We blended together our passion for education with our entrepreneurial spirits, to create a one-of-a-kind educational toy store. Our goal is to help nurture the confidence of children both in and out of the classroom, while creating life-long learners who exercise their inquisitive minds to have fun and be creative. Our merchandise enables parents and teachers to explore the world one subject at a time with the kids in their lives.
Beyond the Blackboard's story started when we (sisters Jacqueline and Jean) blended together our passion for education with our entrepreneurial spirits, to create a one-of-a-kind educational store. Our goal is to help nurture the confidence of children both in and out of the classroom, while creating life-long learners who exercise their inquisitive minds to have fun and be creative.
Beyond the Blackboard
“Play is the work of childhood.” - Jean Piaget
As we say at Beyond the Blackboard, “Play matters!”
Beyond the Blackboard co-founders and sisters, Jean and Jacqueline, grew up in the ‘60s. Weekends with the extended family on their Iowa farm included endless hours of free play and exploration! They played with livestock, jumped in oat bins, and had free reign in the toolshed. They climbed trees, drove tractors, and walked the beanfields to remove weeds. They learned about biology by watching the pigs give birth, hatching chickens, and studying maggots on country roads (yes, really!). They learned about physics by rolling into ditches. They also learned about creative thinking by riding in an oversized wooden barrel. Their active play included “flying” on rope swings, and playing baseball in the yard. They learned mechanics by building forts with scraps from the shed, and building baseball diamonds in the yard.
Get to Know Jean & Jacqueline
At Beyond the Blackboard, we strive to bring the qualities of these delights to your children!
Shop by Age:
0-12 Month Olds
1 Year Olds
2 Year Olds
3-4 Year Olds
5-6 Year Olds
7-8 Year Olds
9-10 Year Olds
11-12 Year Olds
13-113 Year Olds
Shop by Category:
Brain Teasers & Puzzles:There’s nothing better for challenging the brain! Kids can boost cognitive skills as they challenge themselves or collaborate with family and friends. Brain teasers and puzzles keep children thinking. They’re also great for developing deductive reasoning and logic skills. Kids love these great gifts for 10 year-olds because they’re fun! We stock long-time favorites and unique new options. There’s sure to be a play experience here to keep your child busy for hours.
Active Play:Children are often stuck inside for a lot of the day, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help them stay active! A few well-selected toys and games get kids moving and keep bodies and brains healthy and busy. If you’re a grown-up looking for ways to help children burn off extra energy, shop our favorite active play toys and games for kids. From ride-ons to balance boards and outdoor games, these active play toys will get kids moving and laughing! The perfect way to keep children of all ages active!
Creative Play & Art:As kids and grown-ups know, expressing your creativity is oh-so-satisfying! Painting pictures, playing songs, creating beautiful things … Arts and crafts inspire young makers. And there’s no better rainy or snowy day activity! In this category, you’ll find arts and crafts kits for drawing, painting, sculpting and more. You’ll also find fabric craft kits! Take a look, and see what your child can make with their hands!
Engineering for Kids:For kids who love to figure out how things work! While it might seem challenging to work science, engineering, technology and math into play, there are lots of great toys that encourage kids to learn about engineering and technology - and have a wonderful time, too! Whether you have a future engineer or you want your child to be comfortable with the concepts, our selection of engineering toys will make them want to learn more! Help your kids explore engineering in fun and creative ways.
Building & Construction Toys:Building toys are always favorites! Intriguing building toys are great gift ideas for kids. Through building and construction toys, kids learn useful skills like fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. We select amazing building sets for children, from toddler boys and toddler girls to teens! Are you interested in educational toys for toddlers? How about award winners? There are building toys for kids here!
Science & Nature:There’s never been a better time to be a kid who loves science! Science and nature kits are excellent choices for school break activities. Let your child learn hands-on, at their own pace. To help you find the right choice for your child, you can also shop by age. There are options for preschoolers to middle schoolers, 8 year-olds to 118 year-olds! Science and nature toys feature everything from chemistry to geology. We also have award winning products inspired by National Geographic. There’s sure to be a science toy or game to excite every budding scientist!
Pretend Play:Do you remember when you were a child? … spending hours engrossed in pretend play? Dressing up as favorite careers and superheroes. Playing house and cash register. These fanciful times develop all kinds of skills in our children, including emotional development. Pretend play toys are fun! To spark your child’s imagination, shop our selection of favorite pretend play toys and games. Unlike “single use” toys, these toys encourage your child to create new stories again and again. If your child wants to fly to the moon or become a top chef, we have something that will catch their attention and spark creative thinking!
Family Games:Do you have a regular family game night? Maybe you need a great activity to give as a gift? There’s nothing better than a game! Card games and board games are especially awesome for entertaining groups of people. They are a fabulous way to build different kinds of skills, like social skills, taking turns, and planning and strategy. If you’re looking for an incredible new game for someone, we have unique games for all ages. You’ll find a bit of everything, from storytelling games to team games!
For more educational toy categories, please use our Categories dropdown at the top of this page!
What Are the Best Educational Toys for Toddlers?
Children learn by playing. Educational toys encourage the development of essential skills like creative thinking and problem solving. STEM toys help kids develop hand-eye coordination and encourage spatial skills. Many of the toys on the market stocked at Beyond the Blackboard are STEM toys. No surprise, there! One of our top picks for toddlers is the Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set.
Why Are Educational Toys Important?
The toys you choose to purchase for your children can change how they develop. As your child grows, it’s important to provide them with educational toys. Let them learn while they play! Educational toys help toddlers use different skill sets and areas of the brain.
Educational, learning, or instructional toys are valuable to toddler learning. Educational toys appeal to children and parents because they are toys but they have learning benefits. We research and select the best educational toys for toddlers and children of all ages.
When children play with educational toys and games, they develop creative thinking. Educational toys can help kids develop cognitive skills. Puzzles and number games are good examples of toys that boost cognitive skills! With the best learning games and toys, children also develop motor skills along with cognitive skills. When you give children guided play experiences, they also develop soft skills. Soft skills include language and emotional development.
At Beyond the Blackboard, we handpick the best educational toys. We have the best toys on the market!
Award Winning Toys & Games for Kids
Beyond the Blackboard features the very best quality educational and funtoys. We have classic toys, too! We support grown-ups as they raise smart, confident, and courageous children! All children should read books, play fun games, and create music. We want to honor children and notice their diverse strengths. We want to encourage them in these capabilities. It is our hope that our high-quality toys will help a new generation of children grow their educational skills. We will help them pursue whatever dreams they choose!
We began as a small educational store and holiday pop-up shop. We have two charming retail shops in Arvada, and Aurora, Colorado. It has been an exciting and wonderful journey. The friends we make and the knowledge we gain every day are priceless! We are an independent, family-owned and operated toy store. Our fun-loving and knowledgeable owners and team members care about our communities and families. We love helping you find the perfect books, games, and toys for the most precious people in your life.
Our shops are in Arvada, and Aurora, Colorado, in the Denver metro area. If you’d like to visit us in person (which we’d love!), our stores are easy to find. In Arvada, we’re located in Indian Tree Shopping Center, along Wadsworth Blvd, between W 76th Ave and W 77th Dr.
Our Aurora location, at Southlands Shopping Center, is right on S Main St near the fire pit. Don’t fret if you don’t see an empty parking space out front. There’s plenty of parking located behind the stores. Our Southlands location is a wonderful destination for local residents and travelers alike. It is easy to access from E-470!
If you’re in the Denver metro area, please stop in one of our shops for a little bit of playtime!