It's a hands-on experience at Skadoodle Toys

New Loomis shop has toys for all ages
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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With a new town hall, and now a toy store, things are looking up for the Taylor Road business district. Skadoodle Toys opened in February, taking over the empty retail space between the New Horseshoe Bar Grill and Loomis town hall, where staffers moved in last week. “I thought the community could use something like this,” said Kelly Warden, who owns the store with her husband, Sam. Last week, Kathy Bitner was visiting the store with her children Danielle, Jason and Hunter. Bitner said she’s happy her youngsters now have a place to buy toys with money they earn helping out at home. In researching inventory, Kelly Warden said she looked for toys that let kids use their imagination. “It’s all about hands-on fun,” she said. Few need batteries, because they’re mostly interactive toys. “We have quality educational, creative and heirloom toys,” Warden said. Many toys provide a nostalgic blast from the past, while others inspire creativity. The Fold & Go wooden barn comes with barn animals and play figures. “You can fold it up and take it with you,” Warden said. Kids can build, fire, garbage and tow trucks from kits with the Mighty Builders series of toys. Classics include wooden train whistles, Duncan yoyos, Pick Up Sticks, and beginner block sets. Zoomorphs includes miscellaneous animal parts so that kids build critters or create their own. “It’s a great imagination toy,” Warden said. Skadoodle carries toys in a wide range of prices, she said, that “fit every budget.” For a quarter, youngsters can buy mini-ladybugs and frogs. Kids can learn to tell time with the First-Time clock, and experiment with mixing instant snow or growing crystals with Test-Tube Wonders, a lab in a bag. Budding scientists can also keep track of ants in an ant farm or watch cocoons turn into butterflies in a butterfly garden. Root beer kits are also available for mixing homemade drinks. There are puzzles, arts and crafts, painting sets, and beading kits for all ages. Teenagers might like board games such as Farkle, a dice game, RummiKube and Beat the Parents. For adults, there are games such as Tantrics, a dice game. Charlotte Langston is vice president of the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce and owns Wild Chicken Coffee near Skadoodle Toys. “It really enhances the downtown area,” Langston said. “We have so many stores for adults, but not for kids. Now, they have a chance to do something.” With children ages 8 to 22, the Wardens have had plenty of experience in discovering what toys kids like. They have three children who attend H. Clarke Powers Elementary School. Before embarking on the store project, Kelly Warden had been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years. Her husband is a real estate appraiser based in Loomis. They moved from Morgan Hill four years ago. Last weekend the couple made their first trip to a toy show in Long Beach, and Warden said she expects to come back with great ideas for toys. “We’ll actually get to play with games, check them out, meet with vendor and get to know the vendors.” Warden said she planned to be “very hands-on” in checking out the toys. “The quality of the toys is my biggest importance,” she said. ----------------- SKADOODLE TOYS Address: 3667 Taylor Road, Loomis Phone: 652-8697 Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Owners: Kelly and Sam Warden Toys: For all ages. Birthday parties and registries. Free gift-wrapping.