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Nature’s Nook encourages play for all children

A locally owned toy and book store not only encourages kids to play and stay active, but they also encourage kids and adults to embrace their creative sides.

Dave and Deb Peery are the owners of Nature’s Nook Children’s Toys and Books, located on North Hill. Their store has a wide variety of toys. They do not have any video games at all in their store. They are instead focused on physical play and interaction, like Legos, puzzles, bows with padded arrows and board games. Sensory toys are also available for children that may be on the autism spectrum. Their inventory includes STEAM items, as well.

Deb Peery said that play is “singularly significant to lifelong wellness and development.” The psychology and theology of play have a role in critical thinking, problem solving, social interaction and applying prinicpals to life to succeed. In the long run, depression may become a lesser threat to a child’s mental health if they spend more time playing and being creative.

Hosting birthday parties and having things made for weddings are also in the repertoire. If a birthday party needs balloons created or filled, Nature’s Nook can do it.

Deb Peery described her store as a “neighborhood mom and pop shop,” enjoying the company of her wonderful customers. Tables are set up near the front for kids to play with blocks or another sort of toy while their parent or guardian looks around the store. She also mentioned a little boy who “runs laps around the place.” The owners allow kids to be noisy and curious, not limiting the possibilities of their regular customers who have been going to their classes and shopping the store for two years or more.

On Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m., Deb and Dave Peery do story time. On Tuesdays, they have Fiber art. It starts with crochet, then goes to knitting, string art, macrame, and latch hook. Meet the Master takes place Thursday afternoons.

Nature’s Nook also have art classes on their schedules, using media like acrylic paint, watercolors and oil pastels on canvas or on paper. For children’s projects like “No Drama Llama,” the canvas and paper size is 8-inches by 10-inches. Children attend the classes from three to six weeks, with a maximum of 10 children per class.

For adults, they hold Date Night Paint & Sip at The Starving Rooster. The sizes for those two-piece acrylic paintings vary in size. “Kissing Fish” and “Love Birds” are just a couple of examples of what couples will paint.

Deb Peery said they tend to stay away from tempera and oil paints. Tempera paints are usually thin, so layers are needed to cover the canvas. Having to put on mulitple layers is time consuming. Oil paints take a very long time to dry and easily stain clothing if a paint brush is dropped or if the canvas is accidentally touched.

The classes have a different cost and pre-registration is required, that way the owners know how many children to expect and prepare the correct amount of materials. Registration is also required for their other events. Their Make & Take events are on a drop-in basis.

Nature’s Nook is an all inclusive store and everyone is welcome to stop in.

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