The Playstore opened in 1994 with a store on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, California. We were happy to find many parents in our local community who wanted well-made, open-ended wooden and natural toys for their children. A beautiful printed catalog was added in 1998 as The Playstore became a leading resource in our greater community of families who shared this common bond of being conscientious of the toys we offer our children. Our website was launched in 2000, initially hosted on a server located in a customer's home - we were in Silicon Valley, after all! This current incarnation of The Playstore's website is hosted by Homestead, originally using a program that was written by one of our customers - yes, even though the parents are technology professionals, their children play with wooden toys, not computers!
Over the years, many different people (mostly parents themselves) have shared their talents to contribute to creating The Playstore. This was meaningful work that supported toy makers, improved access to quality toys, and educated families about the importance of play and thinking about the types of toys to offer.
Our toys are made by toy makers. This means that the companies do their own manufacturing (not contracting and sub-contracting out) - whether it's a small family business of woodworkers or a company with hundreds of toy makers. When you purchase one of these toys, you are supporting a business model with more integrity. The costs of materials, labor, and distribution are fairly factored into the price.
We hope you enjoy looking through our unique collection of the best toys available for your child, and please do visit our site often as we will continue to add new toys.