on monday i took sterling to an indoor play place that i have recently heard of. since coming to the east side i have spent quite a bit of time looking for/investigating/and asking about such places. it’s amazing to think that the south has several… mostly in malls but that the north, where it is cold 6 months of the year has so few! surprisingly no one in our apartment complex has been able to direct us to such a place… other than to suggest that we check out a nearby mall which has a gymboree type set up. when we did visit said mall the said play area was closed. we haven’t killed ourselves to make it back to investigate further mostly because at this particular place classes consist of structured play time, meaning we’d have to pay a hefty price to enroll sterling and we’d then only be able to take him on certain days and at certain times. and though i’m not against this type of arrangement what i was really wanting was a casual place for him to play… at my leisure. so, when i heard of this play place i quickly jumped on the chance to take our lil’ sprout. two months into our time here i could have cared less what the transportation cost (taxi fare) or entrance fee was!
because we decided to check the place out during a week long national holiday i took sterling early in the morning – arriving at 8:40. i was impressed to arrive and see several girls vigorously cleaning all the play equipment. i happily paid the 20 kuai (approx. $3) and we entered the most magnificent play place i’ve seen here!
immediately sterling was drawn to the lighted slide!
as you can see, he was in complete awe!
it didn’t take long for sterling to begin exploring every nook and cranny of the jungle gym.
but for me, this trampoline brought about the biggest surprise of all as he discovered it and began bouncing on it all on his own!
can’t help but love this boy & his ever increasing adventurous spirit!
trying to keep up with him was quite the challenge and i soon found him in the ball pit…
playing “fort” with some older boys (thanks ye ye for teaching him how to throw balls at other people!)… only problem was these boys didn’t know what to make of sterling hitting them with balls… apparently their moms and grandparents haven’t taught them the joy of “fort!”
he eventually gave up trying to get them to play “fort” with him and crawled into this motorized wheel. i couldn’t believe how much he enjoyed sitting in the rotating wheel… who knew!?!
a friend and her daughter came along for the play place adventure… unfortunately, the age requirements were that anyone playing there needed to be under 8 years old… which meant she was merely a spectator as he crawled through, under and conquered every possible contraption. eventually he was willing to slow down long enough to play with some foam blocks. she was so sweet to build this foam block tower just for sterling…
to tear down! which he did with great vigor!
for the most part sterling was too excited to pay much attention to me or wait for me to catch up to him. he was on the go, go, go. even so, there were a few moments when he wanted to introduce me to his new discoveries… such as this “car” – car in this case is a very loose term!
at one point i was finally able to get his attention as he was running across this mesh bridge and give him some kisses.
hopefully you can tell we had a blast! but in all honesty i found myself being a bit weepy too as i was reminded how far our lil’ sprout has come!
here’s sterling when we first met him, october 2009, not yet walking, talking or otherwise exploring on his own:
you’ve come a long way baby!!!