About Us

Providing Children's Toys Since 1972

Gingerbread House Toys has been sparking imaginations and delighting children since 1972. Over the years it has become the go to destination for families, caregivers, and children searching for fun, interesting, high quality educational toys in Central Illinois. What started as a small collection in someone’s home has grown into a hip, cool, whimsical boutique filled with all kinds of toys kids go crazy for (and ---shhhhh--- they’re all educational!) 

The store’s founder, Tami Jarecki, believed in the power of play to stimulate children’s minds. The shop grew and evolved, moving from her home into our original Victorian gingerbread-style house on Hannah Street. The priority was providing high quality, classic, educational toys that have remained popular for generations. Tami’s dedication to engaging minds and finding exciting ways for children to learn and grow has remained a core belief throughout nearly 50 years in operation.

In 2012, the store changed hands and was purchased by three sisters from Bloomington who had been raised on toys from the original store. Kate, Nikki, and Beki Greene had always loved coming into this magical space as children and were excited for the opportunity to not only continue the traditions of before, but also to offer exciting and innovative products, services, and events. New initiatives were launched, like the 12 Days of Giving--an annual series of fundraisers Gingerbread House offers each November as a thank you to the community.    

In 2017, the sisters, realizing that it was time for a change, decided bid a fond farewell to the old Victorian house to move into the Foundry shopping district on Washington Street in Bloomington, IL. The new space is bright, airy, and dynamic, full of whimsy and wonder. Nestled near Bloomington Cycle and Fitness, Coffee Hound 3, and Green Top Grocery, the Gingerbread House feels right at home in this new neighborhood. And the toys? They’re still the best that can be found, with a mix of the classics and cutting edge trends, always with an eye on quality, fun, and awesomeness.
 

Community Commitment: Educational Toys in Bloomington, Peoria, and Springfield


The Gingerbread House is also committed to our community.  Please complete the attached document and return to us if you have an idea about how we can help support your local non-profit organization.  Click  here  to download.


In November 2013, the Gingerbread House introduced the "12 Days of Giving," an annual holiday event in which 10% of retail sales on 12 different days will be earmarked for local non-profit organizations that support children in Central Illinois. Click   here   to download an application to participate in this great event!