Pedagogy Toys to offer art & science classes for kids at River Market

New Westminster toy store Pedagogy Toys has been saved from closing thanks to a show of support from the community and a well-timed offer of skookum new digs in River Market at the Quay. Like so many other New West parents, I'm a fan of Pedagogy Toys, and so I wanted to find out more from owner Karen Smecher about the move from Sapperton to the Quay. Karen kindly agreed to answer a few questions via email:

River Market's Mark Shieh and Pedagogy Toys' Karen Smecher make the agreement official. Karen hopes to open the new Pedagogy Toys in River Market in early 2011. Photo: Pedagogy Toys
River Market's Mark Shieh and Pedagogy Toys' Karen Smecher make the agreement official. Karen hopes to open the new Pedagogy Toys in River Market in early 2011. Photo: Pedagogy Toys

New Westminster toy store Pedagogy Toys has been saved from closing thanks to a show of support from the community and a well-timed offer of skookum new digs in River Market at the Quay. Like so many other New West parents, I’m a fan of Pedagogy Toys, and so I wanted to find out more from owner Karen Smecher about the move from Sapperton to the Quay. Karen kindly agreed to answer a few questions via email:

How will the ‘new’ Pedagogy be different from the ‘old’? (or will it?)

Pedagogy will be better, it will be bigger and housed with like minded businesses in a fantastic setting. We will have the same retail features in a larger space which will allow as to branch out into larger products. In addition we will have a full classroom where Pedagogy Art will host Kim Chiem (registered art therapist) to work her magic on children of all ages. In addition we are going to have science drop-in classes and seasonal workshops for children. We are also launching fantasy Birthday Parties and this is just the beginning!

You said before that you planned to close the store. What changed your mind?

Since the news went out that we were scheduled to close, we have had such an overwhelming response from the community that it fully recharged my solar panels. Further more after being approached by Mark Shieh of River Market, we knew that here was a great opportunity to bring more into the community and Craig and I decided that we had to make it work!

When will you open the new store at River Market?

We hope to open Pedagogy Toys in Mid January and Pedagogy Arts in February. (fingers crossed)

On another note, have you got any tips for parents on what to buy their kids this Christmas?

Since children are very specific as to what they like at different ages all I can recommend to parents is:

1- Always look to see where the product is made,

2- Look for certification such as C E (stands for European Conformity meaning that a product in one of the controlled product categories cannot legally be sold in the EU unless it has passed the tests to receive the CE marking.) European standard EN 71 specifies safety requirements for toys. Compliance with the standard is legally required for all toys sold in the European Union. ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials. CHPA – Canadian market toys standard and ISO – Australian market toys standard

3- Be aware of the recent report concerning PVC levels in toys, primarily branded lines. These companies spend all their money on the brand and very little on the quality of materials.

4- MOST important, if you like the toy, you are drawn to it and it engages you, then you will spend more time playing and communicating with the most important people in your life.

Pedagogy toys will be open in Sapperton during the Christmas season, at 424 East Columbia St., in New Westminster. You’re also welcome to join us for our Tenth to the Fraser Exclusive Shopping Night at Pedagogy Toys, Saturday, Nov. 20 from 7-9pm.

If you haven’t been to Pedagogy, this video made by BCIT Magazine might give you an idea of what kind of toy store to expect:

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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