And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Five Little Monkeys has won awards for Best Toy Store in the East Bay (Parents’ Press 2011) Window Display Contests, and being a Bay Area Green Certified Business. Not to mention the fact that it’s right up there as the best place on earth, according to my daughter. We’ve gotten everything from origami paper ($2), puzzles, birthday presents for others (a make-your-own-robot kit) and a card-making kit to send thank-you’s for the presents we’ve received.
We’ve bought card games and planned to come back for road-trip games (Travel Bingo, where the squares are pictures of roadside monuments and attractions instead of letters) when the kids are old enough, and we’re brave enough to take a trip with three girls in the back seat of our small car. Five Little Monkeys has puzzles for babies and puzzles for big kids and puzzles for those kids in between. They’ve got toys to spark the imaginations of princesses, bug catchers, space explorers, pirates, and paleontologists.
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If you go, prepare to be overwhelmed by all the glorious fun. This is not a store with lots of cheap plastic—these are the goodtoys. The cool stuff— the learning and creative wonderful stuff that toys were meant to be before they got slammed with corporate cheapness. Owner, Stephanie Sala, comes from a family background of child development pros—her dad designs baby toys, and her mom designs kid’s clothes—so the choice of merchandise is no accident.
If you live nearby, you can go to the store. If you don’t, you can shop their fun website. Seriously, I can spend five minutes just watching the little monkeys dance around on the homepage. And if you want to save on shipping, then you can order what you want and stop by to pick up your purchase—though I guarantee that if you walk through that door, you’ll want to buy more than what’s in your virtual shopping cart.
Five Little Monkeys
1224 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
852 Grant Ave
Novato, CA 94945
1366 N Main St
Walnut Creek, CA