Roo’s World of Discovery offers big fun, low-sensory play
Roo's World in Kirkland is designed for kids who struggle in conventional playground settings.
The shrieking, high-energy mayhem of many indoor play venues might be just the ticket for some kids to burn up their excess winter energy. But that kind of chaos isn’t for everyone.
Roo’s World of Discovery in Kirkland is the ideal spot for families to bring children with any kind of special needs, such as sensory processing disorders, developmental delays and physical disabilities. All children are welcome at Roo’s World, which opened in October, but the low-sensory environment especially benefits children who might struggle in conventional playground settings.
Suzy Hall, a Kirkland mom, frequently brings her 20-month-old son to Roo’s World because he prefers calmer, quieter spaces.
“I’m so grateful that there’s a place like this. It’s not overloaded with stuff, and the quality of the toys is amazing. They have calming colors and they don’t make a lot of noise,” Hall says. “There’s not too much sensory data to process, and it’s a thoughtfully designed space.”
Roo’s World offers a variety of activities for children and their parents, including circle time, prenatal meditation, new mommy mixers and “daddy & me” play dates. All activities are included in membership or drop-in day pass. Private parties are also available.
Owner Michelle Landwehr says that the two most popular activities are story time yoga and the “ask the OT” play date.
Story time yoga is offered every other Thursday, and is directly followed by mommy yoga. The first class is dedicated to parents and children practicing various yoga poses together; parents then have the opportunity to take a yoga class on their own while their kids engage in learning and play experiences throughout the center.
“As a parent you don’t get to do much on your own, and it’s a great way to fit yoga practice into your schedule,” Landwehr says.
Ask the OT play date is held every Wednesday. The sessions are led by Kristin Bedard, who has been a practicing pediatric occupational therapist for the past six years and specializes in working with children who have sensory processing difficulties.
After engaging in a therapeutic play date with child visitors, Bedard spends time answering parents’ questions. She’s an expert on topics such as motor development, sensory processing, accessing community resources, toy and product recommendations, ideas for sensory motor activities at home and any other OT-related questions families may have been wondering about.
108 Central Way, Kirkland. 425-495-0714; roosworldofdiscovery.com
Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 am to 4 pm; Friday 9:30 am to 5 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 1 pm
Ages: 0 to 5 years
Cost: Day passes are available for $20 per family; there also are memberships