My 2-1/2-year-old Hank is right at the age where he loves everything about dinosaurs. He'll sort them into groups of "bigger" and "little" dinosaurs, and the second he opened his special toy box at The TreeHouse Toy Store, he let out a little roar.

He's definitely not afraid of the T-rex! He was helping him hop all over the store, although he was pretty fond on the Brontosaurus, too.

The TreeHouse Toy Store has become our special place to come together, and this month, Mr. Dave, who owns the store with his wife, Gaetana, was waiting with some palaeontological toys:

1) Toysmith Epic Dinos: Each of the four vinyl styles are about 20 inches long and crafted with life-like details, according to its online description.

2) Peaceable Kingdom Dinosaur Match-Up Game: This traditional matching card deck can be adapted for young children (ask them to find which card matches the adult's card) or for older children (place all cards upside down and challenge the players to make matches by memory). It's a fun way to learn and talk about the different species of dinosaurs, too.

As a parent living in the age of big box stores and Amazon, I love the neighborhood feel Gaetana and David have cultivated at The TreeHouse Toy Store since they opened it in 1996. Their shop is a reflection of both their talents: Gaetana hand-picks all the toys with an eye for ones that spark children's creativity and imagination, while Dave (who enjoys both woodworking and math) handles the financial side of the business and has built all the displays, including the large bucket-filled counters.

They wanted kids of all ages to be able to explore The TreeHouse as if they were in an actual treehouse with fun things to discover around every corner and cool toys tucked into every nook. They created a shop where kids could come with their allowance and always feel like they could find something new and fun.

They also have a full-service website (including in-store pickup — or “TreeHouse Take-Out” as it’s called), TreeHouse Loyalty Club, shipping services, wishlists and good old-fashioned customer service.

If you want to give your kids a special treat, SHOP LOCAL! I highly recommend you visit The TreeHouse Toy Store at 793 Elmwood Ave. (at corner of Auburn in the Elmwood Village) or call them at 888-882-1322.