NI4Kids features Little Citizens Success in Spring Issue
posted on May 22 2018
Recently NI4KIDS met up with Little Citizens to share the news of being named Second Best Toy Store in the UK, after Hamleys.
We're so grateful for NI4Kids our local publication covering all thing family in the region. Their what's on guide is simply the best and in their Spring issue they featured us! It's really a great honour as the little publication has a huge distribution and goes in the school bag of all the children in Northern Ireland. Thank you NI4Kids for sharing our news.
Beating Harrods, Lego and Disney is an honour we can all celebrate. Our small town competing with the big guys! Yeah. Here's an excerpt from the article:
NI4Kids: What do you love about my job?
My absolute favourite thing is being surrounded by the world’s most creative people: kids. And the designers who make toys for them, they are really creative too. We are constantly wowed by the beauty and ingeniousness of the toys that arrive in store. We love introducing kids to toys that expand their imagination.
One of my favourite things is the Little Citizens community, our customers are new parents and grandparents who are so thrilled to find us. We love to take on suggestions as what we want to build its a useful resource for families. Over the years we have had so many wonderful conversations. We have researched into parenting and discussed topics in our store and on our blog that touch each and every one of us.
For example new parents will discover that play is really, really important. Studies tells us that free play is one of the most effective ways to build resiliency in a child, that we need to encourage their own independent form of play. The best toys are 10% toy and 90% child. Kids need to lear to rely on themselves, they need to get bored and walk through the pain of it— on the other side is more play, the rewards are immense. It’s the difference between raising an independent child capable of managing themselves and raising a child who gets frustrated when something goes wrong in their day. We desperately need resilient children so that they can deal with the challenges ahead. Our world is full of distractions, so we’re interested in raising little citizens to embrace collaboration, creativity and innovation. We like to think we’re helping to raise the next generation of problem solvers.
I also love the challenges inherent in running a business. It’s not easy, we are in an incredibly competitive retail market but luckily we offer personal recommendations and research that helps parents make buying decisions. That helps us stand apart from the crowd.We sell toys but we also have an incredibly active blog reporting on childhood trends and bring interesting stories to parents. I think we’re connecting with a new style of parenting. Families these days consider more carefully what they bring home for their children to play with. Just like they care about the quality of food they feed their babies, modern families are starting to care again about what toys are made of and how will they benefit a child.
NI4Kids: How do you go about picking top toy trends for children?
We love to research and discover toys from all over the world. We especially look for things that feel fresh or have the hand of an artists or illustrator. Something parents will love to have in their home and something that they’ll keep in their families for generations. We strongly believe in less is more and have a few questions we ask ourselves to evaluate if this toy is Little Citizens approved. We consider:
Will they play with it more than once?
Will it stand the test of time?
Does it appeal to different age groups?
Can it be played with in more ways than one?
Does it make your heart go boom, boom, boom?
NI4Kids: What’s the secret of your success?
I think the secret to our success is our customers, who help us grow by recommending us to their friends and family. I also think people really enjoy the personal touch, being able to visit our store and ask us for suggestions. People appreciate our customised party bags and our gift wrap service. We’re also happy to pass on our shipping rates so often will ship the item directly from the store. Which takes the pain out of shipping gifts for a lot of people. They usually go away really happy, job done and come back to tell us how much their kids, friends or family have loves and played with the toys.
NI4Kids: Why do you think there is now a resurgence of traditional toys for 2018 and what’s great about it?
There is a resurgence because luckily people realise we should cherish what is great from our past. I would say these aren’t trendy retro toys they are classic and will always inspire play no matter what year. We can continue to innovate and evolve and new amazing toys will appear like our Coding Fit Bit The Mover by Tech Will Save Us but a tin wind-up toy will always capture the imagination helping us to wonder how something like it turns and why are we so enamoured by it. What’s great about it is that toys and play help us stay young, curious and always changing. I would go as far as to say they help a child gain a Growth Mindset which is the best lasting skill for success in the future.
Check out NI4KIDS May issue to read the full interview and for lots of fun things to do with the little ones!