Parenting Resources

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As a parent, I’ve relied on those who’ve gone before me to share what works, what doesn’t work, where I should go with my child, places I should avoid, etc. When I dreamed up Roo’s World of Discovery, I consciously decided that I wanted to not just provide a fun and safe place for our children to play but also be a resource for the parents and caregivers who bring their kids to play. While, I’d love it if you ONLY came to Roo’s World, there are a number of fantastic places in the entire Puget Sound to explore. I just hope that you know that I want Roo’s World to be your favorite place πŸ˜‰

I don’t know everything, so if you have a resource to add, please contact us.

*Updated on Feb. 3, 2016

EARLY INTERVENTION AND MORE

Boyer Children’s Clinic – no experience but have heard good things.

Cogwheel Clinic for Neurodevelopment – no personal experience other than an introductory session for my mommy group but have heard mixed things. Tip: there is no wait for their ABA therapy; they don’t take insurance but will help you submit.

Kindering – where Roo received most of her early intervention services. We started at 18 months but should have started earlier (we were a little in denial). We were receiving private therapy previously and while we loved it, we were missing out on some of the educational resources and socialization opportunities that Kindering provides. Tip: Participate in their educational classes (e.g., Co-op, Stepping Stones).

Mosaic Rehab – no personal experience; and, they may have more than just ABA therapy, so look into it.

Seattle Children’s Autism Center – no personal experience. Tip: Wait list is long, so get a referral early!

Seattle Children’s Playgarden – an outdoor play space that features a sensory garden (music, fruit, vegetable, herbs and more), a daycare/preschool and summer camps. Tip: We attended their mommy and me summer camp program and loved it! Sign up early so you don’t miss out.

UW Autism Center – no personal experience but I know families who have participated in the UW’s Tadpole study and LOVED it. Tip: Wait list is long for the clinic, so get a referral early!

Kristin Bedard, OTRL – Kristin is a pediatric occupational therapist and hosts our weekly Ask the OT Play Date on Wednesdays. She is also available to do occupational therapy with children in Roo’s World space.

Indoor Play

For a complete list of amazing indoor play spaces, visit ParentMap, RedTricycle and other area resources. The following are spaces that Roo and I have visited:

Eastside Indoor

Dabuda Playhouse and Cafe – an indoor play space that is very similar to WiggleWorks with a nice cafe attached. The owner is super sweet. Tip: Located towards the back of an office park/warehouse area, it’s a bit hard to find but worth the trip, especially since it’s not super popular (yet)!

Funtastic Playtorium – next to KidsQuest Museum (until KidsQuest moves to downtown Bellevue) in Factoria Mall, the Playtorium is an enormous jungle gym with a toddler area. This is a super-fun space for kids who don’t mind noise and lots of kids running around. Tip: Be sure to bring socks!

KidsQuest Children’s Museum – while technically a museum and not a play space, KidsQuest has a great space for kids under three. Their annual membership is totally reasonable and they have some fantastic programs. Tip: They feature a sensory night once a month.

ROMP – the most similar space to Roo’s World; in my opinion, ROMP is geared more towards academics with a calendar full of educational classes for children (it seems age four and up). It’s a gorgeous space and worth a visit! Tip: Call in advance for a drop in pass.

WiggleWorksKids – located in Crossroads Shopping Center, WiggleWorks is the best place to take your kiddo to get their wiggles out. For my sensory sensitive child, WiggleWorks is best on slow days (which are far and few between). Tip: Don’t miss out on the .25 rides throughout Crossroads! A cheap rainy day activity.

South Sound

Frog N Kiwi Cafe – it’s a bit far from the Eastside (we met some friends visiting from out of town) but it was a sweet place to visit. They also have a Cedarworks climbing structure. Tip: The cafe was meh (just being honest, and I’m a bit of a food snob).

Seattle

OmCulture/OmTots – their weekday play is awesome and is a great environment for kiddos with sensory issues. The lighting is low and every day they offer a circle time with songs and sometimes they bring out drums! Tip: Be sure to check their hours before you go.

Seattle Children’s Museum – right in Seattle Center, this is a fun place to explore with your little one. Tip: Right upstairs is a great food court for hungry tummies!

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About the Author: Michelle Landwehr
Michelle Landwehr is the founder and owner of Roo's World of Discovery, a Montessori-inspired indoor play and learning space for children of all abilities in Kirkland, WA. She's also a mom to her adorable daughter, Madeleine (Roo). Before Roo's World, Michelle did freelance public relations for healthcare and technology clients.
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