Northern Virginia Toy Stores and The Power of Play: Nurturing Creativity

We have some fantastic locally owned toy stores in Northern Virginia. As a photographer focusing on younger children, I have witnessed firsthand the incredible impact of play on children’s development. Play is not just a pastime; it is an essential ingredient in fostering creativity, imagination, and overall well-being.

Looking for great toy stores in Northern Virginia to spark the kids' creativity and imagination? Check out our curated list.

Play is more than just fun; it is the language through which children make sense of the world around them. Whether it’s imaginative play, physical activities, or engaging in creative pursuits, play provides a safe and open space for children to explore, experiment, and develop essential life skills.

  • Igniting Creativity: Play sparks the flame of creativity in children. It encourages them to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and express themselves in unique ways. Through play, children can unleash their imagination, creating imaginary worlds, stories, and characters. Whether it’s building forts, putting on a play, or engaging in arts and crafts, play nurtures their creative spirit.
  • Developing Problem-Solving Skills: Play presents children with challenges and puzzles to solve, allowing them to develop problem-solving skills. Whether it’s constructing a block tower, solving a puzzle, or inventing games, play encourages critical thinking, resourcefulness, and adaptability.
  • Enhancing Social Skills: Engaging in play provides opportunities for children to interact with their peers, fostering social skills such as communication, collaboration, and empathy. Play allows them to navigate social situations, negotiate, take turns, and develop important relationship-building skills.
  • Boosting Cognitive Development: Play is not just about physical activity; it also stimulates cognitive development. Whether it’s playing board games, engaging in role-play, or solving puzzles, children enhance their memory, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. Play engages their minds in a fun and interactive way.

Play is a gateway to endless possibilities for children’s growth and development. By embracing play, we foster creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills, social development, and cognitive abilities.

Looking for great toy stores in Northern Virginia to spark the kids' creativity and imagination? Check out our curated list.

Looking for great toy stores in Northern Virginia to spark the kids’ creativity and imagination? These local toy shops offer classic toys, educational games, arts and crafts, STEM activities, and more. Take the kids on an adventure to these highly rated Northern Virginia toy stores.

The Toy Nest

The bright and colorful Toy Nest in Falls Church has toys for kids of all ages. They specialize in open-ended, sustainably made toys that spark creativity like blocks, crafts, instruments and games. Parents love the educational but fun options. Google reviewers say the owner offers “fantastic recommendations” tailored specifically to each child. Definitely add this toy shop to your list.

Child’s Play

Serving Old Town Alexandria for over 40 years, Child’s Play is a neighborhood classic toy store. They have train sets, stuffed animals, blocks, books, games, arts and crafts and more from brands like Melissa & Doug, Playmobil, Janod and Schleich. Google users highlight their “quality toy brands” and “super friendly staff.” Child’s Play has all the tried-and-true toys.

Go Bananas!

Go Bananas is a celebrated family-owned store in Ashburn, offering a curated selection of specialty toys, books, and gifts for children. Recognized as Small Business of the Year and Retailer of the Year by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, and crowned Best of Loudoun in 2015, Go Bananas is a treasure trove curated by their expert team, the “Top Bananas,” boasting years of toy industry experience. The local and online shops feature a diverse range of timeless classics and the latest trendy toys, providing a hands-on play experience that ignites curiosity for the whole family.


Welcome to Kerbobble Toys, a unique toy haven located in the Historic District of Old Town Manassas. As a family-owned business in Northern Virginia, they passionately merge their love for treasure hunting with a dedicated focus on toys. The ever-changing inventory promises hidden gems with carefully selected new toys, quality used toys, comic books, games, puzzles, vintage collectibles, action figures, dolls, memorabilia, and more! Kerbobble Toys introduces children to novel play options, sparking nostalgia for parents and grandparents who can share beloved toys from their own childhood. Beyond bringing joy to families, Kerbobble Toys contributes to the environment by promoting recycling, ensuring that used toys find new homes where they’ll be cherished. Each used toy and book undergoes a meticulous inspection, sorting, disinfecting, and research process to guarantee excellent condition, offering customers quality products at fair prices.


Doodlehopper 4 Kids is a go-to destination in Falls Church for all things kids! With over two decades of local ownership and operation, they pride themselves on being the neighborhood one-stop-shop for toys, children’s books, and baby gifts. The store offers a unique and specialized shopping experience, featuring a carefully hand-picked selection of toys that ignite your child’s curiosity and foster their imagination, all guided by knowledgeable staff dedicated to providing personalized service.

Doodlehopper 4 Kids believes in creating a vibrant community hub, hosting monthly events that showcase local children’s musicians, live animal shows, magicians, and more – all usually free for your family’s enjoyment. They are actively engaged in partnerships with local elementary schools, family charities, and programs focused on kids and families, underscoring their commitment to being an integral part of the community.

Enjoy additional perks such as free gift wrapping, take advantage of their Military Discount every day (please show valid ID), and, make Mondays special with Grandparent Mondays, where grandparents receive a discount on their purchases.

Looking for great toy stores in Northern Virginia to spark the kids' creativity and imagination? Check out our curated list.

As a family photographer primarily focusing on younger children in Northern Virginia, I am here to capture those playful moments for you. During the photo session I shared in this post, we played games like peek-a-boo, danced, and so much else!

What are your favorite Northern Virginia toy stores?? Any I missed and need to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

My Fall schedule is open. This session was shot at Snickers Gap Tree Farm and I’d love to take you there. Let’s connect!

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Hi! I'm Blaire.

I'm a beach bum from New York, living life with a cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in the other.




Blaire is a premier Northern Virginia photographer serving: Great Falls; Fairfax; McLean; Arlington; Vienna; Clifton; Alexandria; Ashburn; Oakton; Chantilly; Round Hill; Hamilton; Aldie; Herndon; Haymarket; Manassas; Springfield; Bristow; Sterling; Broad Run; Purcellville; Reston; Gainesville; Burke; Leesburg; Falls Church; Warrenton; Lovettsville; Centreville; Dunn Loring; Waterford; Paeonian Springs; and Washington DC.


Specializing in lifestyle newborn, family, and maternity photography.