Toys for tots




We always have a ready list of items to look for on our travels, that we can’t find or don’t have a wide selection of in Cambodia. Toys were on that list this year. While home we looked for toys that’ll engage the little boy’s imagination longer than the immediate learning phase. And I’m not a fan of the plastic battery-operated trinkets with obnoxious bright lights and noise. I remember the toys from when I was a kid which had a lot to do with being creative – like blocks, tinker toys or legos. So one of our great finds is this Zany Zoo wooden activity cube. It’s sturdy and bottom-heavy (at 9kg/19lb this little boy can pull himself up on it without tipping it over), thoughtfully designed (rounded corners, bright colors, dense with a variety of activities), and very attractive. And I love the rest of the B. line of toys – great philosophy, great designs, lovely products.

We cabin-checked this toy through all flights from New Orleans to NYC to Phnom Penh. Thankfully all the flight attendants and crew were very accommodating.

That said, there are actually some options in Phnom Penh for quality toys. By that I mean durable, educational and safe for the oral fixation stage through toddler years, when the wee ones are just discovering their sensory and motor skills. We’ve gotten some sets of wooden blocks, clapping push toys, puzzles, rocking horses etc from these two places below. I highly recommend them both; the toys are great and the organizations are involved in training local craftsmen in making wooden toys and furniture:

Cambodia Japan Friendship Skills Training Center #1425, Road # 2, Chak Angre Krom
Go south along Norodom Blvd, on the overpass towards Tahkmao (not over the Monivong Bridge).
Pass a small Wat on the left then a few minutes later will be a Caltex.
Straight after the Caltex is another Wat on the left.
The factory is directly opposite, on the right side.
Contact: Meng Hongleng 023 425787

Mekong Toys Wat Than Pagoda
180 Norodom Blvd, Tonle Bassac, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh
+855 12 92 99 31
+855 12 96 64 14
Contact: mekongtoys [a] gmail [dot] com

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