The Broken Toy Life

Obviously, every time you come into open play, sign up for memberships, attend our special events or spend any of your hard earned money at our door you help our business. It means one step closer to helping us bridge the gap between debt and profit. We are extremely grateful for all the support and we love seeing all your faces when you come in. We wish we could know all of you as well as we know some of you.

The other obvious is that being a play space we have challenges. Our biggest every day challenge is what we call the broken toy life. How are these mini us strong enough to be ripping off hinges on doors? And how do they manage to find things that fit in holes they don’t belong in? Or why do they keep decapitating the dolls? And why are there always balls missing? We are in shock. Like the emoji shock face.

We try to replace or fix the toys as quickly as possible, but the kids have us out numbered.

Broken Toy Life

Here’s how you can help.

Donate your gently used toys to us – Many of you have asked, but it has never been formally answered by us. YES, we will take your gently used toys. Bring them in and we’ll clean and put out on the floor what we can use. However, please be aware what we are unable to use will either be donated, trashed or re-sold (mostly so we can generate funds to replace toys).

Replace a toy for under $25 – Want to help us one step further? Check out our amazon replacement toy list. For under $25 you can help us replace a toy that your child and many other children will enjoy. We have many other high priced items on our wish list and if you can knock out some of these lower priced items it will bring us one step closer to buying those really unique toys for your children to enjoy.

Broken Toy Life

Once again, thank you for listening and we are grateful beyond measure for your continuous support. Talk soon.

Moana Luau

The sea calls us at our recent Moana Luau. Our special events have been called one big party. We believe that to be true and this one was extra special because Moana is well loved!

At this event our Moana read a Moana story and did a sing-a-long from the movie.

Moana Luau

She even taught the kids a little Hula! Our little Moana’s looked so cute dancing the Hula.

Moana Luau

After the kids got their very own tattoo by Moana.

Moana Luau

We did tons of Luau inspired activities such as sand sensory, frame decorating, flower crowns and lei making.

Moana Luau

We’re so happy all our little Moana’s were able to come and enjoy Moana Luau with us.

Moana Luau

….but we’re especially in love with our one baby Maui! Just too adorable!

Moana Luau

You can sign up for other special events on our online store. Also, check out the video.

Birthday Invitations

In every party package we include digital birthday invitations. There are three themes to choose from and they are super cute! They can match any theme or gender. Our favorite is the birthday cake one. The back also allows space for a place to write gift ideas to your guest and directions to Imagine Play.

For a themed birthday party package we even get themed invitations. Unicorn themes are very popular right now.

birthday invitations

You can send this invitation out in an email to all your friends or if you prefer, we also offer an option to print the invitations on premium 5×7 card stock. Ask us about printing your birthday invitations for a more intimate way to invite people to your party. The final product is beautiful! The invitation just look so good on paper.

Joint Birthday – Princess & Power Rangers

We often get joint birthday parties and we are sure parent’s appreciate not having to hold two separate birthday parties. Kids birthdays can be stressful and we hope to make it a little less stressful.

Here’s an excellent example of how fun a birthday party can be with two different themes. In this case brother wanted power rangers and sister wanted a princess theme.

Joint Birthday

We decided on a complimentary color for both themes and included table decor. Wall decor included a theme poster with tassels and fans.

Kids Joint Birthday

We’re so happy this family had an awesome birthday! Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures with us!

Joint birthday

Back to School Pretend Play

Since August is back to school month we thought we would join in the festivities and do our own back to school pretend play. Even your non-school age kids can go back to school at Imagine Play.

Back to School Pretend Play

The kids can ride to school on their very own yellow school bus and park it on campus.

back stool pretend play

The theme includes an art desk that we adore! They come with a little drawer to store all the kids art supplies. The perfect combination of cute style and function, it would look awesome in a child’s bedroom!

Back to school pretend play

Instead of including notebooks and pens we decided to put these magnetic mazes from Lakeshore Learning on the desks. The kids can pretend to write with the magnetic pens. We have several themes for mazes, which helps the kids learn their letters and shapes.

back to school pretend play

Read to your kids in our back to school corner. We included a very sensory friendly book and a classic that every kid loves by Eric Carle.

Back to School pretend play

Toddler friendly backpacks are hung on the wall for kids to carry around their favorite thing. This is such a cute edition to our back to school pretend play theme and the kids love wearing them!

Back to School Pretend Play

Lastly, an alphabet pocket center is includes with flash cards. Kids can sort the cards by letters and learn the objects associated with each letter.

Back to school has been a joy to put together and we know your kids will enjoy going back to school too! Visit us for open play in the month of August to enjoy this play area.

You can buy any of the items from this theme below:

What happened to the coffee cafe idea?

If you have been following us for a while you might remember the original concept for Imagine Play included a coffee cafe. We love coffee here and we think most parents do too. If the idea had come into fruition the cafe would have included specialty coffee, protein boxes and more.

Why didn’t we implement it? Not to sound like a broken record, but once again it had to do with lack of funds. In order to get licensing from health and safety for a location that has never been a food facility before you’re required to get architectural plans drawn up (among many other things). The cost for these plans would be between $10-$16K. This and the permitting fees deterred us getting the coffee cafe we so wanted to have.

