1. Nz Tonga Fiji and back home again


    Nz Tonga Fiji and back home again


    On my resent travels with two friends, sailing through the Pacific Islands, we met this amazing family who, with their 8 year old daughter had sailed up from New Zealand to Tonga in their trusty boat Ika Moana.

    We met Nathan, Gill and Paige (aka the Mao’s) anchored off Uolva Island and this is where we did a food exchange, giving bananas for what we thought was a wahoo but later found out was a barracuda.Over the following months there were many more encounters with the Moa’s and I soon found out about this amazing blog that they had been writing about their sailing adventures. The Moa’s have very kindly allowed me to share their stories with you.

    So, I hope you enjoy everything they have to offer and that they inspire you as they have me, here is a link to their amazing blog that I will hopefully be able to share a few stories from.

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  2. My Thoughts On Children Toys

    My Thoughts On Children's Toys 


    Anna at the old toy shop

    As a parent, especially a first time parent, it can be rather daunting to delve into the world of toys.  As a parent of 2 and having close to 30 years of working in the toy industry my experience is that each toy can be an educational tool, help stimulate, and also entertain your child.

    After having nearly 19 years in retail, and now I am working in the importing/distribution side of the toy/gift industry. Importing and distribution is a completely different side of the industry.  Retail was a great way to see first-hand the toys that attracted the children’s attention – a lot of which was influenced by TV and advertising, but that seemed to be ‘fad toys’ and so would be very short lived.  Also retail was a way of finding what parents wanted in the way of things to simulate, educate and entertain.

    The basic ‘hard core’ toy, a ball, a doll, building blocks, puzzles, art and craft or a game can keep your child entertained for hours. One experience I had as a retailer was a customer coming into store just before her child’s birthday to purchase a present – her child was unable to leave an umbrella alone and asked his mum if he could have one for his birthday… mum said that she would see… a couple of days later Mum came in and purchased a globe of the world that lit up as a night lamp, and was very pleased with her purchase, umbrella you say?? No, that was not purchased.  Next day – waiting for the shop to open was Mum saying that her child was most upset that he had not received his umbrella – that was all he had wanted!!  Mum said ‘next time I will listen’.

    I am not saying to cater to all the demands – far from it, but the simple things can be the best. A ball can assist with eye hand co-ordination and a small block which clicks onto another or just stacks on top can take a child’s imagination to new levels.  These basic toys can help develop skills that are essential as your child grows.

    If you are fortunate enough to have assistance of grand-parents or a person who can help with the care of your child, the more simple the toy the more interaction they will tend to have with your child – technology is not easy and tends to have the effect of isolating children from interaction with others, young and old, especially those who have not grown up with new technology. As you get older you tend to remember toys you had as a child and remember the joy you got from them, whether it was a doll, a train or kite… you will remember the joy you got from playing with them.

    Toys are to be enjoyed – by the child who receives them and by the parent who gave them. 

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  3. Introducing Our Mum The Toy Expert


    Introducing Our Mum The Toy Expert 



    If you don't know the background story to Anna and I starting up The Toy Wagon. Our parents without knowing it, influenced our lives hugely with the path we have now taken. Mum and Dad were the owners of our local toy shop that we grew up in. The place where we learnt just what is needed to have a great toy shop, with product that is built for a life time and great value for every customer. Mum as you will find out, is a fountain of knowledge, and toys is just one subject we have asked her to talk about.

    With the many wonderful years running a very magical toy store, we have asked her to pass some of that knowledge and experience on to you. She will be providing information on what her views are on different genres of toys. Plus what she has found out over the years selling those toys that where built for a life time, and the stories to go along with them.

    Watch this space to experience her amazing insight into the world of toys and more.

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