New Places, New Programs for Kids in Manhattan – February 2010
by Kaitlin Ahern
A Toy Store with a Global Conscience
Playing Mantis, an eco-friendly store offering handmade toys and crafts from around the world, recently opened a new location in Tribeca. The store’s flagship location is in Nyack, NY.
Owner Imelda McCain says she was originally inspired to open the store when she became a mother and began playing with toys again. “My muse is my son,” McCain says, referring to 9-year-old Lucas. McCain says she hopes to teach Lucas and other children the importance of sustainability and thinking globally through the toys she offers. “In order for children to respect a toy or craft, they should know where it came from and the process it took to make it,” McCain says. “Knowing that process is not only educating, but also quite inspiring.”
That’s why products sold at Playing Mantis are made with natural, organic products (like wood or wool) and come from small, unrepresented businesses. Also, none of the toys are battery or electrically powered, McCain says-they’re powered by imagination. Items include novelty items like handmade dolls from Peru, Argentina, and Kenya; musical instruments made in Sweden; and teddy bears made from recycled fur coats.
Open seven days a week, 10am-8pm. Located at 32 North Moore Street, 646-484-6845. Also at 19 North Broadway in Nyack, 845-358-5670. www.playing-mantis.com.