[PARENTING] Educational Tools from Your Neighbourhood Toy Store #TeachMeTuesday with Joanne Sallay

Last month, in the heart of summer, I had the opportunity to take an educational field trip to Toytown.

Bringing fun to families for over 60 years, Toytown is Toronto’s oldest family-run, independent toy destination in the heart of uptown’s Avenue Rd. and Lawrence Ave. neighbourhood.

With the first day of class one week away, now is a good time for students to transition back to the learning mindset. What better way than with some educational toys! On this very topic, I sat down with toy expert, Shari Bricks Zeiler to get her take on fun resources to get students in the back-to-school spirit.

Here are three recommendations from Shari on educational toys your little learners will love in the week leading up to school. Each one can be enjoyed all year round and will help students develop learning skills for life. We guarantee your kids will not mind this homework!


  1. Sticker Story Books by Usborne

(Recommended for ages 2-5)

A great early literacy tool for little learners with the help of stickers, these books cover a variety of themes, from fairytales to zombies, that will interest your child. Check out the Going to School sticker book to get students excited about September. With simple words on each page, the stickers correspond and help complete the story. Students will find this helpful in developing fine motor skills and vocabulary building.

  1. Plush Craft

(Recommended for ages 5-7)

Plush Craft is highly recommended for children with an artistic side. Forget Paint by Number – this is pillow-décor-by-number with everything from Puppy Love to Precious Purse Pillow. Children feel a great sense of accomplishment upon completion of this project. The ability to follow patterns helps them to develop hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills.

  1. Star Wars Themed Workbooks

(Recommended for ages 4-8)

This interactive themed workbook series is great for Star Wars fans looking to brush up on math, reading and writing skills. Students will have a lot of fun with “curriculum-based exercises and activities from a galaxy far, far away…..”


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Joanne Sallay

Joanne Sallay is a Director at Teachers on Call, a personalized home tutoring service with 30 years of experience. Teachers on Call’s Ontario Certified Teachers specialize in providing one-on-one instruction in all subjects and grades including French Immersion tutoring.

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