News & Reviews

Annals of Gifting: The SMALL Holiday Gathering

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

As we slog toward the holidays, we all know that our usual feasts and gatherings will be a whole lot different this year. With fewer people at the table and many friends and family with us only in spirit or on zoom, the vibe will be decidedly more subdued.  And yet... we'll probably still want to play something like a party game. A game that's easy, and maybe silly, and that doesn't get in the way of our contemplating just one more slice of pie.  Often a lot of traditional party games don't really work unless you have a large group of players, but it turns out there...

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Annals of Gifting: The not-too-expensive gift for a child

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

There's a company in town that throws a family-friendly staff holiday party every year, and they like to give each child attending a gift to unwrap.  So sweet!  A few years ago someone realized that it was actually a lot of work to select, purchase, and wrap all of the gifts, so they reached out to us for help.  They give us a budget and a list of kids with their ages.  We send them suggestions, and then they get to focus on the fun part, which is selecting a gift for each child. Then we gift wrap and label everything, send an invoice, and drop the whole kit...

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BIG Adventures in Pandemic Puzzling!

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

The other week one of our customers sent in this delightful picture of himself with the 18,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle that he completed.  Taking about 500 hours of work, it was quite an accomplishment! Inquiring minds (including other customers who had also purchased that same puzzle from us and were nearing completion) wanted to know more about how Michael mounted the puzzle, and he kindly provided some details: "I procured 4 separate thin pieces of particle board and then mounted them on the wall (these were the exact size of each puzzle quadrant so I could have a place to store them...

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The Skinny on 2020 Holiday Shopping at Cat & Mouse

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

We're still hunkering down trying to prevent the spread of COVID, but the reality is, the holidays will soon be upon us.  I honestly don't know what our family will do to make them memorable or special, but I do know that thanks to the support of so many folks like you, we'll still be running our little shop.  Hopefully we'll be able to help you find delightful gifts for your children, your friends, your family, or even.... yourself!  To make that happen, we'll be making some changes at the shop starting in November. HOURS IN NOVEMBER Mondays: CLOSED (except...

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Learning Through Play: Level Up for Success!

Posted by Linda Schmidt on

Do you remember reading Frog and Toad books when you were a kid, or other books in the I Can Read series?  Or maybe your children are fans of the Brain Quest workbooks?  These series of books are known as leveled readers and workbooks, and they're a time-tested way for kids to achieve success in math and reading.  They allow students to engage with material that is not too hard or too easy, but are instructionally just right for them. Over the past few decades, two toy companies in particular (ThinkFun and SmartGames) have really embraced the idea of leveled learning, and have appied it to puzzles and...

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