When you think about play spaces for kids, the last words you probably think of are “zen,” “beautiful,” or “relaxing.” And I would agree with you. Honestly.But that all changed the second I stepped into the Sod Room. From the décor to the lighting to the music, it is like a wave of relaxation spills over your stressed out parenting shoulders the minute you walk into the gorgeous space. And there is coffee. Swoon.
Disclaimer: I received free admission to Sod Room. All of the opinions and descriptions of our experience are my own and not affected by Sod Room.
What makes the Sod Room so special? It is a premiere play space in Chicago that prides itself on being eco-friendly by choosing to showcase recycled materials and sustainable and responsibly made toys….no wonder why The Land of Nod chose to partner with them for some special play dates.
Classes and Special Events for Eco-Minded Families
Speaking of special events, the Sod Room hosts a wide variety of activities for families who strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, with classes ranging from breastfeeding workshops to infant massage and baby sign language instruction. Even expecting moms can get a great workout in during evening classes with Fit4Baby Prenatal Fitness classes! We have attended the tot Spanish classes offered by Totus Lingua, and there are tons of other classes available such as story time, yoga classes and more!
A Responsible Play Space
But back to the fun. While most play spaces focus on one great feature, such as a detailed train table or unique climbing structure, the Sod Room has a wealth of fun toys and activities that promote creative play.
For example, my son spent almost an hour playing with the beautiful ribbon curtain, happily pretending that he and I were caught in a “spaghetti storm.” Who knew that such a simple toy would inspire such imagination?
We spent the majority of our time playing with “real life” toys, shopping for the freshest produce we could find and then creating elaborate fruit and veggie stews for the dolls who are lucky enough to live at the Sod Room.
Since my little guy is on a puzzle kick right now, he enjoyed playing with the peg wall and magnetic shape board, creating different letters and numbers that he is learning at school. I was so impressed with how these simple toys engaged him in such a sophisticated way, showing that sometimes the most simple toys are the best (Anyone who has ever seen a child play more with the box that a toy comes in than with the actual toy knows EXACTLY what I am talking about).
Another popular spot in the play space is the two story playhouse. With a rope ladder, slide, and lower level “cave” for building and quick costume changes (for my little buddy, it was to turn from an average three year old into a superhero), it demonstrates how natural toys and products can provide endless entertainment for budding minds and bodies.
For the little ones, there is a separate area full of “sod” and other nature based toys to engage their desire to discover different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes.
For the older kiddos, there are extremely fun balance boards that they can use to catapult themselves into a giant bean bag. I might have made a fool out of myself trying these out, but I had an absolute blast!
I could go on and on about the other great toys and resources, but sometimes pictures truly speak louder than words.
The Sod Room is one of the few play spaces that allows outside food and drinks, but be sure to enjoy them in the designated areas. Be sure to also check out the healthy and organic options they provide for both adults and children as well.
Have to run an errand or pick up a sibling from school? No worries! Just take a break from playing and get a sticker so that you can return the same day for a bit more playing before returning home for the evening.
Looking for quiet time at the play space? Try the 12:30-3:30 window.
Looking for more mellow playmates? Stop by between 3:00 and 5:30.
My son and I loved perusing the retail boutique at the Sod Room and there were no complaints from me when he was checking out the local, organize, fair trade and recycled products. There may just be one of these adorable toys ready for his upcoming birthday celebration.