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
Josiane Faubert Photography
What: Tired of cheesy poses and pasted-on grins? The shutterbug’s portraits capture kiddos at their most natural.
Why: She waives the sitting fee ($200) until the end of the month.
When: Thru Mar. 31.
Where: Throughout D.C. and Maryland. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Prints and packages are $20-$750.
Investigate: Helen Frankenthaler
What: Listen to A Day with No Crayons and make brush-free paintings inspired by the abstract artist.
Why: He hates to color in the lines.
When: Sun. & Mar. 18, 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 1:30 & 2:30 p.m.
Where: National Gallery of Art, enter at Fourth St. NW, at Constitution Ave. (202-737-4215). Participation is free; space is first come, first served.
It’s a Big World, Little Pig
What: Figure skating extraordinaire Kristi Yamaguchi stops by for a free reading of her book.
Why: That’s one graceful oinker, but she’s no match for the Olympic champ.
When: Sat., 10:30 a.m.
Where: Hooray for Books, 1555 King St., Alexandria (703-548-4092).