Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NYC Dads Venture to Appleseeds

One of the cleanest and most impressive indoor playspaces that I have seen in New York resides at Appleseeds, located off the Northwest side of Madison Square Park. Yes, the same park with the famous burger joint, Shake Shack. Our NYC Dads Group were spread out across the different areas of the play space. Appleseeds has an expansive playground including a deli (with play shopping carts and different soft-foam foods), an NYC taxi and apartment building, as well as a Lego area and magnet wall. There was a ton to keep my son busy, but he was fascinated with handing me the different alphabet letters to put up on the magnet wall. There is plenty to keep your kid busy, and the space allows you to see your child from almost any vantage point.

Appleseeds hosted our group of stay at home dads to sample one of their new programs, Chat & Snack. In essence, chat & snack was a parent forum where the dads in our group (and a few moms) got to talk about SLEEP HABITS with an expert, Janeen Hayward of Swellbeing, while munching on crackers & pretzels. Janeen facilitated a lengthy discussion where she offered her wealth of knowledge to our group about this important, and sometimes frustrating topic. The dads in our group got to share experiences, ask lots of questions, address frustrations, and provide best practices with one another. During this dads enrichment activity, our kids were roaming, crawling, and interacting on the playmats in front of us. Sure, the class was a bit crowded and the acoustics were loud, but participating in these types of forums is always helpful for me because I get to learn about the different approaches parents have toward healthy sleep habits for their kids.

As an Upper East Sider, Appleseeds is family friendly & well worth the trek downtown.

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