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Part of Savvy’s aversion to small children in the house (outside of the fact that they always seem to have jam on their hands even when they haven’t been eating any) is all the ticky-tacky toys. Even when relegated to the playroom, all that cheap plastic just depresses her. But walking into aMuse Toys was a refreshing experience. She loved the bright, airy space with its smart wooden shelves and lack of “welcome to our world of fun” overkill. aMuse specializes in toys that aren’t found in mass market stores and that focus on being engaging and smart. Younger ones will love the animal puppets from Beleduc and every toddler needs a set of blocks from Haba. There are Bruder trucks for boys and the classic, French Corolle dolls for girls (Savvy’s doll growing up) and ELC pull-toys for both. For older children, pick up Little Labs from Thames & Cosmos and the jewelry kits from Klutz. Don’t miss: Savvy had to purchase an American Mah-Jongg set. She finds the game so retro-chic, though she wouldn’t know a chow from a kong if her life depended on it. 2576 Quarry Lake Drive, 410-415-0000

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