New playtime owners at a longtime Norman toy store

Kidoodles of Norman ribbon cutting

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s story time at Kidoodles once a week, which might be the only time parents can get their children to sit still in a toy store.

The quiet never lasts long.

Today’s book, “The Legend of Reindeer Shoes” is a short read, and the following Prize Box Grab involves the usual frenzy.

A leg up on business; Downtown traffic is way up a year after Chickasha’s Leg Lamp first lit up.

New owner, Stephanie O’Hara, doesn’t get to stand around much either these days.

Since taking ownership in May 2023 (from retiring previous owners), she’s been trying to strike a balance between the place where she shopped as a customer and what she wanted as proprietor.

“This had been in business for 39 years,” says O’Hara. “So we started from scratch, but it was so much fun. I’m like Tom Hanks in ‘Big’. I get to play with toys all day.”

Other longtime customers insisted on the child size front door.

“Thousands of little kids have walked through that door,” she insists.

O’Hara spent a lot of time at wholesale markets deciding what to put on the shelves.

Predicting what will be a hot seller from season to season is the real challenge.

O’Hara shows us a bath toy called, “Fozzi’s Foam. Like shaving cream for kids.”

She says pogo sticks are popular this Christmas, as is a puzzle toy called Dissect It, a plastic animal that you can take apart.

“You can dissect it,” says Stephanie. “It comes with tools.” We were actually here back in 2018 to play around and shoot a feature with Jill Hunt whose family owned the store with Copelin’s Office Supply.

Our own reckless play might be one of the reasons the hula-hoops hang extra high, and the Rody bouncy toys are on the top shelf too.

The real customers inside the new Kidoodles are serious shoppers this time of year, as are Stephanie’s 2nd grader twins who work here themselves.

“They work here on Thursdays,” she tells us.

The O’Haras knew they were taking on a sacred trust in taking over Oklahoma’s largest independent toy store, but it’s not all serious business.

Putting fun within easy reach is never without its own rewards.

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