We went to check out this program called "Play To Learn" that so many of my friends had been talking about. It is sponsored by the Tacoma Children's Museum and it is free to attend. They have weekly playdates for the kids for a 1 1/2 hour block of time. We met at a community center and they brought all kinds of toys and activities to set up throughout the room, and all the kids come and do free play most of the time, but then they have two circle times which include singing a song or two and reading a story together.
This was my favorite picture from the bunch as you can see three of my children in it (Naomi is on the floor in the back and Caleb and Josiah in the foreground. Josiah was building a bridge and Caleb was poised to knock it down. Par for the course around here for those two roles being played out!
Josiah was probably the oldest child there, as it really is geared to the three and under crowd, but he found things to do to occupy himself. He linked all the train cars together and drove them around the room a few times.
Caleb looks very serious here as usual and he was busy working with the Playdough making something very important I am sure! He did pretty well and went around to many of the stations playing with all the toys. His favorite though were the plastic people. He took them around with him wherever he went and pretended they were walking places and doing things.
Daniel spent most of his time either doing crafts (gluing fabric to paper & a stamp art craft), playing with Playdough (as seen above) or doing puzzles. They all did pretty well for the first organized circle time, but for the second one, Daniel was walking around in the middle of the circle and then tried to get the teacher's attention by walking right out in front and getting in the way of the book. I think he was a little tired at the end as he was also laying on the ground and was somewhat fussy. He enjoyed the time there though for sure!
Naomi just crawled everywhere looking at things. At one point, they were blowing bubbles and three of them stuck to her hair that was sticking up. She really liked the bubbles and here she is happily chomping on some plastic castanets. At the end, it was really "interesting" trying to get everyone to leave with me. The boys tried to cut in line to get their treat bag (they had them special for Christmas) and so I had to wrangle them in and then when we got outside Caleb thought it would be a great idea to run down the sidewalk toward the busy street. I finally managed to corrale them all into the car and then we headed over to my friend Melissa's for a quick visit. All in all, it was a fun time, but I think I might bring a helper with me next time or plan to go with a friend!
One big bonus was that they give you a free pass to the Children's Museum as well, so that was really neat!