The Top 10 toys that you can buy right here in The Woodlands

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 12/15/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Learning Express Toys of The Woodlands has been a Township area mainstay since 2011 with its intimate feel, hometown charm, and wide variety of toys and games that all have teaching value. Earlier this year, longtime owner Deb Tandy finally fulfilled her desire to retire from running her Alden Bridge Shopping Center shop, and now the fun facility is helmed by Jenny Kuten.

Learning Express picks their favorites for fun, education, and value

Woodlands Online recently asked Jenny and the staff of Learning Express for a list of their top ten items that would make perfect gifts for kiddos all over The Woodlands for the holiday season. Here’s what they selected.

Swingball Pro / Swingball Early Fun

Currently on a price markdown special, this playset provides athletics and amusement at the same time in several forms; a personal favorite is the tetherball-meets-badminton style game that teaches hand-eye coordination without having to chase the ball every time it’s hit.

African Dwarf Frogs

While not actually a toy per se, the tiny living frog is a perfect pet for young people. The atomic-sized amphibians are sold in their own self-contained ecosystem, needing feeding only twice a week and never needing to be taken out for a walk. A complete care kit is included, along with staff-taught ‘care for your frog’ lessons.

Kawaii Slime

For some reason, packaged slime has been a hit with kids for decades now, and the latest upscale slime from Kawaii is no exception. Discerning slime connoisseurs will enjoy choosing between jelly slime and cloud slime, with some packaging coming with accouterments.

Zip String

It’s one of those ‘so simple that I should’ve thought of it’ toys that got promoted on Shark Tank to acclaim. Just feed various lengths of special looped string into this handheld unit and press the button to have motorized fun. You can use it like an out-of-reach grabber, or as an amped-up version of jump rope, or just pretend it’s the next generation of a yo-yo.

Woobles Learn-to-Crochet Kit

Everything you need to learn how to crochet something fun and useful is contained in this one package deal. All the materials and instructions – as well as the physical base – needed to create a knitted / knotted / crocheted character come in one resealable bag. Buy multiple kits for family fun!


It’s hard to believe, but the Pokémon phenomenon is still going strong as ever. Though the catchphrase is ‘Gotta Catch Them All,” there are now so many thousands of the little fighting figures that you’d be hard-pressed to keep up with a fraction of them. That is, until you hit Learning Express – they have an entire section dedicated to all things Pikachu and beyond. Learning Express even hosts ‘Pokémon Trading Days,’ where two employees sit with kids and teach them the latest and greatest. There’s even a building block variation kit called “Mega” you should check out.


Speaking of building blocks, the ultimate is still LEGO, and the store has a wide variety of both plushies and building sets. With a never-ending popularity helped along by the television series LEGO Masters, you and the kiddos can spend countless hours creating whole new scenes, worlds, and universes, and then marvel at your new creations while snuggling with soft LEGO-themed plushies.


GUND has been around for decades as the softest, safest, snuggliest plushies in the world. The next generation doesn’t just sit there and look cute as it keeps its owner safe from bad dreams. The shop has several models that speak, sing, play peekaboo, and recite the alphabet. Especially nice for the youngest of those on your Christmas shopping list.

Fast Push Game

This latest craze from the Japanese gaming industry has to be the hottest-selling toy this year, and Learning Express is hard-pressed to keep units of Fast Push Game on the shelves, so take your chances and grab one while you can. Part tactile ‘bubble-popper,’ part memory game a la ‘Simon,’ this is guaranteed to entrance and enchant users of all ages.

Jenny’s Homemade Freeze Dried Candy

Not only is this non-electronic, it’s delicious and fun! Jenny and her husband create special, custom, free-dried candy fresh every week and sell it in humorous packaging at the store, including the too-famous ‘Snowman Droppings.’ The perfect stocking stuffer for the snacking child with a sense of humor!

On top of their wide selection of alternative fun and games, the staff at Learning Express are offering free local delivery on certain sales; just another shining example of how the toy store separates itself from the rest with its community spirit, above and beyond the robotic, electronic, and virtual e-tail world.

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