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A Visit to the Play Cafe



Dress-up fun at The Play Café

Cold weather and cabin fever got you down? At Bryn Mawr's newest learning adventure, The Play Café, you can enjoy a cup a coffee, mingle with other caregivers and their young children, and most importantly — PLAY.

Find The Play Café and other great winter warmup spots in "The Inside Scoop," our comprehensive guide to the area's best indoor fun centers!

We had the pleasure of checking out The Play Café recently, and my 3-year-old and infant had a blast. From a really cool Lego loft, to dress-up clothes of every kind, to blocks, cars and small manipulatives for learning, to books, a dollhouse and an infant climbing area to boot, this place has it all to keep your little ones entertained for hours.

We will definitely be headed back to The Play Café all winter long. Not because the coffee was good (which it was), or because we met some fun playmates (which we did), or because the kids played for hours and didn't want to leave (which was true). No, we'll be back because it's SO important for children to be engaged in ACTIVE learning, which The Play Café has plenty of.

Did you know that physical activity activates the brain in ways that promote cognitive development? Children should be encouraged to explore the world with their senses — making learning not only "come alive" but more meaningful, and of course, fun and long-lasting! To learn more about the benefits of active learning and play check out these articles: In Defense of Active Learning and Flash Cards or Finger Paints: Should Academics or Play be the Goal of Preschool?

Here are some of the ways we learned through play on our visit:

Need a book to go along with your trip to The Play Café? We loved reading Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell. It's the perfect reminder that play and imagination are the best way to learn and have fun!

Marissa Kiepert Truong, PhD, is a Chester County, PA mom and early education consultant. This post is adapted from her blog, Land of Once Upon a Time.

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