Village Play Cafe Explorers: Something Small but Special

I have a bull in a china shop second child. She’s adorable, mischievous, kind, and quite funny. While she has a minor expressive speech delay, there’s no holding her back. She thinks she’s a big girl and she’s ready to boldly take on this beautiful world. True to second child status, she’s had a few more exciting adventures in her young age in comparison to her sister. This is partly because we’re more comfortable as parents. However, this is also because of her personality. She’s a mover and a shaker. More than anything, she’s an energizer bunny. This girl can wear me out in an hour. She doesn’t stop moving. Seriously, she operates at a 10 most moments. And while I love and cherish this type of effortless energy, I’m forever on the hunt for something to do to keep her engaged and excited.

Enter the Village Play Cafe Explorers program. To begin, it’s challenging to find a drop off program for a two year old. And while she’ll enter a twos program in the fall at the Madison Co-op, there’s a void right now in terms of drop off activities. We do our fair share of Mommy and Me experiences, but she’s a child who craves and thrives in individual activities. Furthermore, it’s excellent for her speech development to engage with peers.

The program runs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I signed up for the 9:30-11:30 session but there are afternoon sessions available from 3:00-5:00 p.m. as well. CPR certified educational teachers and specialists oversee a program that incorporates yoga, dance, art, cooking, and sports. At the center of the program is the play cafe’s pride and joy, which is imaginative play.

They enroll children from age 1.5 to 5 making this an ideal scenario for siblings and/or appealing to the non-potty trained population.

Today was our first day of the program and I was impressed by the professionalism and passion of the staff. For as much as my girl is outgoing, she can be slow to warm in certain scenarios. But friendly faces and seasoned child caretakers and nurturers put her at immediate ease. She separated from me without a meltdown and happily explored her new surroundings.

Moreover, I loved her smile and comfort at pick-up. It was evident by the artwork produced and her overall demeanor that she enjoyed herself.

Because the play cafe was created by moms for parents there’s an understanding that exists in their customer experience. Just now I opened an email from the staff that included pictures from a busy morning of activity and engagement. For me, this is a win. I’ll be able to ask and steer conversations towards her activities, which means effortless but meaningful speech modeling and development opportunities. It also serves as a keepsake of the program itself. It should be noted that the program only accepts five children per session, which makes for a well equipped program and empowering experience.

Running throughout June, July, and some of August, this program is sure to please parents and participants alike. You can register online at the I am so grateful for this opportunity. To be honest, it’s nice for me as well. A few hours sans kiddos does wonders for the soul.

Wishing you adventures and discoveries this summer!

Katie ZurichComment