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Want a different way to buy toys this holiday season?

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Above: Kaci learns the hard way from these local kids that you CAN build towers and balance chickens in precarious ways. Watch to see the kinds of hands-on toys your kids might just love to play with this holiday season (and beyond)!

SEATTLE -- At Top Ten Toys, it's less about the toys kids might see in commercials and movies; and more about inspiring play. Voted best toy store in the western U.S. this year by the American Specialty Retailing Association, the focus is on promoting toys that are educational, multicultural, gender neutral, and even nonviolent. (Click HERE to check out their website.)

Owner Allen Rickert tells us he often has parents ask about toys versus computer games. "It's great to play computer games, but it's nice to have an alternative," he says. "A child should do a little bit of everything; we want them to know about computers, [but] we also want them to know how to assemble something that's either made out of Lego erector sets or something else."

Something I hadn't even thought of, and maybe you haven't either: even PUZZLES go a long way. "There's a subtle agenda a lot of times in toys," Rickert says.  "For example, we're in the puzzle aisle, and you would say, well what's so educational about doing a puzzle? Well, the difference between a letter 'p' and a letter 'b' is all spatial orientation. So when a child is putting together a puzzle, they're learning, working a part of their brain that will later recognize the difference between the letter p and b in reading."

We've posted his comments in the video below; also be sure to check out the video above, where we learned just how excited kids CAN get whet it comes to hands-on toys. And don't forget about some of the traditional stuff: remember blocks? Just plain old, wooden blocks? They have those, too- and they're still fun to play with!

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