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.


Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew opened in Katy. (Courtesy Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew)
Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew opens in Katy area

The restaurant’s menu is made from scratch and includes Chicago fare

Title Boxing Club Katy opened in Katy. (Courtesy Title Boxing Club Katy)
Title Boxing Club Katy opens on Westheimer Parkway

The gym offers boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts classes.

In a split 3-2 vote, the Harris County Commissioners Court passed a nonbinding resolution in favor of legislation requiring universal background checks for all Texas firearm sales, including those involving an unlicensed gun dealer and stranger-to-stranger gun sales, at its Nov. 12 meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
In split vote, Harris County approves resolution supporting universal background checks for all Texas firearm sales

The nonbinding resolution's passing demonstrated the court's support of legislation requiring universal background checks for all gun sales in the state, including those involving an unlicensed gun dealer and stranger-to-stranger gun sales.

Fort Bend County Bridge and Road Department began construction to build a temporary road between Charger Way and Katy Fulshear Road in Fulshear. (Courtesy Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner's office)
Construction begins on temporary road to relieve traffic on Charger Way in Fulshear

The temporary road will help relieve traffic associated with the three Lamar CISD schools located on the 0.7-mile Charger Way.

Ahead of the Dec. 14 mayoral runoff election for the city of Houston, Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman announced plans Nov. 12 to move the county’s ballot box collection center to a more centralized location in hopes of expediting election result returns. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County clerk to move ballot box collection center to centralized location in effort to expedite election result returns

Ahead of the Dec. 14 mayoral runoff election for the city of Houston, Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman announced plans Nov. 12 to move the county’s ballot box collection center to a more centralized location in hopes of expediting election result returns.

One of the major themes found in the report was a nearly 24-year range in average lifespan that varied across the county from as low as 65 years to as high as 89 years. According to the report, the Memorial/Bear Creek area has the highest average lifespan, while the East Little York/Settegast area has the lowest. (Courtesy Harris County Public Health)
Benchmark study reveals 24-year lifespan variance, high obesity rates and limited health care access across Harris County

A study by Harris County Public Health found life expectancy in Harris County alone varies by nearly 24 years depending on where a resident lives.

Kinokuniya Bookstore opened in Katy. (Courtesy NewsQuest Properties)
Kinokuniya Bookstore opens in Katy area

The retailer sells books, magazines and stationery from Japan.

Ross Stores Inc. will open a distribution center in Waller County in 2021. (Courtesy Ross Stores Inc.)
Ross distribution center to open in Brookshire in 2021

In addition to increasing the number of jobs and potential tax base, the distribution center is also driving new roads and road improvements in the area.

Bruce and Carol Huff (standing) passed the ownership to Jacob and Astrid Proctor (sitting). (Courtesy Betsy Proctor)
Katy Rock Shop under new ownership

Geologists Jacob and Astrid Proctor are the new owners of the store.

Snow fell at the Tomball Museum Center in early December 2017 (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Greater Houston area to experience cold front Nov. 11-13; temperature could reach freezing point

The front is not expected to affect travel because the ground is too warm for precipitation to stick.

Back to top