Wonderfuntastical Toy Blog

  1. Here Comes Cupid!

    Here Comes Cupid!

    Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. The pink and red decorations make my heart soar. Don't get me started on the rows and rows heart shaped boxes, filled with delectable chocolates, that line stores' shelves! And the smell of roses in the air literally makes my toes curl with delight...I can't get enough of this lovely holiday! I'm that neighbor on your street with the enormous Valentine flag hanging off her porch, a Valentine garden flag planted squarely in the front yard, red felt heart garlands decorating the gutters, and red fairy lights strung on the trees. Like I said, I LOVE Valentine's Day! 

    As far back as I can remember, every year on February 14th the Valentine's Day Fairy, best friend of Cupid, visited our house. The thrill of waking up and heading downstairs to see what that beautiful fairy left on our kitchen table is such a great memory. Of course, when my children were born, the tradition continued. Not only are the kids excited about passing out their carefully chosen V-day cards at school, they can't wait to find their sweet treats in the morning!

    Yes, I am aware that this kind of gift giving isn't anywhere close to a Christmas or a birthday, but it is something special to look forward to. Everyone I know adores getting little gifts, and on this special holiday, love is the key so there is no reason to go overboard. A plush animal, for example, is perfect paired with candy. I'm thinking this year I will give my oldest daughter, the one who doesn't care for chocolate and is obsessed with all things funky, a bag of Jelly Belly Conversation Beans and a Raspberry Ripple Pom Pom plush. For the animal loving kid in your family, I'd suggest a Caticorn and a small box of chocolates.

    The Valentine's Day Fairy has dozens of treats up her sleeve, but if she needs ideas, Wonder Works is the place to visit. A Magic Maker is always happy to help! Stop by today and check out Romeo, the newest holiday Beanie Boo. This little guy is a sure bet for little loves! The teen and tween crowd isn't a problem for the clever fairy, Amethyst Blush or Strange Attractor Thinking Putty and a bag of Bean Boozled jelly beans certainly make a unique gift! Be creative, have fun, and let that love shine through!

    Happy Valentine's Day y'all!

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  2. Birthday Bin Bliss

    Birthday Bin Bliss

    Your child comes home from school, grabs a quick snack, blows a kiss, and he's off again. It's our jobs as parents to sort out priorities for the rest of the afternoon into the evening hours, and we do this by first sorting out the mess that is spilled from backpacks and messenger bags, thrown from little shoulders onto the closest piece of furniture. At least 2-3 times a month, a colorful envelope with a name scrawled across the front catches a parent's eye. Oh yes, we know what that magical message contains...a classmate's birthday invitation. We check our kitchen calendars, call the number to RSVP, and double-check the invite for a theme for the upcoming celebration. 

    Sounds so easy, doesn't it? If you're lucky, the birthday invitation will give a hint as to what the perfect gift to shop for will be...but many times, it's not quite so clear. When my youngest was in 2nd grade, she was invited to a 'Vampire Princess' Party at James Island County Park. I've always prided myself on gift giving, but I was at a total loss. Vampires? Princesses? Of course when I asked my daughter what she thought the birthday girl would like, the answer she gave me was "Ruby really likes ballet and zebras." Wow, now what?

    If this scenario sounds familiar, Wonder Works has the solution. How does a physical gift registery, neatly stacked in your local toy store, with the birthday boy/girl's name and party date written clearly on the front of a toy-filled container sound? Pure bliss...am I right? Yes I am, because I feel the same way.

    No questions, no guess-work - the perfect solution to those invitations your child receives from pre-k all the way through middle school. Here's how it works: Come into our West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, or Kiawah stores 3 weeks before the birthday party, ask a Magic Maker for a Birthday Bin, and kids can take their time filling their bins with all the toys that make birthday dreams come true. Once the bin is full, Wonder Works takes care of the rest. 30 paper invitations heading to school tomorrow? Just ask a Magic Maker, and we will give you "I have a birthday bin at Wonder Works stickers" for each and every one.

    Like I said, absolutely no guess work on what to buy for your child's classmate or new best friend. Friends and family who visit our stores to shop directly from a child's birthday bin receive 10% off, and parents are given a coupon for 15% their entire birthday purchase! If that wasn't enough cause for celebration, Wonder Works also gives the birthday boy/girl a free cupcake token from Cupcake (Belle Hall or King St. locations) and a super-duper coupon for $20.00 to spend on anything in the store!! And of course, as always, gift wrap is always complimentary! 

