When we first toured our current apartment building six years ago, although we did see the children’s play room, we didn’t think much of it since at that time, we didn’t have any kids, nor were we actively trying to conceive. But of course, since getting pregnant with Kaia and now having her, when we have toured other building’s facilities, I’ve definitely scrutinized the play rooms more in terms of how they are set up, what types of toys and structures they have, and how they are decorated. Another thing about most building play rooms (and gyms, for that matter) is that they tend to be in the basement. I’d assume this is to maximize the windowed areas for actual units people will be living in/renting/buying, but still, this is annoying to think of children playing without any natural light in the rooms they are in; it just seems so dreary. It’s my huge gripe with all daycares that are close to where we live: all the main educational areas have zero windows or view to the outside world. The big windows are one reason our nanny said she really likes our play room. She said that our play room is not too big, not too small, but just the right size. And the large windows on one side of it really help.
Our nanny has been great in finding other nannies who are caring for babies of a similar age as Kaia to arrange play dates and encourage socialization. So while they’ve organized activities together at the playground, the park, and the library, they’ve also taken turns “hosting” the other nanny/child at each other’s building’s play rooms. The thing that was hilarious about the most recent child is how big her building’s play room is. They have these huge cushion/foam structures set up for kids of toddler age to walk up, climb up, spin around, and do all the same “gymnastic” like activities that they have toddlers do at NYC Elite Gym or Gymboree… just without the $50/class price tag, or $200+/month charge.
“That building’s play room has all the same stuff as Gymboree, just without the charge!” my nanny exclaimed one day after sharing photos with me of what the kids did together. “It’s like robbery what places like Gymboree charge!”
I kind of smirked in response and said.. well, make sure to keep in contact with this nanny/nanny kid and do a play date at their play room at least once a week so we can maximize the “value” of this relationship. This relationship is essentially a $200/month value now!!