At Smart Toys, parents don't have to choose between fun and educational. That's because the staff at each location stocks their shelves with toys that fit both categories. Youngsters can learn as they play, developing eye-hand coordination while operating flying helicopters or practicing parallel parking with Hot Wheels. They can also express themselves creatively with art supplies by Crayola or boost critical thinking skills with board games including Clue and Monopoly.
The instructors at FUNdamentals of Baltimore prepare babies and toddlers for the journey ahead with age-appropriate lessons for the mind and body. Alongside their parents, babies learn the basics of mobility and music, and toddlers enjoy a mixture of free play, exercise, and lessons on numbers, colors, and animals. Classes are capped at around 12–15 kids to ensure that each participant receives ample attention from the staff.
Bellabeads 925 proffers stringable beauties ready for adorning appendages. Opt for one of the multi-chromatic Murano glass beads ($15 each), such as the pink- and white-swirled cherry lollipop or the deep purple Martha's Vineyard, or select a sterling-silver charm ($22 each) so shiny that it could double as the Silver Surfer's currency. DIY jewelers can decorate leather cords ($15 each) with a Venetian dazzle charm embedded with sparkling crystals ($30) to produce a sense of satisfaction that’s unmatched even by drafting an impressive fantasy curling team or finally realizing that you’re (spoiler alert) a ghost.