If you are the architect of your child’s future, and developmental toys are the building blocks, we suggest hiring Manzanita Kids as the contractor.
The Seattle-based venture, launched by David and Adrienne Minnery, turns walnut, cherry, and maple woods into modular building sets, stackers, puzzles, and blocks. The husband-and-wife duo draws upon their backgrounds (his in woodworking, hers in education) to create age-appropriate, ecofriendly, and safe toys for kids.
Our favorite pieces include the building walls and extender kits that let littles construct forts, castles, and underwater seascapes big enough for tushies to plop down in the middle and play. The modular stacking puzzle is designed to teach spatial relations to toddlers, but we think it’s intriguing enough to place on the living room coffee table.
After all, the family that plays together stays together.
Available online at etsy.com, $14-$148.
Photo: Courtesy of Manzanita Kids
Seattle Bike Expo
What: Bicycles of every ilk and activities in the Little Nutty Kid Zone appeal whether he’s a speed demon or still mastering a three-wheeler.
Why: Turn used inner tubes into bracelets (see? Flat tires do have an upside).
When: Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91, 2001 W. Garfield St. Adults and teens, $10; under 16, free.
Gauguin & Polynesia Community Day
What: Shake your hips with dance troupe Nā Hanu ’O Ku’uleialoha, make a tiki mask, and pick up some French vocab.
Why: String a lei and dream of sunny days ahead.
When: Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave. (206-654-3100). Regular museum admission (activites included), adults, $15; teens, $9; under 13, free; Gaugin exhibit, adults, $23; teens, $18; under 13, free.
The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and His Friends
What: Youth Theatre Northwest brings Beatrix Potter’s famous hares to life (ages 3 and up).
Why: Hold up, Easter Bunny — you don’t have the spotlight quite yet.
When: Thru Mar. 18. Thurs. & Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 2:30 p.m.
Where: 8805 SE 40th St., Mercer Island (206-232-4145). Tickets at 206-232-4145 ext. 109 or online at youththeatre.org. Adults and children, $10.