steps from Williams Sonoma, squee). We can -and will- visit the store often. If you live in Maryland (anywhere) it’s well worth the drive. Don’t live in Maryland? Visit their on-line store to shop or check and see if there is a Marbles the Brain Store near you.
Disclosure Stuff: My family and I were invited to be guests of CEO Lindsay Gaskins at a private pre-opening event at the store. We we’re allowed to play and provided a gift bag. I personally purchased the items mentioned in this post. As always my opinions are my own.