It's Playtime: New Classes for Kids Offered at Kulick Center
PlayAway classes start next week in Ferndale.
As the mother of two young boys, Evelyn Moses knows all about how important it is to find fun, engaging activities for her kids.
In addition to frequently taking her boys to Romp and Stomp at the Kulick Community Center, the local mom also found out about a place in Royal Oak called PlayAway, offering play-based classes for children focusing on art, music, cooking and more.
She liked it so much she wanted to get involved in teaching classes there, but as it turned out, the business was for sale. She and her husband decided to buy PlayAway, and now - a year later - they are opening a new location in Ferndale.
"I loved the concept and did not want to see it go away," she said of their decision to purchase PlayAway. Classes will still be offered in Royal Oak along with the new sessions in Ferndale.
Located at the Kulick Center, PlayAway classes begin Sept. 10 and include options for babies through school-aged kids.
Moses, whose sons are ages 6 and 3, said her days are often spent trying to tire her boys out - "which usually results in me being tired."
"I wouldn’t have it any other way," she said. "They love PlayAway and think of it as their own personal playground. They are my test subjects to see how well an activity will go."
Ferndale Recreation Director Jill Manchik said PlayAway will make a nice addition to the department's current programs.
"I think they'll be a great addition to the classes that we do have," Manchik said. "We already have a captive audience with our Kids Corner and Romp and Stomp. It's another opportunity for that age group."
Q&A about PlayAway
We asked Moses some questions about PlayAway and the new location. Here's what she had to say.
What is PlayAway?
Moses: PlayAway offers parent-child classes for children ages 6 months to 6 years. These are more commonly known as mommy and me classes. We invite caregivers of all types to attend our classes.
Why should parents check it out?
Moses: We are a locally owned family business, which it has been since 2002. We only have classes in our communities. This allows us to form positive relationships with all our families. We see each other around town, at the library, grocery store, zoo and parks. It is always fun to see my friends outside of class. I enjoy being involved in our community. I am part of the local MOMS Club chapter that is part of Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge and Ferndale, and I’m on the PTA board at my son’s school. I like to be involved.
What sets it apart from other programs for kids in the area?
Moses: PlayAway focuses on the process of art and not the product, as well as learning through play, which is how children this age learn. Parents are their child's first teacher and our program reinforces that. Parents work side by side with their child while they paint, play in sand, or sing and dance. I like to say we focus on being messy and provide activities parents deem too messy for their home. We play with age appropriate materials; pudding, shaving cream, homemade play dough, cooked pasta and more!
Why do you think Ferndale is a good location for this?
Moses: As a mom of two boys ages 6 and 3, I use the Kulick Center for Romp and Stomp. I love the location, the building, and the families I meet there. When I purchased PlayAway from the previous owner I really wanted it to be back in a community center as it was originally in 2002. I thought of the Kulick Center. I believe it is a natural fit; they already have our focused age group and parents who want to play with their children. Why not expand on what they can offer to the community.
Why are programs like this important for young children? For parents?
Moses: Open play is very important for young children. It allows them to use their imagination and act out whatever world they create through that open play. I watch my boys create an entire world out of their cars and create a dialogue between all the cars. It blows me away to see how they can really imagine that it is real. It is hard for adults to remember and grasp that concept. Today there are so many toys and games, television and computers that hinder that imaginative play. It is so different from when I grew up and I am only 40.
Our lives can be overscheduled, our class allows for parents, be it stay at home or working, to connect with their child.
What else do you want parents to know?
Moses: Keep it simple. I find the simple toys; pots and pans, water, sand, play dough, and crayons (to name a few) elicit the best results. Some of my best classes are painting with pudding or stamping with marshmallows. My friends always go crazy over the homemade play dough.
How to sign up?
Classes are offered in six-week sessions and include PlayMusic, PlayGym, PlayChef, PlayBabies, and PlayFriends, depending on the age group. Pricing varies from $65 to $85 per class.
You can register for Ferndale classes on the Ferndale Recreation website or in person at the Kulick Center.
For more information, visit www.playawayonline.com.