Shopping For Little Ones This Holiday Season? Check Out These 6 Virginia Toy Stores

By Aila Boyd

December 14, 2022

To find out which independent toy stores around the commonwealth have the widest selections of fun and educational items, check out our list of 6 independent toy stores in Virginia for the perfect gift for kids (or kids at heart).

It can be difficult to find the perfect presents for the little ones in your life who have it all. Luckily, there are a number of independent toy stores in Virginia that have items that are sure to go over as well as if Santa himself had picked them out.

Doodlehopper 4 Kids

Location: Falls Church

Doodlehopper 4 Kids bills itself as “your one stop kid shop for toys, books, and baby gifts.” 

If you aren’t sure what’s popular this year, the store has a hot items list. 

Squishmallows, a line of plush toys, is on this year’s list. Winston, a teal owl with a fanny pack, is just one of the many Squishmallows characters. OMG! Pop Fidgety fidget toys are another hot item. The fidget toys come in different styles, including unicorns and dinosaurs. 

For the inquisitive child in your life, consider getting an educational toy, like the Mega Cyborg Hand. Kids fill up over 200 plastic pieces and piston tubes to generate hydraulic power to simulate the movements of a human hand. It helps teach hydraulics, pneumatics, and robotics.  

Imaginations Toy and Furniture Co. 

Shopping For Little Ones This Holiday Season? Check Out These 6 Virginia Toy Stores
The staff at Imaginations Toy Furniture Co likes offering toy suggestions so dont be afraid to ask what the hot toys are for 2022<br>Courtesy of Imaginations Toy Furniture Co

Location: Blacksburg

Imaginations Toy and Furniture Co. “believes in the power of play to inspire imagination and creativity in kids of all ages.” 

The staff enjoys helping customers pick out the perfect book or toy, so don’t be afraid to ask for some guidance. 

For a kid who likes a bit of a challenge, pick up a Shashibo. While working the puzzle toy’s various shape combinations, kids learn creativity while reducing stress. If you’d prefer to buy a gift that will be trotted out year after year, check out the wide selection of toy advent calendars. 

If you know you won’t have time to wrap your purchase, go ahead and ask the staff to wrap it for you. It’s complimentary, so why not? 

Pufferbellies Toys & Books

Shopping For Little Ones This Holiday Season? Check Out These 6 Virginia Toy Stores
Pufferbellies Toys Books has a wide selection of childrens books <br>Courtesy of Pufferbellies Toys Books

Location: Staunton 

Pufferbellies Toys & Books specializes “in bringing delight to families.” 

Considering that the store is co-owned by a former children’s librarian, it’s a great place to shop for the little bibliophile in your life. For a holiday-themed read, pick up a copy of Lego’s “12 Days of Christmas.” The book, which is ideal for ages 3 to 7, features a sprawling cast of merry guests, including festive robots and pirates. 

For a more active gift, check out one of the store’s bestsellers, including its selection of AirForts. The inflatable contraptions allow kids the fun of playing in forts without the disruption caused by blanket forts. 

The Toy Shoppe

Location: Richmond 

If you’re looking for a gift for a special child in your life, you likely can’t go wrong with a classic doll or teddy bear.

“We personally select each artist and present the very best contemporary dolls and bears,” the shoppe says. 

While Barbies are fun to play with, a limited-edition wooden German doll with a hand-painted face will surely be treasured for years to come.

If a doll isn’t of interest, perhaps a teddy bear will be. With such a wide variety of bears, ranging from Disney characters to Queen Elizabeth II, you’ll likely find at least one that will appeal to the child in question.  

Alakazam Toys

Location: Charlottesville 

Alakazam Toys “offers a wide selection of well designed, playable toys that inspire people of all ages to be creative and get silly.” 

The store follows a strict rubric when considering which toys to sell. The staff considers whether a toy is well designed, playable, inclusive, affordable and how it is made. 

Some of the brands that meet the store’s standards include Green Toys, Tenderleaf Toys, Plan Toys, Eco-kids, Haba, Tegu and Under the Nile. 

If you’re in need of a stocking stuffer that will surely please kids of all ages, pick up a jar or two of Dope Slimes. Current slime selections include gingerbread ice-cream, Christmas cookie dough, puffed peppermint swirl and polar flurry slime. Each slime smells like the name. 

Child’s Play!

Shopping For Little Ones This Holiday Season? Check Out These 6 Virginia Toy Stores
The staff picks section at Childs Play is a good place to look for thoughtful gift ideas <br>Courtesy of Childs Play

Location: Arlington and McLean

Child’s Play! believes “in the right toys at the right time.” 

The store would prefer customers to buy a single quality toy that will provide years of play rather than a number of disposable toys. For that reason, the store says it puts a lot of thought into the brands it carries.

Some of the brands you will find at Child’s Play! include Haba, Ravensburger, Thames & Kosmos, and Plan Toys. 

If you’re overwhelmed by all of the options, ask the staff to recommend a thoughtful toy or book. One of the staff picks for ages 4-7 is the preschool puzzle game Three Little Piggies. For older children, ages 10 and up, the staff recommends the cooperative game Forbidden Island. 

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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