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Lighthouse Toys - a shop with a difference
An article written by a customer of the shop.
A shop with a difference - one that is staffed by experts - you may not think that this is unusual, but this one is.
I am talking about Lighthouse Toys in Histon. It is owned and run by husband and wife team, Tim and Sam Broad. Sam is a qualified teacher who worked with children with special needs for several years before taking a break to be at home with their three children.
Sam and Tim opened the shop in Histon four years ago. Almost all the staff they employ are qualified in child related areas, in fact they have a practising midwife and two Nursery Nurses. Plus most of the staff have their own children, so are 'experts' in a different way as well!
Due to the staff's background and expertise they are all happy to advise customers with products that would suit the person they are buying for, from new babies, toys to entertain when travelling, something to help a young person at school and they've even helped a guy buying his mate a 30th birthday present (he bought some of the science fun products)!
Some speech therapists, physiotherapists and Portage workers now advise their clients to go to the shop and ask for Sam in order to get her expert advice on toys that will help their individual children's needs.
Sam and Tim's two sons have dyslexia and so they home school them in order for their special needs to be met in the best way - I don't know how they do it, are there enough hours in the day?!
So if you particularly want to speak to Sam about your child's needs it's best to call and book an appointment to ensure she's in the shop.
Lighthouse Toys specialise in educational toys and books, but stock toys, games, puzzles, art and craft equipment and science 'fun' for ALL ages, and I really do mean ALL ages, there are lots for the older child as well as adult games and puzzles.
Prices start so low that children can easily spend their own pocket money there and a lot of the items are cheaper than bigger stores (in fact I saw one that was selling at less then half the price it was in another store - and that wasn't in the sale!!).
They even have a unique pricing system that helps children who can't yet understand the value of money. Anything with a yellow price sticker is under £2, a red sticker means its £2 - £4.99 and a white sticker means it is £5 or over. I use this system with my own 3 year old daughter - when she has filled her reward chart she can go and pick 'anything' with a yellow sticker, she's delighted with the wide choice she has and I don't have to spend the whole time saying 'no'.
When designing the shop Sam and Tim insisted it was accessible to all - this means double buggies and wheelchairs can get in and around the shop, a joy to anyone who has tried to manoeuvre these in small spaces, and as the shop is all on one level it really is easy.
It's a great hands-on place, as there are three play tables and some ride on toys to entertain children (and adults) while others shop. There are also a couple of chairs in the shop for customers to use; I have seen very grateful nursing mothers and grandparents making the most of these.
To top it all the shop is in such a great place. To get to Histon you don't have to fight the traffic. The shop is a mile from the A14 and two miles from the M11.
There's free parking in the village, a beautiful village green with a brook flowing through it, ducks and a children's play area.