Raising Richmond: C-MoR’s Stay & Learn

Holiday errands are hard enough without having to subject your little ones to the madness. Luckily, the Children’s Museum of Richmond – Short Pump has a new offer for its members that will take away some of the stress… and give the kids a chance to have a little extra fun.

I asked my daughter Lucy (age 5) if she would like to check out a class at the Children’s Museum of Richmond in Short Pump.

“Is it the one with the train?”she  said as her eyes lit up.

“Yep, that’s the one, but you go by yourself. What do you think?” I said, slightly grilling her.

“Yes! Yes! I’m in!” she squealed.

I was kind of surprised as this is my child that usually takes a little time to warm up to new situations. Apparently, the museum must have pretty good kid street cred judging from her reaction.

Stay & Learn is a newer offering for parents and kids looking to expand their museum experience. Members can drop off their potty-trained kids ages 2 1/2 to 6 from 9am to 12pm for a morning of museum fun and developmentally appropriate activities. Thanksgiving was the theme on the day Lucy attended class. I had a chance to interview the discerning, experienced, dare I say, preschool critic about her time at Stay & Learn.

“So Luce, how was it?”

“Oh Mom, we rode the train and had a feast and washed the dishes and I played with the stuff in the box, I think it was corn or something, and I wore a special shirt [each child is given a bright shirt for safety reasons] and I made a turkey and there was bowling and I want to go again.”

And all of that was said in one breath.

There was little interviewing after that; the kid pretty much laid it all out. I, however, had a few more questions for Lindsay McGreevy, the director of the Early Childhood Programs at the museum. She was gracious enough to give me a few more details.

The certified teachers at Stay & Learn all have a background in education, a Bachelor’s degree or CDA (Child Development Associate) credentials  in Early Childhood education. The cost is reasonable at $25 per session (additional siblings cost $20) with a convenient registration online. They ask you to register 48 hours in advance but will take students later if space is available. As one of those security crazed parent, I was happy to see the sign-in sheet, security card, and T-shirt to identify the children in the museum. As a former educator, I appreciated the class size (no more than 10), structure and play-based learning.

Bottom Line: The museum’s reputation is so solid — this is just one more opportunity to take advantage of the C-MoR goodness. Your child can play and learn, and maybe (just maybe) you can run an errand, get some holiday shopping in, or even have a cup of coffee. Alone. Can you even imagine? Merry Christmas to me.

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Patience Salgado

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