Went there with my 2-yr-old and 3-month-old a couple months ago. I love the products in the museum store--it's a one-stop shop for encouraging my toddler to learn through play. Every time I go to Habitot I walk away with something--that day with 5 items! Wish I knew they had such a nice raincoat and rain boots selection before I settled for Target's only display model, which was more expensive than what Habitot had there!
Previously, when I brought my toddler, he could not keep away from the water table. This last time, he went everywhere and it was just a joy to see him enjoy himself. Going to Habitot gave me so many more ideas about indoor play to start having at home. The price of admission, when compared to the bountiful ideas that I got when I attended, was minimal. I also appreciate they have a resource library and that was how I read the latest copy of the East Bay Moms newsletter.
Although they have a toy lending library (such a great idea for reducing waste!), which I wish I could make the most use of, I do not trust my toddler with them at the moment. It would have been useful to know about this library before we had invested in all these look-good toys that only held my toddler's interest for a couple days or weeks at most. Looking back, if we had invested in a year's family membership, we would have actually SAVED toy money!
Plus, they actually promote play, not all the academics that I keep seeing when visiting preschools. I felt for the first time that it was a permissive space and I could let my toddler wander from space to space within the museum.
Best of all, it is in downtown Berkeley, very walkable and commutable for a mom who does not drive. I am so grateful for such a precious resource in our local community! Yes, it's not Disneyland or Six Flags, but at least I can be sure my active toddler is enclosed in a safe space and cannot run too far from me to catch him (very important when you've got an infant strapped to your front as the sole daytime caretaker).
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