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Swap and Play

October 8, 2009

On Monday we visited the Sunnyside Swap Shop, and yesterday we met friends at the St John’s Swap and Play. They are definitely interesting and innovative community child centers.

Both organizations rent space from churches in their neighborhoods, which they have converted into play spaces for babies and young children. Throughout the week they host different activities, like gym time, art or music. Both have art rooms which are stocked and available at any time, and ample indoor and outdoor play spaces with toys, books, and quiet places for babies. As a coop member you can come and go 6 days a week from 8am-8pm, which allows for flexibility and the unpredictability of kids. That is one feature I love!

The “swap” part is a nice as well. Clothing, toys, books, etc. are all available for exchange, like item for like item. Other larger items like strollers, co-sleepers, etc. are available on loan.

I like the community that these co-ops help foster, and with winter coming they are definitely more than a little tempting for indoor social time. We don’t mind playing outdoors in the winter, but we never see other children out, so finding social interaction is trickier. Plus the indoor gym at Sunnyside had some great gross motor equipment; bikes, balance bikes, trikes, balls, mats, etc. They also host live music events for the kids, dinner nights, and other family oriented events. I think membership for the winter months might be worth it. At the very least, I like to know what resources are available, and it makes me happy to see people actively building our community.

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