Katy Educational Toys

Shop strives to make learning fun for children

Set on introducing children to games that can be both entertaining and instructional, Dean Shaikh's mission for Katy Educational Toys is to go beyond the traditional board game. Although he sells some familiar family games, Shaikh's focuses on how to introduce toys that stimulate children's imagination and help them better understand subjects and concepts such as math, English and problem solving.

"Many of the games are helpful in teaching the children interpersonal communication skills," said Elizabeth Shaikh, Dean's wife and teacher at Katy ISD. "They teach them how to get along with other people, and also help them apply skills they learn in school."

Dean opened the store at 2004 S. Mason Road in 2008, he said, after calling it quits from managing several CVS stores. He said he saw a need for an educational games and toy store in the Katy area, and since opening it has garnered a steady following of local teachers and parents.

The store has a working partnership with six KISD elementary schools where students are given a $5 gift certificate to the store toward a toy of their choosing, and Dean said he occasionally also provides other promotions and offers.

Personable customer service and the ability to try out demo toys set out in the store distinguishes his store from big-box competitors, Dean said. He also takes recommendations and suggestions from customers looking for specific toys or games for their children.

"A lot of times parents don't know how to teach their kids certain things, like chess," he said. "So we sell a solitaire version of it so the child can play and still learn on their own. We also sell a lot of math, English, strategy and some party games that are good even for adults."

When new games come in, he said, they are usually placed on display and opened so customers can take advantage of an in-store trial run before purchasing. The Shaikhs also make a point to try games out themselves before purchasing large orders and putting them in the store.

The end goal for Dean is to help students who are struggling with particular subjects and may require a different form of instruction. He said many of his customers are teachers looking for new games to incorporate into their lesson plans. The store also features work books and children's books.

"Dean [sees] value in playing and engaging the imagination, which is what we both did with our daughter," Elizabeth said. "We were always playing games with her. If you make things fun, children are more apt to engage."

How they learn

Researchers from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University compiled tips for parents and teachers to help them better understand how children learn.

Provide a stimulating environment with plenty of opportunities for supportive social interaction and let children play.

Choose toys that encourage children to explore their physical world and to play with others.

Engage in play with young children that involves different outcomes, such as dropping a soft ball on a hard surface and then throwing a hard ball on the hard surface, and letting them observe different actions.

Explain different ways of achieving similar outcome to children, such as how to get playing blocks to touch each other either by stacking or laying them down.

Katy Educational Toys, 2004 S. Mason Road, Katy, 281-574-6997, katyeducationaltoys.com

  • Tues.–Fri.: 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Sat.:10:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Sun.: Noon–5 p.m.
  • Closed Mondays.


MOST RECENT

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Katy-area readers. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
June 5 data shows increase of 37 confirmed COVID-19 cases for Katy area

There are a total of 1,178 confirmed positive coronavirus cases across the seven Katy-area ZIP codes, according to data available at 4:40 p.m. June 5.

SNAP, a federal program overseen in Texas by the HHSC, assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency SNAP food benefits extended in Texas during COVID-19 pandemic

SNAP assists around 1.4 million eligible low-income individuals and families in Texas.

Pictured above is a plate of Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers' brisket, sausage, jalapeno cheddar sausage, boudin and chicken. (Courtesy Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers)
Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers celebrates 1-year anniversary of new ownership

Chuckwagon BBQ & Burgers celebrated its one-year anniversary under new ownership by chef and owner Waseem Hilal in May.

About 2,000 people marched at the Katy for Black Lives Matter Protest held June 4 at Katy Park. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTOS: Scenes from the Katy for Black Lives Matter Protest

About 2,000 people marched at the Katy for Black Lives Matter Protest held June 4 at Katy Park.

As of June 4, 14 COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed and 56 residents and staff are being monitored at the center. (Community Impact staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Outbreak reported at Humble rehab facility

As of June 4, 14 COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed and 56 residents and staff are being monitored at the center.

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to see its COVID-19 cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CMS reports 321 coronavirus deaths in Texas nursing homes, nearly 32,000 nationwide

CMS also unveiled an interactive map that lets users search any nursing home in the U.S. to its COVID-19 cases.

While the Texas Supreme Court's 15th Emergency Order issued May 14 allowed residential eviction proceedings to resume statewide beginning May 19 following a two-month hiatus, the order does not require those proceedings to resume. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hidalgo, Turner request eviction moratorium be extended through Aug. 24

In hopes of avoiding a new wave of homelessness plaguing Harris County, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo have requested all justices of the peace countywide to postpone eviction hearings until late August.

OrangeCrate Fort Bend is the first OrangeCrate franchise in Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Locally owned delivery service OrangeCrate launches in Fort Bend County

OrangeCrate differs from other deliver companies because it is locally owned and focuses on partnering with local businesses, operator Cody Lee said.

Mike Jaquez wears personal protective equipment May 28 at Houston Methodist West Hospital while assisting emergency room patients. (Courtesy Houston Methodist West Hospital)
Katy-area nurses reflect on COVID-19: 'We’re not running away from it; we’re meeting it head on'

The pandemic has been scary for local nurses, but they are adapting to new operations to keep themselves and patients safe.

Cities in Fort Bend County will receive federal funds to help with coronavirus pandemic expenditures. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here’s how much CARES Act funds Sugar Land, Katy and other cities are receiving from Fort Bend County

Three cities—Sugar Land, Missouri City and Rosenberg—received more than $1 million each.

Star Cinema Grill has several locations throughout the Houston area. (Courtesy Star Cinema Grill)
Houston-based Star Cinema Grill prepares to reopen all locations

The Houston-based theater chain plans to open all locations by mid-July.

Minuti Coffee opened a new location in Katy.  (Courtesy Minuti Coffee)
Minuti Coffee opens new location on Katy Fort Bend Road

The business offers specialty drinks, desserts and sandwiches.