Thank you to ASTRA for sponsoring today's post about our neighborhood toy store! The kids and I love heading over to Learning Express in Lake Zurich our local toy store. It is a store that the kids enjoy spending time in and picking out their favorite toys. They carry high quality toys that you won't find in any of the big box stores.  I love that they have a lot of toys out for kid testing! Its a great way to see if kids will like a toy or not.

 They truly carry the best of the best and I usually discover something cool while I am in there that I would like to feature on TLSF. I am in love with the Zipit Bag.

Mia is currently immersed in the Rainbow Loom craze.  Learning Express is the Rainbow Loom Headquarters. Thankfully for me, we stopped into Learning Express on a Sunday when they were offering Rainbow Loom demonstrations. Mia was taught how to make a single loom bracelet in five minutes. She came home and was able to make them on her own! Kids can learn how to make a new rainbow loom design at one of the many classes that Learning Express offers.

Finding the best toys to buy kids for the Holiday season can be hard. The new “Best Toys for Kids 2013” list from the non-profit organization ASTRA helps make toy shopping even easier by providing parents with a go-to list of the year’s best new toys. The winning toys were selected by a pool of 650 experts. The winners were based on a toy's ability to promote open-ended creative play and This year, the list includes 21 toys for kids of all ages. We are sharing four of our favorite toys from the list with you today. Squigz are a big hit in our house! Both kids love using these little suckers for "Suction Construction". The best thing is they use their imagination and creativity while using Squigz.  They love squigz so much that they have used them in the bath tub! Zingo Sight Words is a fun fast paced game for kids in preschool to first grade that focuses on memory, reading skills and concentration.  My first grader loves to compete and playing Zingo has increased her reading speed. My kids love playing outside and RingStix is a fun variation on catch. It is fun to see them play together. Even at 4 years old Dylan is able to play with this toy. The kids are already planning to pack their RingStix in our suitcase when we head to Florida in a few weeks. They want to test it out on the beach!    Rainbow Fairy Wings help dress up take flight!  The elastic goes on shoulders and the there are loops at the edge of the wings to put on fingers so the wings are spread out.  The girls love to run around the house with the wings and fly.  The fabric floats behind them and encourages even more play.  is an online resource for parents interested in learning more about the best toys on the market and where to find them. Now through November 8th enter the "I heart my local toy store" sweepstakes.   Grand Prize is a Thomas & Friends™ vacation package at select all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.  Learn more on facebook and on twitter. To check out the full list of this year’s winners and find a local toy store near you, visit


Disclousure: This post is sponsored by ASTRA.  All opinions are honest and my own.