Dalene Lockhart poses in her Downtown toy store. Toy Town celebrates 31 years in November and invites everyone to attend.

Dalene Lockhart poses in her Downtown toy store. Toy Town celebrates 31 years in November and invites everyone to attend.

Toy Town in Downtown Casper is scheduled to host their Birthday Bash, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at the store to celebrate more than 30 years of business in Casper.

Dalene and Mike Lockhart started the store in 1985 when they realized there just wasn’t a good enough selection of toys available in Casper.

“We had been traveling,” said Lockhart. “Not far, but we saw a lot of little toys that we couldn’t get in this town. So I researched it and when I got laid off from my other job, we started the store.”

It was important to Lockhart to be able to provide her own child with good variety of toys, so she wanted to be able to provide them for other families too. Toy Town’s philosophy, Good toys are child powered and child activated, is a motivator behind the types of toys the Lockharts bring into the store.

“I buy the toys because of what I can see children doing with them, how much fun it should be, or what kind of learning experience it could be,” she said. “The process to play is to learn, and sometimes that’s what people forget, that play is actually learning. Maybe not learning your ABCs, but still learning important skills.”

According to Lockhart toys are the tools that children use in their early learning endeavors.

“I’m passionate about how that works for a child,” she said. “Baby toys make a difference because that’s where their development is. We need to get things that help with their motor skills, so they can learn while having fun.”

Lockhart also believes that playing is a very important part of growing up for a child.

small_plush

The small plush toys are just a sampling of the wide variety of stuffed toys available at Toy Town.

“Even when it’s a Barbie” she said. “It’s not bad for a 10 year-old to pretend with a Barbie that she’s going on a date because she’s trying on different behaviors. She can figure out whether they’re good or bad through play.”

Toy Town has toys for every age, from zero to 102, according to Lockhart, and while they cater to children mostly, there are things to choose from for the adult in your life as well. The store carries jigsaw puzzles, collector’s items, more than 500 games and much more. There are even things to help with motor skills for adults who have suffered strokes or are going through other types of Therapy.

“A lot of therapists come in and get things for adults,” said Lockhart.

Even though Lockhart’s children have since grown, she enjoys getting to see the children that come in over the years, and soon she will have a new child in her own family to shower with ToyTown toys.

“We’re expecting our first grandchild in December!” she beamed.

figurinesThe party begins when the store opens at 10 am and promises giveaways, demonstrations and fun for all involved throughout the day. Everyone is invited!

Kristin Schaeffer