Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Things are Poppin'

I'm interrupting the travelogue to post some current news. While it is always fun and games at the Golden Apple, it's time to get serious about back to school. August is a big month for teachers here, and we go in to overdrive getting ready. We are decking the halls - this year we have our wonderful employee Gayla engineering some masterpieces of the pushpin art! These are 3d extravaganzas that pop off the walls, and pictures don't do them justice! To view a gallery of our displays, click here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back Home

I have returned from my trip to Sweden, Latvia, Finland, Estonia and Germany. The most important discovery I made was how hard it is to post from other countries if you don't have a laptop! Sweden was easy, as I had access to a computer - a Mac even, but after Stockholm it was next to impossible. So over the next few posts I will sum up my entirely personal observations about the culture, kids and toy stores of the countries I visited. First stop Sweden - the above picture is from a store called Barnens Handelsbod, located in Vaxholm. This store is specialty toy store heaven. A small cute cottage on a cheery street. I'll tell you about it in my next post!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Imagination play

Sweden is the home of BRIO toys, and the toy stores that I have
visited this trip reflect the Swedish commitment to imaginative play
that BRIO proclaims. The four shops I explored (and one department
store) devoted almost all their space to building toys, dolls, dress-
up, kitchen play, puppets and outdoor play. Less than 5% of the toys
required batteries. In three of the stores, I watched as several
customers waited patiently while the lone worker wrapped gifts! I
found very few items that the Golden Apple does not carry, but much
broader selections of things like pots and pans, colored pencils,
marbles etc.

Sent from John's iPod

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Welcome to Sweden!

You know you are in a country that loves books when this greets you at the train station! Apparently the highest literacy rate in the world. I'm off to a good start!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


One thing I am looking forward to on my upcoming trip is touring via bicycle. European cities like Stockholm, Berlin and Helsinki have very extensive bike routes and facilities. As a bike commuter here in the US, I am curious to find out for myself how safe and easy it is to get around these bike-friendly cities.
In the store, we are promoting bike riding by offering the Skuut. This is a balance bike that helps kids get ready for bike riding. It has air-inflated tires and a "real bike" feel, but no pedals. If you want to start a child on a healthy way to see the world, stop in a check out the Skuut.