Holiday Hacks by Hammer And Jack's

What better way to get a boost of shopping confidence than to go over a few key points from someone who knows the toy scene!

I had the opportunity to chat with the owner of Hammer & Jacks, Jillian Sevick,  one of Portland's hottest neighborhood toy stores, where she has beautifully curated a selection of gifts from new to classic & local to earth friendly! Here modern store front has a genius design to have the front space for shopping and the back space a play area/party rental -- she really has an knack for knowing what the families in the area need.

I was able to get some much needed tips and tricks for the upcoming season of gift giving and I am so happy to be able to share with my readers:

What are some great toy options this year?
"I'm a fan of the dustless chalk & booklets by Jaq Jaq, they're perfect for travel or at home. Magna-Tiles have been popular the last couple seasons and they have just come out with new styles. Bikes, trikes and balance bikes are a great option for kids. A gift that gets them building or crafting is a great choice, Kid Make Modern has some good selections that would fit nicely into a stocking. Those are just a few."

Any tips for making a successful shopping trip with children?
"Shop in pairs; that way one adult can be entertaining the kids while the other shops, and then switch out so the other has a chance to shop. Also, my favorite quality toy stores, including Hammer and Jacks, will have a small play area to entertain children as well as try out new toys until the shopping is done."

What is a 'safe' gift when you're unsure of what interests the kids might have?
"Books are always appreciated... and balloons.
Another popular idea that is always in season would be to stick to science and educational toys; such as building blocks, musical instruments, telescopes & microscopes. A really good one won't make kids feel like they're learning, yet will fully engage them into the experience through play."

What are great gifts for the whole family to enjoy?
"Board games are great at bringing people together. Also any game requiring skill, such as the Haylo Jitter Ring or a 3D Labrynth; it's not long before everyone is taking a turn!"

Anything to be mindful of while selecting a gift?
"Pay attention to the recommended's what you can expect the average child of that age can do on their own for a reasonable amount of time.
So if you know a gift is going to be for the child to play with on their own be sure to follow the age suggestion; however if there will be parent supervision to guide them along then take that into consideration when referring to the recommended age."

What is currently your favorite toy?
"Balloons! Never underestimate the fun of bringing a balloon bouquet to a party."

Any other thoughts for the holiday season?
"Remember that shopping for gifts should be an enjoyable experience for all, so try not to let the stress get to you. Try to mix a little shopping with sightseeing or other favorite holiday activities."

How great are those tips!! I definitely have a fresh perspective on my gift giving this year. Thanks so much to the wonderful woman behind Hammer & Jacks! I recommend a trip to this fun loving store if you're around Portland Oregon; or you can check out the website at Hammer and Jacks and also find her on social media, Instagram.

This interview was paraphrased by the interviewer, Laura Harris. Thank you for stopping by!

And if you are in need of some holiday inspired outdoor gear head over to my Shop or Instagram for the best canvas bags and hats!


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