Acorn, A Brooklyn Toy Shop
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill
Type of Place: Toys Kids Clothing
Acorn, an adorable Brooklyn toy store in Boerum Hill, does double duty as both a parents’ destination for unique toys and gifts and a boutique celebrating handcrafted goods from around the globe. Owners Karin Schaefer and Diane Crespo, both parents as well as early child education advocates, established the store in 2004 to promote toys that develop children’s imaginations and foster healthy, creative development.
There are few – if any – mass-produced toys at Acorn. What parents will find instead is a carefully selected collection of wooden toys and puzzles, fabric and knitted plush, rag dolls, building blocks, dollhouses, wall art, and more. Educational games, discovery toys like cameras, flashlights, and binoculars, and even charming wooden bicycles line the shelves and floor, all easily accessible to small hands. Some of our favorites include beautifully painted wooden alphabet blocks in languages like Italian, Polish, and Russian ($42), a counting elephant puzzle ($20), and the Speedster retro riding toy ($115). Other building block sets introduce children to different architectural styles and enable them to construct Egyptian pyramids, Roman capitols, or medieval castles ($45).
Those searching for gifts for new parents will find plenty of choices at Acorn from early childhood learning toys like those for stacking and pulling as well as charming wooden board books, cool, one-of-a-kind handmade mobiles by artist Tamar Mogendorff, and a small variety of trinkets perfect for newborns. There’s also plenty of wall art for sale to dress up any nursery, no matter its theme.
Parents with toddlers will likely make Acorn a destination for acquiring toys that inspire creativity, such as silk costumes and scarves, a wide selection of small-sized musical instruments like accordions, xylophones, and drums, play tents, and a collection of finely crafted wooden “make believe” kitchen sets. Aspiring artists will love Acorn’s craft items like the Cut-Out Couture Iron-Ons ($32), the Fashion Designer Kit ($48), and another to make your own doll family ($34).
In addition to toys and games for young and school-aged children, Acorn also stocks a limited selection of clothing and footwear staples. From basic cardigans and swimsuits to relaxing playwear, there were an equal number of reasonably priced garments for boys and girls, plus a cute collection of jumpers and onesies in bold, sophisticated prints from Kit & Lili for moms who need a break from pastels. The cowboy/cowgirl boots are a must-have in red and white leather ($86).
Acorn’s inventory frequently changes, but items are also available via the store’s website, should your favorites be temporarily out of stock. Come by and say hello. The friendly sales staff is there to help and the store’s legions of tiny playthings make eager wide-eyed children of even the most jaded adults. - Joann Jovinelly
Acorn, A Brooklyn Toy Shop
323 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201