When deciding what toys and games to stock at Imagine That!, owner Marlene says, “I ask myself, 'Can they get this at Toys"R"Us?' And if they can, I don’t get it.” Marlene, who has an extensive background in child development, prefers games that ask for strategy skills and toys that develop deductive reasoning. “You see those players who are just driven to win,” she says, “But that’s not fun.” Marlene likes games that level the playing field and invite everyone to have fun while using their brains. She has paired such games with everyone from 18-month-old babies to seniors who can still remember when jigsaw puzzles were chiseled from spare wooden teeth.
Marlene began with making crafts and learning activities for her own children, but as soon as she broke out the art supplies, the neighborhood kids started emerging from their prairie-dog holes. Inspired by her youthful following, Marlene began an interactive crafts stall at the farmer’s market. She expanded from her 8’x12’ stall 15 years later to the 11-room Imagine That!, where little hands find paints and easels, clever toys, and miniatures for furnishing dollhouses or entertaining well-trained gerbils.
“They come from all over, even Canada,” Marlene says of her dollhouse miniatures' customers. In addition to myriad miniatures and walls filled with toys and games, Imagine That! has craft rooms, a puppet area, and a chamber filled with whirligigs. The whirligigs also blossom in front of the rainbow-hued shop itself, beckoning passersby to stop in and explore.
Abbott Magic opened in 1934, and helped put the tiny town of Colon, Michigan, on the map as the Magic Capitol of the World. Since its inception, magicians and audiences alike have flocked to Colon for Abbott's annual Magic Get Together for performances, lectures, classes, tours, and trade shows focusing on magic. In addition to its yearly festivities, Abbott sells instructions and accessories for magic and designs and manufactures its own tricks as well.
At Meyer’s Toy World going the extra mile for our customers has been key to our success. Our great selection of (Grandpa Meyer approved) product is always competitively priced. Let our staff help you choose appropriate, safe and fun toys and furniture.
Helping you raise quality kids for over 60 years. Come see us,
Celebrated in Creative Child Magazine, Handstand Kids fosters a sense of global community by introducing children to the languages and cuisines of Italy, China, and Mexico. Cookbooks brim with designated cultural recipes, which also provide translated words for each ingredient and utensil so that tots can learn to speak a new language while they learn to cook in a way that doesn’t involve microwaving play-doh. Recipes are rated by difficulty, allowing kids aged 3¬–12 a chance to whip up edibles perfectly suited to their age and skill. They’ll prepare items ranging from the easy Year of the Monkey smoothie to the more difficult There's a Meatball in My Soup soup and Oh My Pizza Pie pizza. Accompanying the recipes, the illustrated Handstand Kids characters share tips that increase kids' awareness on food-related issues, such as information on special dietary needs or ideas on the various ways cooking can be used in the community.
Inside a bustling factory and design studio in Chicago, needles embroider children's names on rocking chairs, receiving blankets, and mammoth toy boxes. Nearly every Hoohobbers item is highly customized—whether with monogramming, personalized color and pattern options, or a choice of fabrics. This feature isn't the only one that appeals to design-minded parents. Furniture, accessories, and household goods for babies, toddlers, and children are portable, lightweight, and durable. Unfortunately for neglected screwdrivers, allen wrenches, and stress balls, the items require no assembly. Their practical yet modish designs often appear in magazines, including Chicago Parent, Life & Style, and People and regularly win awards, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Best of Chicago title for infant and toddler gear in 2009 and 2010.
The team at Designer Maid tidies up homes and commercial facilities with unusually meticulous care?which makes sense when you consider that the owners also run an industrial janitorial business. Running that business has armed Michael and Shirley Wells with the know-how to tackle the grimy kitchens, messy living rooms, and unkempt commercial work sites they encounter each day. The team shows up to each location wielding environmentally friendly cleaning products designed to vanquish dirt and odors without leaving behind any caustic fumes or inappropriate thought bubbles.