The Carlington Summit
by Frances Tanner.

Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers are cheering the September school bells too: now Mom or Dad or their caregiver will have more time for them. One special excursion you won't want to forget is to bring your wee one(s) out to the Playabout Drop-in at Carlington Community and Health Services, 900 Merivale Road.

Whether this is your first baby or your last who's not quite ready to follow the older ones off to school, you both can enjoy a morning out with your peers. Coffee's on at 9:30 am and you can stay till 11:00 any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday morning.

“It's a good opportunity to meet other parents and such a stimulating, inviting environment for kids,” says Playabout coordinator Mary Salegio. The former kindergarten classroom has been completely refitted for the birth-to-five set with a carpeted play area, child-size tables and a wide range of toys that will exercise their imaginations as well as their muscles, large and small.

“We always have crafts or playdough or messy play,” adds Mary. “You might not always be set up for some of these activities at home, so this is your chance.” Until the cold weather arrives, children have the option of taking fresh air in the fenced outdoor play yard.

Playgroup membership is free, although you will need to register. You can register on your first visit.

Also free is the CCHS Toy Library which operates from the playroom on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. As every parent knows, toys can be expensive and some of the best are appropriate for only a few months at a particular developmental stage. You can borrow toys, games, puzzles, videos and parenting books from the Toy Library's wide selection. “If you're not sure what toy to try next with your child, the toy librarian can help you choose,” says Mary.

Give Mary a call at 722-4000 or drop in any weekday morning (except Thursday) and check out the playroom. Your child will thank you.