Meet Our Staff
Rita Pin Ahrens
Chief Happiness Officer, Child’s Play Toys & Books
Rita Pin Ahrens brings a lifetime dedication to play, education and social justice to her role as chief happiness officer for Child’s Play Toys & Books. As a long-time customer, former teacher and community advocate, Rita is honored to continue the legacy of Child’s Play as a beloved neighborhood toy store that has brought happiness to families for 35 years.
Our book buyer, Molly has worked at Child’s Play for nine years. She believes that books are the most important explorations of childhood, and she loves to happen upon a child happily reading in the store. At home, she plays bookcase Jenga (aka finding space for all of her books); puzzles with her son, Max; reads; hikes; and goes down slides. Her favorite children’s book is Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back, by Shel Silverstein.
Shannon has worked at Child’s Play for eight years, where she revels in the staff’s terrible jokes and is our resident weapons expert. In her spare time, she plays with her garden and watches the Redskins lose. Before finding her true love of toys, Shannon was a police officer. Her favorite childhood toy was the LEGO space monorail, and her favorite kids’ movie is Kindergarten Cop.
If Alexander isn’t discussing board games, you can find him engaged in an intense Whombatz battle with a customer. His current favorite game is Star Realms Frontiers, but he’ll have a different answer next month. Born and bred in D.C., Alexander loved his erector sets as a child, and his favorite children’s book is Dealing with Dragons. In his spare time, he enjoys DIY crafting, sailing, brain teasers and reading.
A long-time customer, Lisa just had to join the team after watching her children grow up in the store. She loves modern art, reading and family game night and homeschooled her children for four years. Her favorite book as a child was A Wrinkle in Time, and her favorite toy was the dollhouse her father built. Lisa also works as a freelance communications consultant and writer.
The manager of the McLean store, Bregette has worked at Child’s Play “forever.” Although she has a degree in art history, Bregette used to make a list of books she would want in her own book store. Her favorite movie as a child was The Last Unicorn and now she adores anything by Pixar. In her spare time, you’ll find her playing board games and watching movies with her daughter, drawing and painting, and reading. As a child, she loved playing with He Man and She Ra.
A self-proclaimed game nerd, Jimmy loves talking to customers about board games all day. His current favorite is Wingspan, but he also enjoys his extensive Funko Pop collection (he has over 800!) and LEGOs. Before moving to the D.C. area, Jimmy lived in Boston, where he worked at the world’s only Curious George store. As a kid, his favorite movies were Aladdin and The Lion King, and his favorite children’s book is The Phantom Tollbooth.
The book manager at the Arlington store, Sue loves the people who shop at Child’s Play. As you might guess, she adores the book section, but games come in a close second (art is pretty cool, too). She loves reading, games and always has a puzzle going, although with five grown kids, she doesn’t have much spare time. As Sue notes, if her whole day was terrible, she can always find joy in a favorite book. As a kid, she loved her bike and softball glove, and her favorite children’s movie is Up.
Aidan has worked at Child’s Play since February of 2022, and loves getting to work with a group of people who are all pretty nice and capable. Aidan likes playing board games whenever possible. When not, doing puzzles, playing video games, and reading fantasy novels, usually in the company of a cat.
Summer has worked at Child’s Play since May of 2022, and loves learning about all of the new toys and games. Her favorite children’s book is Mysterious Benedict Society, and she likes to paint, go to museums, play board games, and travel. Summer has been to 26 countries, and 43 states.