Choo! Choo!








Pint sized train enthusiasts will love the special Model Train exhibit at Smart Toys and Books this Saturday. View two working railroad models sponsored by The Knoxville Area Model Railroaders, an affiliate of the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.  These displays support The Great Train Event at the store, which offers 20% off on all Chuggington and Brio Train systems that day. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday October 20.

Smart Toys and Books – 9700 Kingston Pike #12  Knoxville, TN 37922
Tel: 865-691-1154

Beginning Creative Drama for Children





Learning performance skills can fire imagination, increase creativity, and support self-confidence in young children.  Experienced drama instructor and coach, Sara Venable, will introduce basic performance skills through drama exercises and games that can be played at home with the family.  Participants will perform a simple play based on a favorite storybook with props and costumes.  The play will be performed at the end of the workshop.  Sara is a drama teacher and theater director at Knoxville Catholic High School.  She has worked with children in creative drama from pre-school through high-school ages for over 15 years.

Wednesday, August 1st, 10:30am and 11:30am, $8.00, Reservations required in advance, Ages 3 to 6. Smart Toys and Books at 9700 Kingston Pike, #12 Knoxville TN, Call (865) 691-1154 for more info!

Make It, Create It and Take It at Smart Toys and Books





Smart Toys and Books Create It Make It and Take It Summer Activities run in addition to the regular Mommy and Me Art Classes each week. They are geared towards school aged children and cost just $5 per person to participate. These projects are great value and and the kids get to take home something they’re proud of.

Mommy, Daddy and Me Art Classes at Smart Toys and Books


I love the opportunity to do arts and crafts with my kids anywhere but at my dinner table (they are so messy!), so we love the classes at Smart Toys and Books whenever we can make it. They’re held every Friday at 10a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and as each class fills up they open up the later class.

We booked into the home made play dough class faster than you can say “sign me up” a few weeks ago. We made no-cook play dough and it was so easy, I could do it with a baby hanging from the front of me (little L. was wriggling about like crazy in his sling). Big J. and I have cooked together so often that he needed very little assistance from me – which was confirmed when he kept insisting “mama, I can do this part now”. And I happily sat back.

The play dough worked out beautifully and we now have a big blob of it sitting in the fridge for those times when he starts bugging me in the kitchen around dinner time!

The classes are geared towards preschoolers and are ideal for ages 3 and up, but they certainly welcome two year olds too. A craft is followed by story time each week.

It’s essential that you reserve your spot in Mommy & Me Art Classes in advance for two reasons; firstly to ensure they have enough supplies and secondly, the classes fill up fast. The fee is $5 in advance. Stop by the store or call to sign up.

Upcoming Classes Include:

September 16th    Bury a Treasure
September 23rd    Cardboard Tube Puppets
September 30th    Decorate Your Light Switch
October 7th          Soft Squirrel
October 14th        Paper Bag Owl
October 21st         What’s Inside a Pumpkin
October 28th        Scarecrow Bags
November 4th       Falling Leaves
November 11th     Pumpkin Pie
November 18th     Button Indian Corn

Smart Toys and Books – 9700 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Tel: 865-691-1154

And here’s the No-Cook Play Dough Recipe Smart Toys and Books shared with me:

What you need:

1 cup of cold water
1 cup salt
2 teaspoons oil
3 cups all purpose flour**
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Powdered paint or food coloring
Bowl and spoon
Cutting board or clean surface (remember you are using food coloring.)

**Note If you or your child has a wheat allergy use gluten free flour/food coloring.

What you do:

  1. In a bowl mix the water, salt, oil, and enough food coloring or a few drops of juice dyes to make a bright color.Want to try making natural food dyes? Combine a 1/4 cup of the colored food like beets, blueberries, or raspberries with 2 cups water, simmer for an hour. Cool, strain, and use as coloring. You can also use these colors in home made goo, silly putty and finger paints.
  2. Gradually work flour and cornstarch into the mixture until it reaches a bread dough consistency.
  3. Pour the dough on a cutting board and knead until ready. (I like to use disposable gloves to work the dye in).
  4. Store in plastic containers or zip lock bags for the kids to play with over and over.

Recipe adapted from Mary Ann F. Kohl