    Shop your local Wonder Works, and leave your birthday worries behind! Come see us today!

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  3. Whining in a Winter Wonderland

    Whining in a Winter Wonderland

    Yesterday, around 4:00 in the afternoon, I received a phone call. Let me be a bit more clear: it's the kind of call that every parent dreads. My heart froze as I stared at the number glowing on my cell, knowing full well who it was, and I was tempted to just let it ring. I didn't want to face whatever awful news was about to befall me, but I also knew the caller would leave a long, detailed message if I didn't answer. I slowly swiped the glowing green handset on my cell's screen, took a long shaky breath, and waited. Hearing no voice on the other line, I tentatively whispered "Yes?"

    Suddenly, a nauseatingly cheerful, pre-recorded voice started to speak..."Hello, this is the Charleston County School District calling to let parents and students know that due to inclement weather, school will not resume until Tuesday, January 9th. Have a pleasant evening."

    Wait...what?? There was only one more day left of winter break, and this happens?! 

    My four kids have been out of school for two weeks already, five more days could really be the end of me, both emotionally and mentally. Don't get me wrong, my children are my world and I love them more than anything. It's not that I don't enjoy the endless housework, the constant trips to the grocery store (3-4 gallons of milk a week - it's like liquid gold to teens), and the mounds of dirty dishes stacked precariously in the kitchen sink, a result of round the clock eating and snacking that defines the life of a growing teenager.

    A dozen or so blankets had been dragged all over the house for 2 weeks now; I told the kids if I found one more comforter under my dining room table, I was going to retreat to my bedroom indefinitely. Most likely hiding under the bed with a bottle of "nerve tonic" and my alternative 80's mix blasting from an ancient ipod. Everyone in the house laughed, thinking I was kidding. I wasn't.

    I needed some me time in a quiet house, knowing the kids would be at school for a solid 8 hours of peace and cleanliness. This has to be some cruel joke. I bet Pam from book club decided it was my turn for a prank phone call. Yes, yes. That's what happened, it was all a joke.

    Logging onto my FB account, I started seeing all of the status updates from other desperate parents. Letting go of the final shred of hope was hard. I finally had to admit to myself that Pam couldn't have pranked everyone on my friend list. She isn't even that funny, or clever, no way could she have pulled an extended winter break trick the night before the kids were due back in class. Right? Or could she....ok, enough about her, time for me to accept the icy hard truth. Charleston was facing the first major snowfall in decades, and there was nothing any of us parents could do about it.

    I stared out the window, my whining inner voice escalating into a high pitched squeal, when the snow began to fall.

    Born and raised in West Virginia, my mother moved my sisters and me to South Carolina when I was 17. My absolute favorite childhood memories are the ones involving snow - roaring fires, sledding in the park, making snow angels with my friends, and the feeling of pure joy when a perfect snowball hits its intended target. I didn't realize how absorbed in those memories I actually was until my cheeks started hurting from the enormous grin on my face, and I felt a tear slide down my cheek. In that moment, it hit me that I could give my children those same memories. We live in the south, and there are huge snow flakes quickly covering everything in sight. A cruel joke or a beautiful miracle?

    I had a choice to make: live in this lovely moment with my family, or feel sorry for myself for not having enough quiet time.

    I'll have plenty of quiet time when my babies leave for college, start their careers, and have families of their own. This wacky weather I was witnessing was an opportunity to give my family a gift. The gift of sharing two perfect snowy days, together, full of the beauty of icicles and the cackling laughter of a good snowball fight. This wintry wonderland may never make it back down this way again, but the memories will be with us forever. In just minutes, we were out the door, thankful for the blessing of this unexpected wonder.

    Be thankful and live in the moment, never underestimate the power of a childhood memory. I'm so glad I didn't, and so is my family.

