Teach Your Children Wellfile_6_57

What do you get when two educators decide to open a toy store? Lucky locals get Katan, a new store where carefully selected toys foster a child’s imagination in an inviting environment.

Katan recently opened up shop on Mercer Island (and online), providing the community with a unique place to satisfy kids’ curiosity. The owners, Sarah Adams and Shannon Cruzen, are both teachers at the Reggio-inspired Stroum JCC School and believe toys should inspire children rather than simply entertain them. That’s why you won’t find any noisy plastic toys requiring 12 D batteries here. What you will find is a hand-picked variety of toys that encourage creativity and flexible thinking.

The collection includes puzzles, stacking toys, blocks, art supplies, and wooden play sets with figurines. The small store feels more like a cozy play room than a boutique—all the items are open and on display, inviting children to try them out. Staying green is important to the owners, too; they seek out companies that use non-toxic finish, wood from sustainably-farmed forests, and minimal packaging. If you need gift wrap, they’ll provide a darling hand-sewn muslin bag. Katan will also consult with schools on their classroom setup and offers quantity discounts. Stay tuned for news on their planned in-store art classes.


Mercer Island and online

Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4, and Wednesday 1-5:30


—Angie J. Ballas