Toy Town Play Center has a new bank for kids to learn about money and numbers, thanks to a special partnership with Washington Federal.

Toy Town had a small ribbon cutting to officially open the bank on Tuesday. The bank, which has the Washington Federal sign on the outside, is filled with fake money, deposit slips, security boxes and basic office supplies. The keyboard and calculator at the teller’s desk will help kids with fine motor skills, said co-owner of Toy Town Dawn Wilkinson, as will the dial on the vault.

There are number matching games hidden all over the building, the deposit slips will help kids practice writing and the fake money will help kids to recognize its real counterparts.

The bank is the eighth play building inside Toy Town, 12020 S. Warner-Elliot Loop. Wilkinson said Toy Town has been around for a while so most of the buildings are familiar to kids by now. The bank is something different for regulars to explore.

“We came yesterday and he was in there the entire day,” said Svenja Ruiz, who nannies 3-year-old Oliver and brings him to Toy Town a few times each month. “He was all about the money. He’s at an age of learning about money now so it’s cool. He gets excited about it.”

Wilkinson said the bank is a good example of partnerships they hope to create with local businesses in the future.

The bank has the same sign on the outside as the real Washington Federal location on Ray Road, which she said makes it more exciting for the kids.

“The kids see Washington Federal as they drive on the road and now they can recognize it as our bank at Toy Town,” she said. “It really helps make everything more real to them because it’s the same things they see in the community, in Toy Town.

“It’s a great opportunity for families and kids to have to come and share in an experience that the kids are often a part of. They go to the bank or to the ATM with their parents all the time, but this gives their parents an opportunity to explain to them what’s happening in those environments and give them a hands-on experience.”

Becky Zibert, branch manager of Washington Federal in Ahwatukee, said the sponsorship of Toy Town’s bank was their way of reaching out to the community.

“We wanted to give back to the community and show our support,” Zibert said. “Our goal is to invest here and we want to show the community that we are invested in Ahwatukee.”

For more information on Toy Town, call (480) 427-4896.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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