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The big Harrys are back in school and I am back in the-little-kid-adventure-finding mode. I had heard great things about The Creative Cow but just didn’t get a chance to get there yet. Boy were we missing out! This time, I got to try out the artistic activity center for free, thanks to Harford County Public Library’s summer reading program coupons. (Next year you MUST sign up for the reading program- the coupons are fantastic!!) The normal fee for open studio time is $8 per child over 18 months. This gets you unlimited time to play and create for the day. Missy, Bubba and I joined a friend for a weekday morning open studio session. Here is what we found!
The delightful owner of The Creative Cow had 4 different stations set up for the kids to create to their hearts’ content. Today’s selections were a coloring page station, a paint station, a station that had home-made floam to make into pretend cookies, and a sugar cookie decorating station. I was told that these activities change daily, so it stays fresh for kids who come often. Missy LOVED painting her cupcake with “puffy paint” at the easel. It was her favorite activity of the day.
I know I should be better about this, but I am so hesitant to allow messy things like icing, painting, and sprinkles to enter our daily plans at home. It’s so great that my kids could experience those type of projects and I DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN THEM UP! All kids are offered a cute smock to keep their clothes from getting stained. They looked like adorable little VanGos and DaVincis!
In addition to the four art stations, there were other opportunities for creativity set up as well. There was a sand table filled with oatmeal for pouring and scooping (a huge hit with Bubba!), a fun plexiglass wall that could be drawn on, and a super cool lighted table with Magna-Tilesfor building. (We have a small set of Magna-Tiles at home and they are one of the top played with toys in our house! Missy even insisted on sleeping with one of the tiles for about 6 months haha! I highly recommend this toy if you are looking for a great long lasting gift idea!) Check out the ‘shopping building’ Missy created while we were there! After the mess, there is a cute sink area with a nice stool so the little artists can wash their hands.
On the opposite side of the creativity stations is a play mat with giant foam building blocks. Everyone is asked to remove shoes here. What a great opportunity for open ended play! This area was a huge hit and I loved seeing all the different ways these blocks could be used! I saw castles, construction projects, balance beams, and houses. Bubba and I had a blast playing hide and seek around a castle that Missy had built. The blocks area is a great place for younger toddlers to play while the older children are over on the other side creating their masterpieces. The room is also a good size in that its big enough to house a crowd, yet small enough that you can spot all of your kids from anywhere in the room. That’s a huge plus for those of us who have multiple children. I saw many moms wearing their littler babies in carriers, so you may want to try that if you have a younger baby.
Towards the back of The Creative Cow is a table with a water jug for thirsty little ones, some fun merchandise for sale, and the bathrooms (both equipped with changing tables and stools!) There are also some more opportunities for fun and creativity back here. There is a reading nook, magnetic letters, a create-your-own ball run, and a fully stocked dress-up bin.
We really enjoyed our stay at The Creative Cow. We arrived around 9:45am and stayed until a little after Noon. We were super hungry so we headed over to Chick-fil-a for lunch right afterwards. It was a challenge to pull Missy out of there as she was having so much fun!! I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s perfect for super hot, rainy or super cold days when an indoor day is warranted for sure. I will definitely be adding this new place in our rotation of fun things to do on days where we don’t have preschool. Next time I think I will invite a few friends so I can chat with other mommies and Missy and Bubba have some buddies!
Special thanks to Nicole from The Creative Cow for providing 3 Free Open Studio passes to readers of Harry Up and Go! Giveaway Contest will end Friday, September 10, 2016 at 12:00AM. Please like Harry Up and Go’s and The Creative Cow’s Facebook Page and sign up for our email list to enter. See details on our Facebook page here OR enter by clicking the Rafflecopter link below.