The good news was that the requirements for running a small snack bar with pre-packaged food was much less strict and very feasible. Therefore, that is the route we took. We have snacks like crackers, cookies, granola bars, and chips. Snacks are between $1-$3. We are a peanut free facility. We do not sell any peanut products and we ask that parents do not bring any peanut products in.

In conclusion, we decided that we really wanted to open an indoor play area, not run a coffee shop. It really allowed us to concentrate on making Imagine Play an awesome play space.

However, it doesn’t mean this idea won’t come true. Some day, we hope we have less barriers to make all our dreams come true.

The compromise is our coffee complimentary bar. It’s not fancy, but if you need some parent fuel it does the job. We also provide hot water for tea. Come visit us for Open Play to enjoy!

Coffee Cafe

Art Camp – Sea, Earth and Space

This summer camp consisted of some of our favorite topics and there was many fun art things to do, it was almost sad that we had to condense it down, but the kids had a blast just the same.

Summer Camp

Each day we did a short lesson plan which included reading books about our topic, sticker scenes and sensory play. Our favorites was doing a gardening activity and making a moon out of clay.

summer camp

Art camp wouldn’t be art camp without tons of art. One of our all time favorites is sand art. Forewarning it can be messy and you will feel sand on the bottom of your feet for days! The kids love coloring with sand.

summer camp

Of course the all time MVP is painting. Nothing beats a painting activity. We painted underwater scenes and rockets for this summer camp.

summer camp

Check out the video for this art camp to see more of out fun activities.

Want to register your kids for our next art camp? We have winter and summer camps. Sign them up!

How we listen to your feedback

Did you know that every month we have a staff meeting? And one of the topics we discuss is your reviews. We may not respond directly. You may not even know we are listening, but we are. Whether it’s good or bad via yelp, google, mom groups or what we hear from customers verbally we talk about our feedback.

Of course, if it’s good things we discuss what we can do to keep making those things positive for people.

For less than positive reviews we dissect them. Was it a safety issue? A staff issue? A policy issue?

Imagine Play feedback

If there are immediate safety issues we can fix, we fix them, either by adjusting policy or replacing items. However, please be aware some issues takes time to resolve. Not all things can be done overnight because we either haven’t found a better solution yet or (in most cases) it cost money. Let’s be real, most of physical problems can be fixed with money, but in most cases we have to save up to make bigger changes.

Staff Issues are usually what we feel are lack of customer service skills. Most of our staff are younger on their first job and it’s not until you have a young staff that you realize that some things that may come very natural to some, needs to be taught to our staff. Learning how to speak to people is a skill that comes with wisdom and during meetings (and other times) we train our employees about how to problem solve.

We’re not going to say that our policies are set in stone. As they do get adjusted quite frequently because there is a constant learning curve. Policies are adjusted when we want to prevent future problems from arising and for us to set expectations correctly. However, we have to admit we do get quite a few comments about some policies that probably will never change, such as our sock only policy or our pricing.

Again, being as transparent as possible without being technical. There is a number we have to hit every day in order to make rent, pay employees, make loan payments, utilities, insurance….the list goes on. This is what we charge because we must. Every week we reevaluate and the common question we ask ourselves is if we are charging enough?

It’s a hard thing to run a business. We are under pressure to try to please every customer that walks into our doors, but we understand that we cannot please 100% of people. It actually breaks our heart, even keeps us up at night because we take every comment seriously. Thanks for making us better and supporting us through the good times and definite growing pains.

The Doctor Is In

If a doctor kids birthday party themed wasn’t unique enough, check out this red and turquoise color scheme! Such complimentary colors, who would have thought?

Doctor Kids Birthday

These little details are just delightful.  We love these first aid brief cases as goodie boxes. Also, manila folders as placemats, so creative!

Doctor Kids Birthday

These eye charts are simple, but make such a statement for this party. Where do our parent’s think of this stuff? Also notice this X-ray in progress photo prop next to our face painting station.  We love it when our families add face painting to their parties.

Doctor Kids Birthday

This is our favorite detail. Those heart balloons has our heart skipping a beat.

Doctor Kids Birthday

Hi, do you have an appointment? All the essentials of a good doctor check up, lollipops and all.

Doctor Kids Birthday

A birthday sign is included in all our party packages and this one is one of our favorite birthday signs to date!

Thanks for hosting your doctor kids birthday party with us! We love all the fun themes our parents bring for their parties!

Check out our party packages and more on our website.

Summer Art Camp – Seasons

Last week we finished up our first art camp for ages 3 to 7. The kids learned about the seasons and we did related art projects according to each season. It was the most rewarding week yet at Imagine Play.

Art Camp

Every morning we started off with an activity. The kids learned the reasons for seasons, the weather for each season, and the calendar months associated with each season.

art camp

We also played season themed games, sang songs, read books and incorporated felt boards.

Art Camp

But most of all we did ART!

Art Camp

Art projects included painting of a beach, a scroll tree hand that represented fall, winter photo blocks and a spring flower pot with included grass seeds for them to plant at home.

Art Camp

Check out the video from art camp here:

Upcoming dates for camp are listed our calendar. Sign up for future art camps on our online store.