Play Time

Kids are much more sophisticated these days. They’ve got cell phones and Facebook accounts and know how to use computers better than some of us do. But you’ve got a trick up your sleeve to help you find toys that will impress even their urbane tastes this holiday season: Whoops! and Co. Co-owner Missy Stein says lots of customers come in wondering what playthings to buy children of all ages.

“It takes a lot to impress a child,” says Stein. “What we offer are good, quality toys that encourage creative play.”

 

But it doesn’t just stop at the young set: Whoops! and Co. has board games and other artsy, creative kits that the whole family can share and enjoy together. Perusing some of the board games made me nostalgic for when my family and I would play these, too. Stein says this is very common; customers frequently comment about fond memories of playing the classic games they carry, like Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, chess, cribbage, and other board and card games.

The store, which opened in August 2009, has a very homey, neighborhood feel with its Sequoya Commons location, and the next-door businesses don’t hurt, either: Whoops! and Co. is flanked by Nutzy Mutz & Crazy Cats, The Chocolate Shoppe and the Sequoya branch of the Madison Public Library. Can you say kid’s paradise?

Classic candies Pop Rocks, Zotz, Razzles and Chick-o Sticks, among others, are small indulgences for tots and parents.

Stein says that currently customers are loving their magnetic toys for all ages, family board games and other games that develop memory and coordination skills. Riding the wave of the eco-friendly craze, Stein says that their toys and pastimes are meant to last—something that’s a welcome change from the disposable ’80s and ’90s. And if you’re unsure of what to buy, “Our staff is all trained on all of the games,” adds Stein.

So even though Whoops! and Co. infuses everyone with a little nostalgia, supporting a local business and    buying made-to-last gifts is a very “now” concept. And if afterward we can get a scoop of ice cream next door, sign me up.

Whoops! and Co.

Price range: $.25–$150

Owner’s Picks: Mogo bracelet with magnet charms, $4.49–$13.99; Magfomers building blocks, $34.99–$74.99; Magna-Tiles 3-D magnetic building tiles, $52.99–$120; Out of the Box Backseat Drawing game, $25.99.

“We call this our ‘party tower’—parents can pick items for birthday parties, grab bags or stocking stuffers,” notes Stein.Editor’s Picks: It’s All About Me book, $16.95; Jeezle Pete’s Triviathon board game, $29.99; Scientific Explorer Pamper Your Dog kit, $19.99; Peaceable Kingdom princess kit, $4.99.

Verdict:

This thoroughly enjoyable shop has a perfect blend of neighborhood charm, yet has an exciting selection of toys a big-city boutique store would carry in a well-edited, thoughtful collection.

Whoops! and Co., 555 S. Midvale Blvd. 236-4555. Whoopsandco.com

Read Miller's weekly Window Shopping blog here!

Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine. 

Read more Window Shopping columns here.

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