As parents become more and more aware of potential safety hazards in all aspects of their children’s lives, it is essential that businesses provide products they can use with confidence. Certified organic food has been available for several years at most grocery stores; people have taken the advice to eliminate blankets and toys in cribs with small babies; and items such as car seats and strollers are required to pass rigorous testing for safety. Now, parents are looking for other areas to safeguard, and the toys our children play with is a major area that could use some improvement.
We’ve all heard about classic toys from when our parents were little that were decorated with lead-based paint and caused health issues for children, and first-generation electrical gadgets that caught fire, or blocks that were small enough to cause a choking hazard. It is remarkable how much parents must consider when choosing the right toys for their little ones, and luckily, Rolly’s Baby Boutique has decided to offer its expertise on the safest, most mentally stimulating toys on the market.
“We take a lot of care in curating things, especially for infants to two-year-olds,” said owner Melanie Barbee. “There are so many things that are not appropriate for the youngest children, yet parents would be surprised how some of the smallest things can really stimulate their child’s learning and development. We try at Rolly’s very hard to find the kind of toys that are safe, stimulating and interactive for the child and parent, and just plain fun!”
Melanie and her team knew they needed to bring in an expert in this product area. “To find these kind of toys, we met a wonderful woman, Peggy Green, who spent her entire career helping children develop and learn,” said Melanie. “She came into our store as a customer and has become an invaluable friend and consultant for us. Peggy helps us choose age-appropriate toys, as well as teaching our families and our staff how to use those toys to play, and stimulate a child’s development. We have a variety of blocks, which Peggy loves for children of all ages, and puppets, which can be so helpful in teaching a child vocabulary and conversation. While the child may not speak a lot of words in the beginning, Peggy says, a parent talking to a puppet, then a puppet talking to a child will soon result in a child talking to the puppet and then to the parent—a full circle of conversation with a fun, easy-to-love puppet friend!”
Rolly’s is a great place to find that perfect birthday present! Specializing in unique toys and gifts, Melanie strives to offer classic items that will last for many years of play! “We have lots of classic wooden toys made in the United States that can bring hours of playtime to a child, and can become keepsake, heirloom-type toys for life,” Melanie stated. Many of these wooden items can even be personalized for an extra-special gift. “Janet LaRowe of Laffndog’s Whimsey is our very own talented artist that works at Rolly’s. She takes our wonderful wooden toys and chairs, and paints them personally for our customers. Wooden toys last forever, so why not make them personal to the child for an heirloom gift? We have wonderful little push toys—carts and prams that children love to fill with stuff’ and push all over the house. Janet has personalized so many—she even made one look like their daddy’s race car that the child and family will have forever. We had one child who loved cars and airplanes. Little Lewis had his cart painted with an airplane flying the ‘Lewis’ flag behind it!” One of Rolly’s customers was a big fan of princesses, so Janet painted a crown and wand on a cart, so she could push her dolls around the house in style!
“Janet just loves children, and for her to be able to make their toys come alive with her art is a wonderfully unique gift for a birthday or anytime,” said Melanie.
Rolly’s classic rocking chair is truly a gift that will last a lifetime! “Children love their own little chair, and we have Troutman Rocking Chairs from Troutman, NC, that are just the right size for little ones,” said Melanie. “Janet takes the rockers and personalizes them specifically to the desires of the gift-giver. She paints their names, and then anything from butterflies to trains are painted to make the rocker fun for the child. She even painted Danish flowers on two girls’ birthday rockers because the mother was Danish and wanted her children to learn part of their heritage in this heirloom piece.”
The next time you struggle to find that perfect gift for a friend or family member, let Melanie and her team of experts do the hard work for you! You’ll come away with a lasting, safe product every time!