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Whitney Tiemann, owner of The Modern Munchkin Co.

Let's get to know one another

Let's get to know one another

The thought of starting a blog is a little exhausting, TBH. There are soooo many out there. And what do I know that others don't already? Likely, not much. But I do believe we are special, and have something to offer you in your busy, chaotic, kid-filled world. 

I started this business to be different. To bring unique items and a different vibe to the kids' scene in my hometown, and hopefully reach a bit beyond that as well. And since opening the brick-and-mortar store, we ARE different. It's usually the first thing visitors tell me. This has been a great space for kiddos, but maybe even more so for the parents and family members. It's inviting and cozy, and offers a not-all-up-in-your-space shopping experience. And we do have some pretty cool things, I have to say.

Do you remember how to play?

One aspect of being "different" for me means helping set you and your littles up for success when it comes to playing. We're not here to get your kid tranced out on another buzzy toy (though they have their place!). We'll shop together to find an engaging toy that you, your little, and the family will enjoy. We'll help explore independent, open-ended play items that expand your child's imagination. It takes a little work on you and your littles' part, but the rewards can be immense. 

So what does this look like? Here are some of the things we feature in our shop to facilitate active, open-ended play:

  • Wooden toys. Sustainable and durable, these toys are simple in design and huge in imagination. They are safer, with natural materials and non-toxic. They encourage fine motor learning and vocabulary exploration. And they can be passed down to siblings and future generations. 
  • Arts and crafts. Exploring all types of creativity, we like to introduce art as early as possible. Coloring, painting, molding, and shaping materials in endless possibilities. These activities are amazing for encouraging self expression in your littles.
  • Games. I have found it hard to find good board games that all the siblings can play, but we have lines that feature games for littles as early as 2 years old! While still engaging for older siblings. Introduce rule following, collaboration, and strategy and watch creativity come out it ways you may not have expected. 
  • Role playing. Through dressing dolls, vehicles, and food toys, our littles can mimic our everyday lives, helping them explore vocabulary, playing with others, and introducing and resolving conflicts.  
  • Active play. We have some great lines that get kids (and adults!) moving around in fun and different ways, allowing kids to explore what their bodies are capable of and testing risks in a safe way. From balancing, hopping, and climbing to yoga to outdoor scavenger hunts, we have activities that facilitate exploring the world around us. 

But what does it all mean (in the meta sense)?

Watching the way my kids are growing up and then sitting back thinking to the way I did, there is so much that is so different. Sure, every generation is different, but there is one drastic difference in our kids today v. all the generations before - SCREENS.EVERY.WHERE. And while screens have their purpose and importance, we still need to learn how to play, unplugged. 

Our kids are so lucky to have access to the technology they do, but we still need the human interaction and independent play to fully develop a healthy relationship with our emotions. I'm not suggesting we trade screens out entirely, but find a balance that works for each individual and helps them and families explore what our kids are truly capable of! The power of play cannot be denied. So let's embrace both - the technology and the analog. And empower this new generation who will do things beyond our imagination.

What it means to us, at The Modern Munchkin Co.

When curating lines for the shop, we stay mindful of our brand values, checking as many as we can. And while we'll fill the shop with amazing things you're not likely to easily find elsewhere, the store will never feel cramped or overwhelming. We'll keep things open and comfy so families of all sizes can explore the latest finds.

We're also here to help learning and introducing new toys light and breezy too. We’ll bring you monthly tips + tricks to help make play more enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved. And we’ll be collaborating with some pretty amazing minds and talents to bring fresh perspectives.

Finally, look for events and workshops coming to the shop and surrounding areas to bring all of what we talk about to life.