I thought it might be fun to share with you how I look for items to stock our stores. Like many of you, I am a bargain hunter. I have 4 children, so I know that it can be expensive to raise a family. I like a great deal, and I know you do, too!
First of all, we generally keep our prices at manufacturer’s suggested retail. However, when I find a great deal on a great product, I do pass the savings on to you. In addition to the usual teacher store vendors, I have established relationships with school supply surplus dealers who often have great deals on teaching basics and cool toys and games. Shopping there is hit or miss, but when they something great, I grab it and pass the savings on to you. An example of this is the cute animal beanbags we sell. Since we get them from our surplus partners, we can sell them for less than you might expect.
When buying toys and games, I look for things that allow for creativity, imaginative play and support learning. Though our stores are small, we strive to stock a variety of great toys you wont find just anywhere: puppets, wooden puzzles, imaginative play items, science kits, and games that support reading, math and thinking skills.
I also look for vendors with new and unusual items, especially for science, STEM and Making. What makes these vendors so great is that they have awesome online support materials for building the kit, coming up with your own way to “hack” the product and make it your own, and wonderful educational support materials for classroom use. Several of these vendors have chosen to dispense with expensive packaging, in favor of keeping their prices low. So don’t be fooled by the boring packages!
Since my youngest sons have special needs, I am keenly aware of the needs of families of children with special needs and the professionals who serve them. We stock adapted scissors and writing utensils, as well as items for sensory support: fidgets, safe items to support the need to chew, and a variety of textured items.
I am always working to offer great new stuff at great prices. Stop by and check out our current selection!