Holiday Gifts from Tag Along Toys

Throughout the month of November we're offering our readers some ideas on where to get great gifts for the holidays. Today we're highlighting our favourite local Toy store - Tag Along Toys!

What is Tag Along Toys?

Tag Along Toys has two locations - one in Kanata (499 Terry Fox Dr) and one in the Blue Heron Mall (1500 Bank Street Ottawa). They carry unique quality items with a great selection of fun and educational toys and games. Tag Along prides themselves on their customer service and they offer free gift wrapping on all purchases. Also, receive 20% off on the last Thursday of each month for grandparents' day and 10% off to teachers and educators. 

They have gifts perfect for infants through to adults, expectant moms to tweens. They even carry adult 1000 to 5000 piece puzzles!

What are some great gift ideas you can find at Tag Along Toys?

Tag Along Toys has science sets, crafts, construction toys, puzzles, board games, Schleich animals and play sets, easels, scooters, and Our Generation dolls and accessories - just to name a few.

I took my kids into Tag Along Toys and asked them to each go and find a few of the things they might like to bring home with them. I suggested they find family type activities and I quickly had a pile of all kinds of options to choose from (and I'll give it to them, MOST of them were good options for the entire family!)

What did we walk out with?

We got two family board games - 5 Second Rule (which we had to adapt a bit for the 7 year olds because it was difficult) and Apples to Apples. Both are a lot of fun for us to play as a family, and have also been really educational. We get a chance to explain new vocabulary, ideas, and talk about all kinds of topics that come up with the games. There may have also been some uncontrollable giggles when we were playing Apples to Apples. :)

I know we'll be back before Christmas because I have a puzzle lover, a science enthusiast and a kid who is looking for a new doll and some crafts. Plus did you see the child-safe nail polish advent calendar? *swoon*.


If you're looking for a great local toy store to buy different, fun and educational toys for the kids of all ages in your life - check out one of Tag Along Toys' stores (or shop online). BONUS? They offer free gift wrapping all year round.

Make sure to enter our giveaway - one of the prizes is a $50 gift certificate to Tag Along Toys!

*This post is part of a paid Holiday Gift Campaign.

Toys Your Children Will Play With

I've never been a great housekeeper - I keep my home clean (i.e. I try to keep up with the dirt, spills and crumbs), but I don't do so well when it comes to clutter. And clutter is what seems to happen once you have children. It starts slowly - family will buy your child gifts, because hey, it's fun to buy for children. Before you know it your child is being invited to birthday parties and handed bags full of small plastic things that you step on when it's 11 p.m. at night and you're trying to find your way to the bedroom. The mountain of toys begins to pile up and soon you're feeling overwhelmed.

Toy box

Chances are, your child is feeling overwhelmed too. Kids enjoy structure and order as any adult would, and they'll often play with toys that are in view, as opposed to the ones in the overflowing bins (the bins that were actually meant to organize your stuff in the first place).

Recently I'd had enough, and filled several big boxes full of toys that I knew my girls didn't play with. I took time to observe them in their play, and noted what they actually used.  The rest were donated to Value Village. The lists below are obviously individual and will depend on your child, so leave a comment and tell me what your family can't do without!


  • Books: I realize these aren't exactly "toys" but they do take up a lot of space in playrooms and bedrooms. Choose books for the quality of their writing and graphics, and regularly purge the ones your child doesn't read.
  • Crafts: playdough, markers, paper etc. We've got several craft drawers full of stuff my girls can access whenever they want. Paints are kept up higher so that I have control over when these are brought out


  • Play kitchen with fake food
  • Cash register
  • Child's camera
  • Dress-up clothes
  • Blocks, Lego, and other stacking toys
  • Vehicles: cars, trucks, trains, tractors etc.
  • Dolls
  • Dollhouse
  • Cards and games (only if parents make a point of playing!)
  • Outdoor or indoor sports/active equipment


I find these are the toys that come out whenever we have guests over. Other children are good at looking through bins and finding things your child hasn't played with in a long time. It's debatable whether you keep these ones around the house!

  • Anything with batteries
  • Anything that makes noise
  • Ride-on toys (bicycles not included)
  • Children's tents
  • Year's "hottest" toy that you bought on a whim
  • Plastic crap - this includes all random plastic figurines, jewelry, Barbie accessories

What would you add to these lists?

