Play is critical for a child’s social and cognitive development. Many child psychologists will tell you that play is serious learning helping to develop essential skills for life. I am so happy that a new play area for children has opened up on Maui. It was created by another Maui mama, and I asked her to share her story. Thank you Rachel Johnson for all your valuable hard work.
“Growing up on Maui we didn’t have many indoor play options. As I began having children of my own, I realized the lack, and just like any mother, I wanted the best for my children. That’s when the idea of creating a great indoor Maui play center began. I started my child play idea simply by making play-wear and costumes. I needed a location that was suitable for the play area, plus a gift shop to showcase my items, other handmade items, and unique gifts. I also wanted a space big enough for birthday parties, and we wanted a venue on Maui that was central, affordable, safe, and entertaining for the younger children.
At the beginning, it seemed like one challenge after the next. After running into so many start up obstacles, I realized I needed help. I turned to my family for support, and even though the project took a little over two years, together we were able to make The Keiki Playhouse a reality.
I strive to create a place both fun and educational. My family and I visited children’s museums and discovery centers around America to help inspire our design. I decided on a village model, which was relatable to every day life including, among other things, a mechanic shop, pizzeria, grocery store, veterinary, pirate ship, vegetable garden, and a home, as well as a road for play vehicles. The skills learned here at the playhouse are ones that will create a foundation for our children their entire lives. Our hope is for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to have opportunities to teach and bond with the children through play. We have incorporated seating for adults to encourage interaction. In addition to the imaginative and interactive play, we also offer an area that encourages physical play. We want to encourage the kids to climb, ride bikes, and swing on bars.
I am truly grateful for all the support my family has given me through this process. From the long nights my father sat with me designing, to the hard work my husband and his grandfather put into the build out, to the sacrifices made by my family watching my children and the 12 hour shifts my brother has given. With continued support from the community, we hope to expand The Keiki Playhouse to include a daily schedule which offers classes for both children and moms. We also would love to make a space for children 11 years and up. We hope to see your Ohana at The Keiki Playhouse.”
The Keiki Playhouse is located behind Lowes at 427 Ala Makani St, Unit 101, Kahului (just past Diane’s Gymnastics Academy). You can check out www.thekeikiplayhouse.com for more information or just go visit and have fun;)
Image Credit: The Keiki Playhouse