If you are the architect of your child’s future, and developmental toys are the building blocks, we suggest hiring Manzanita Kids as the contractor.
The Seattle-based venture, launched by David and Adrienne Minnery, turns walnut, cherry, and maple woods into modular building sets, stackers, puzzles, and blocks. The husband-and-wife duo draws upon their backgrounds (his in woodworking, hers in education) to create age-appropriate, ecofriendly, and safe toys for kids.
Our favorite pieces include the building walls and extender kits that let littles construct forts, castles, and underwater seascapes big enough for tushies to plop down in the middle and play. The modular stacking puzzle is designed to teach spatial relations to toddlers, but we think it’s intriguing enough to place on the living room coffee table.
After all, the family that plays together stays together.
Available online at etsy.com, $14-$148.
Photo: Courtesy of Manzanita Kids
Innovator Workshop: MindSnacks
What: Creators of the popular language apps take center stage at this workshop for kids ages 3 and up.
Why: Como se dice fun?
When: Sat., noon-2 p.m.
Where: Children’s Creativity Museum, Innovation Lab, 221 4th St., at Howard St. (415-820-3320). Free with museum admission. Adults and children, $10; under 3, free.
What: Lend a hand for the afternoon at Hayes Valley Farm.
Why: Volunteers of all ages enjoy get down and dirty.
When: Wed., Thurs. & Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Where: Hayes Valley Farm, 450 Laguna St., at Fell St. Admission is free.
MakeArt Workshop: Kaleidoscopes
What: Make and take a toy kaleidoscope that will change the way he views things.
Why: Eye spy an afternoon of fun for kids ages 6 and up.
When: Sat., 2-3:30 p.m.
Where: San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., at Grove St. (415-557-4400). Registration (required) to 415-773-0303. Admission is free.