Given our tendency to shout from rooftops about awesome locals, we find it particularly easy to do so at Christmas time. Enter, the Tutoring Toy. Bill and Diane Sartain opened The Tutoring Toy 25 years ago and are still successfully at it, smiling mugs and all. We visited the shop [which also has an impressive international client list], located in the Foothill neighborhood, and found the whole family there, assisting customers, wrapping gifts, and restocking shelves. It's Santa's workshop at a local level. Casey, a COLLECTIVE client and the oldest of their two boys, is now the buyer for the store, which sounds like a dreamy job [we assume he immediately purchased a beautiful loft in Manhattan and filled it with an assortment of giant bouncy balls, a bunk bed, a trampoline, and a vending machine rigged for free soda when hit with a sock]. Best part about the Tutoring Toy: you won't find many heavily-advertised, mass-produced toys here. Instead, you're likely to stumble upon something unique that has stood the test of time, passed strict quality controls, and is pretty much perfect for your kid.
Bill & Casey's Top Toys this season:
1) Spooner board -- a skate board/snowboard hybrid, fitness gurus are using it for core workouts.
2) Magformers -- everyone wants to help connect these shapes.
3) Brio trains -- basically, the ultimate in train sets.
4) Playmobil and Lego -- a staple for any toy shoppe, as it were.
Tutoring Toy | Foothill Village, 1400 Foothill Drive, #108 | 801.581.1060