Not Just a Museum Gift Shop

The Busy Bee Learning Store is a great resource for parents, caregivers, and teachers, as well as a specialty shopping destination in Pasadena. We feature fun and educational products to spark the imagination and creativity in every child. And we have a Water Vortex!

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If your child has a favorite exhibit, chances are, we have something to continue the Kidspace experience at home. Guests are always asking us two questions, "What is your favorite toy or book?" and "What's new?", but it's hard to choose just one thing we love and we are constantly getting new products. We have so many categories that pertain to the interactive learning families experience at Kidspace with an array of items appropriate from age 6 months to 12 years old. Instead of choosing just a few of our favorites this month, we'll share with you what families are buying in each of our store categories and the newest toys we've been testing out in the store.

1741 It's no surprise that we sell lots of bug merchandise with our Live Collections and Bug Inn inside the Digging Deeper Gallery. During Kidspace's 2014 Butterfly Season we sold nearly 9,000 caterpillars, so kids are crazy about butterflies and want to learn about metamorphosis with the help of our Life Cycle sets year round. And yes that is a real cricket! One of our all-around best sellers is the Cricket Lick-It sucker. Also, find a variety of tools for backyard investigation including the World's Best Bug Viewer.
1742 Active and outdoor play is essential for all kids, important for your child's health, development, and growth. A favorite item continues to be jump ropes, all different colors and styles, along with other active accessories like parachutes, monster feet walkers, and sack racing sets. Maybe sandbox or backyard construction play is your child's favorite, so we have sturdy, dishwasher safe vehicles called Chubbies in all sizes. And have you played AirZooka tag? After exploring Galvin Physics Forest the AirZooka is a fun learning tool and smaller version of our Air Canon.
1743 There's lots of variety for our early learners and pre-k crowd. Bath toys are always a winner whether it's a puppet wash mitten or water squirters. Even at 9 months old we can expose kids to the fundamentals of physics with the Roll 'n Swirl Ball Ramp, and a plethora of magnetic toys to learn letters and numbers. You'll also find a selection of sensory and wooden toys inspired by the nature environment of the newly renovated S. Mark Taper Foundation Early Childhood Learning Center.
1744 Science and nature kits, and anything related to space or rockets, are some of our fastest moving toys. The newest kit from GoldieBlox is the Dunk Tank, which has been a hit. Parents have loved the idea of introducing girls to concepts of engineering at an early age. Along with Green Science Kits and sets of rocks and minerals, it's often difficult to keep the shelves stocked!
1745 But of course Kidspace is not only about science and nature, arts and crafts are an important part of every event and program at the Museum. Some of the biggest sellers have been Sunprint Kits, Besswax Crayons, art supplies from Faber Castell, color and foil Scratch Paper, and kits to make bead art and jewelry. Our arts and crafts display houses the tools needed for a creative outlet for both child and parent.
1746 One of the most popular gift items are building toys, and there is no shortage of creative builders in the Busy Bee Learning Store. From Bristle Blocks to PlayStix there's much to choose from, but the most talked about building toys are Squigz, Magformers, and Tegu Magnetic Wood Blocks. Try all three in our demo area!
1747 A favorite topic of most kids, particularly the school groups that stop by the store on their way back out to the buses, is dinosaurs and animals. Snake plush is a number one seller, especially if they meet our Ball Python, Baldwin, in the Nature Exchange. And I learned quickly working in zoos and museums over the years that animal and dinosaur poop is a pretty big deal. Kids love to dig for, touch replicas and fossilized poop. The 4D Vision models of animal anatomy has also been popular with teachers and elementary school kids.
1748 Lastly, all this play and learning is not complete without the books to inspire imagination and launch the reading skills needed to nurture each child's potential. You'll find beginning readers, board books, and picture books, both fiction and nonfiction titles for all ages to enjoy. A few new favorites of mine are I Didn't Do My Homework Because..., Wild, This is a Moose, and Flight School.

Hopefully this helps you get to know the Busy Bee Learning Store at Kidspace. We look forward to seeing you next time you are shopping for the kiddos in your life!

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Blog by:

Susan Cardosi-Albert, Retail & Communications Manager, has been with Kidspace Children's Museum since 2005.  Previous work includes the Los Angeles Zoo and COSI Science Center after gaining a BA in Broadcast Communications.