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Playtime at The Kid Zone

by Laurel Latham

"Play is the brain's favorite way of learning." -Diane Ackerman

Play is one of the most important aspects of a child's life. Children develop physically and emotionally through play. Play provides a foundation for learning, exploring and problem solving. Studies have shown that play reduces stress in children.

Organized by the Warroad Women of Today, The Kid Zone opened at the Warroad Community Center on Monday, March 11, and is open every Monday from 9 a.m. to noon. The goal of The Kid Zone is to create an inclusive indoor play area that encourages creativity, socialization, and physical activity for all children in our community and designed for children ages 0-6.

"Allison Hollermann approached the Warroad Women of Today with an idea for an indoor play area for kids," explained Kim Lawler. "Other towns like Fargo and the Twin Cities have kid's indoor play areas that are quite elaborate. We can't do an elaborate play center like they have, but the Warroad Community Center does have a nice area where kids have room to play with activity toys. The Warroad Women of Today decided to begin by opening on Mondays as a pilot project to see how many families would be interested in an indoor play area.

"On the first Monday The Kid Zone was open, 10 families attended with 18 kids," continued Kim. "On the second Monday,11 families with 22 kids played at The Kid Zone. We are finding there are many stay-at-home moms who are searching for a place to bring their children to socialize with other children. We've had grandmothers who babysit their grandkids and enjoy bringing their grandkids to The Kid Zone.

"Winter wasn't that bad this year, but young children have spent many hours inside at home. They enjoy coming to The Kid Zone to play. I'm surprised how many parents have never met and don't know each other. It's a great opportunity for parents to socialize as well."

Allison Hollermann's children, Emily 4 and Elizabeth 2, enjoy watching Blippi, a fun educational cartoon.

"Emily asked me why she couldn't play in an indoor playground like she saw on Blippi," reports Allison. "That's what gave me the idea of opening an indoor play area in Warroad. There are so many activities for kids at The Kid Zone. They like playing follow-the-leader on the balance beam obstacle course that can be rearranged. They like playing with playdough. Play is a great way to develop fine and gross motor skills and coordination."

Kayla Geisler also brings her children, Brynleigh 4 and Braden 2, to The Kid Zone.

"Brynleigh and Braden enjoy crawling through the collapsable tunnel and bouncing on the bouncy donkey," said Kayla. "They enjoy the balance beam obstacle course, playing with playdough and coloring in coloring books. Brynleigh and Braden really look forward to coming to The Kid Zone on Mondays."

"The Kid Zone has several activity toys that inspire children to play," reports Kim. "There's a hopscotch rug and a cityscape rug and cars to drive. There's a bouncy donkey the kids really like. When playtime is over, everyone helps put the toys back in the tubs and on the shelf.

"The Kid Zone will be open five more Mondays, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Warroad Community Center. After Memorial Weekend we are planning to meet at Allison Park for the summer months."

For more information on The Kid Zone, find them on Facebook at The Kid Zone In Warroad. A monthly calendar is posted on their Facebook page with all the activities for the month for kids in Warroad. Warroad Community Center is located at 222 Virginia Ave. N.E.


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