Teeny Tiny Treasures

Cynthia Compton - March 6, 2019

It’s the time of year when our impulse bins overflow at 4 Kids Books & Toys. Lots of little items have started to arrive from orders placed at January gift shows, and our need for anything fresh, cute, and springlike overtakes all “open-to-buy” restraint. We are thinking about little trinkets to top birthday gifts, travel items for spring break, and the ever-important EASTER BASKET, which for children’s stores represents a second Christmas in sales. Impulse items, sidelines, mini ANYTHING… this is where bookstores can shine.

Let’s face it: most of our titles are available in a myriad of places, and often more cheaply. ¬†We can turn them into gifts, however, when we can add that cute little “something” that makes the gift personal and unique. While we may not have the shelf space for many big box, big ticket toys in our children’s department, we can curate our impulse items in the same way we look at our new release table and staff pics section. As indie booksellers, we’re just better at matching titles with readers, and I like to think we’re better at turning them into personal gifts, too.
As I walked the floor this morning, tidying up after a big story time crowd (week #eleventymillion of subzero temps translates into toddler mayhem), I realized just how many little items we have stickered-and-binned in the last week, so I’m taking you on a little photo tour of my favorites:

You can have the “whole world in your hands” with this tiny globe from Heebie Jeebies.

Plus Plus Mystery Builds are even smaller than the tubes… but just as much collectible fun.

House of Marbles, the ruler of “pocket money toys,” offers this mini set of colored pencils with a sharpener on top.

Also from House of Marbles, a little Wizarding Magic.

Pop Cutie necklaces are storybook delights.


Jack Rabbit offers lots of push puppets.

Precious little Bunny Doors from Ganz.

Glo Pals light up cubes work in water… or beverages.

Eeboo’s little playing cards tuck nicely into small pockets.

Creative Education adds princess sparkle to any gift.

Tomy even makes farm equipment on a tiny scale.

Toy Network keeps your food truck cravings satisfied.

Ty flippable sequined items come in every size… and unicorn variation.

Speaking of unicorns, little coin purses from Ganz.

Did you collect these in middle school? Based on sales, most of our mom customers did.


Metallic Ooze and Fluffy Putty fall into the profitable “uncle gift” category.

Scent’s tiny Sketch & Sniff makes art (and sales) smell good.

What little treasures have YOU found this early spring?

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About Cynthia Compton

Cynthia is the owner of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Indiana, a 2600 sq. ft. childrens store founded in 2003. She serves on the board of the American Booksellers Association, is a past president of the Great Lakes Bookseller Association, and is a former member of the American Specialty Toy Retail Association board of directors. 4 Kids was honored with the Pannell Award in 2013 and has received numerous "best of" awards in the Indianapolis area. The opinions expressed in her posts are her own, and sometimes those of her english bulldogs.

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