Curvy Board: Waldorf-inspired toys

If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know that my dear husband has spent this last year as a stay-at-home dad, taking care of our girls and working towards an electrical apprenticeship. But what I may not have mentioned is that he is also a very talented woodworker. He's recently had some requests from friends to create several Waldorf-inspired toys - toys that are made from natural materials, aimed to inspire imagination, active play and are aesthetically pleasing (we all know how nice a handmade doll is compared to a hard plastic doll!) One toy that's been requested is a curvy board (or Waldorf Rocker Board). This is a piece of wood that's been bent (actually, it's many layers of plywood glued together), and can be used for balancing, rocking, sliding, and climbing. We've already found another use for it as a puppet theatre:

curvy board1

But of course, climbing is always fun:

curvy board2


It's hard to find toys that children will use again and again, and even harder to find something that's eco friendly! The curvy board seems to fit these criteria, and I'm really excited hubby has gotten into making toys - it feels like we have Santa in the house! :)

curvy board3

Tom's currently taking orders for curvy boards ($120 each), and you can contact him via his Facebook Page.

Tell me, what's the one toy your kids play with all the time?

Welcome back, Tag Along Toys! (Sponsor)

by Karen We're so excited to have Tag Along Toys back with us on Kids in the Capital. For a few reasons:

  1. TOYS!
  2. Patti Taggart, the owner, is so smart and fabulous with kids - her stores are amazing. (Yes, I said storeS - more on that soon.)
  3. We get to talk about Frozen - and who out there does not have a little one who loves Elsa and Anna? (Okay, probably some do. I'm not one of them!)
  4. Did I mention toys? (The gift-giving marathon is just around the corner!)

Before Patti started Tag Along Toys, she was an early childhood educator (ECE). She's still teaching other ECEs and using her knowledge to provide parents a place to go where their kids can get tools to play, be creative, and learn. I could spend hours just looking. I am not even kidding. I go to Tag Along regularly without Brandon so I can. ;)

Brandon-Elsa-AnnaNow for some exciting news. Just 3 months ago, Patti opened up a second location for Tag Along at Blue Heron Mall on Bank Street. This weekend, she's invited the lovely Elsa and Anna to come to the store and hang out with your kids. My son turned into a little shy guy at the Kanata store last weekend when he saw them. :)

Additionally, Patti would like to give Kids in the Capital readers a special gift for coming in.

Tag Along Toys 15% off

Just tell them we sent you!

Connect with Tag Along Toys

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Visit Tag Along Toys

Signature Centre, Kanata
499 Terry Fox Dr Monday &,Tuesday 9:30-5:30
613-270-TOYS (8697) Wednesday-Friday 9:30- 9:00
Saturday 9:30-6:00
Sunday 11:00-5:00
NEW LOCATION!!! Blue Heron Mall
1500 Bank Street Monday-Wednesday 9:30-5:30
613-738-8697 Thursday & Friday 9:30- 9:00
Saturday 9:30-5:30
Sunday 11:00-4:30

Anytime is #GameTime with Mattel

Game on! Mattel challenged Kids in the Capital to surprise friends and family with a game time moment. They provided me with some new games and a Game On buzzer and encouraged me to play. I am so excited about this promotion - promoting games and playing is perfect for me and my family. My kids are 5 and 3.5 and games provide the opportunity not just to play, but to learn.

The day I received the games I eagerly opened the box, thinking of all the fun we could have. Could I invite friends over to play a game of Apples to Apples? What about bringing Uno with me to my parent's house? Unfortunately our whole house has been sick since we've had the games, so my game time moments haven't been very creative.  But you really should check out what Mattel did in a Canadian mall - playing Pictionary and surprising shoppers with prizes! (Check it out on YouTube)

Over here, us sickies have been playing our new games pretty much non stop. The games from Mattel are all rated for 7+ years but I can assure you that my kids were able to play along with most of them.

Bounce Off

Our absolute favourite has been Bounce Off. This game reminds me of a drinking game we used to play at the bar where you try and bounce a coin into your friend's beer. Basically there are two colours of balls and you have to bounce them onto the playing field and be the first to make a pattern. There are easy patterns and harder patterns. The kids had fun bouncing the balls all over the place. It's deceptively hard to create the patterns!

Bounce Off!

The other favourite around here is Uno.


I remember playing this with my family as a kid, and what I never considered back then, was how good this game was for teaching colours and number recognition. It also teaches taking turns, which isn't so easy when you're 3. With some gentle coaching we can have competitive games.


Apples to Apples and Mad Gab are a little beyond my kids at this point but I'll be sure to bring them out the next time we have friends over.

Apples to ApplesMad Gab

A big thank you to Mattel for our new games and for encouraging play. Anytime really is game time!

Game on!