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  4. An Unbreakable Bond

    An Unbreakable Bond

    At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all had a favorite stuffed animal that we would never let go of. You would sleep with it, eat with it, and take it everywhere you went. It brought you a certain sense of comfort and security. It would help keep you safe when things went bump in the night, and keep you entertained for hours on end while you let your imagination run wild. Personally, mine was a stuffed dog that I got when I was three. His given name was Patches, but of course I decided to call him “Softy and Fuzzy.” Softy and Fuzzy was my best pal! I took him to daycare, to the park, on road trips, you name it. I grew up with him. The sentimental value that this little stuffed dog holds is indescribable. I still have Softy and Fuzzy to this day, and he reminds me of so many of the joyous moments of my childhood.

    Douglas creates the most cuddly, snuggly, soft, and ADORABLE plush animals! They make the perfect comfort tool for little ones and can grow with your child throughout the years. There's an unbreakable bond between and child and their favorite stuffed animal. With all different types of animals and a range of sizes to choose from, there’s a Douglas plush for every tiny tot! Whether they’re having fun and creating memories or just need a hug, their cuddly plush will be there for them. A Douglas plush can truly become a best friend for life.

    Stop by your local Wonder Works to find your new furry friend today!

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  5. New Year, New You?

    New Year, New You?

    So we are officially 4 days away from 2018, and I haven't even thought of a resolution for the new year. I've decided that this year, I'm not going to worry about it. Deciding on resolutions, and sticking to them, is stressful...and I'm not going to put myself through it. My 2018 resolution is to not make a resolution. Just writing it down makes me feel a whole heck of a lot better, it's like a weight has been lifted from my exhausted shoulders. There is a method to the madness in my anti-resolution thinking this year, just let me explain.

    Life for a parent is hectic enough without the added pressure of making ourselves promises we may or may not keep. Different from a goal, a promise truly hurts when we break it. Whether to ourselves or our loved ones, a broken promise can break a heart in two.

    Goals are a step by step, gradual progress we choose to reach for on a daily basis. They can change yearly, monthly, or even daily.

    Goals drop out of the sky when we aren't looking, land on our shoulders, and whisper encouraging words to reach for the brass ring. A resolution is a promise we make ourselves on only one day of the year, the first day of the year, that we feel we must keep for the next 365 days. No mistakes, no missteps. No thanks. Resolutions shout at us if they are ignored, or heaven forbid, totally forgotten. I'll take a personal goal over a personal resolution this year, and every year after.

    Try my anti-resolution movement this year, breathe easier, and keep your eyes on the prize. The prize being an unexpected goal knocking on your door, not an unattainable, forced promise we feel that's expected. Monday morning, as you eat your black-eyed peas, remember to breathe, embrace happiness, and never give up. Look for the magic in the coming year - all you have to do is look for it.

    Happy New Year!

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  6. The Perfect Pet for Under the Tree

    The Perfect Pet for Under the Tree

    Picture this: You’re 6 years old again. It’s Christmas morning. At the crack of dawn your eyes fly open and your heart starts pounding with excitement. “It’s time,” you think to yourself. You hardly slept the night before but you’ve never felt more alert and awake. You’re hoping that Santa got your letter and that maybe, just maybe, he brought you what you’ve always wanted: an adorable furry friend. As you spring out of bed you don’t even bother changing out of your snowman pj’s. You race down the stairs and holiday fun ensues. There’s a blur of red and green wrapping paper as you’re opening one amazing gift after another. That’s when you see it: the Perfect Pet!

    Okay, back to reality. Pefect Petzzz are the perfect gift to put under the tree this Christmas! They give you all the same warm fuzzy feelings of a real puppy or kitty without the hassle! That’s right – no clean up, no vet bills, no torn-up couch cushions! 88 Unlimited offers a huge variety of different breeds of both puppy and kitty Perfect Petzzz. From Golden Retrievers and Yorkies to Black and White kittens and Orange Tabbies, there’s a Perfect Pet for everyone!

    Kids will get real pet ownership experience while learning compassion, nurturing, and responsibility. Perfect Petzzz are hand crafted with soft, synthetic fur. Their little bellies even move up and down as they sleep! Little ones will love snuggling up with their new best friend. Each Perfect Pet comes with their very own accessories: a bed, collar, brush, and an adoption certificate. What kid wouldn’t want to find one of these cuties snoozing under the tree this Christmas!?

    Shop the entire line below or find them at any of our 4 locations!

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