A new indoor playground for Seattle kids is always worth celebrating (hello, rainy day play spot!). When it doubles as an immersive experience where kids can explore real-world diversity, it’s even better. That’s why we’re excited to welcome Child Wonder the World to the Seattle playscape. Read on to learn about this mom-owned business that’s opening soon.
The Play Side
At Child Wonder the World, kids can explore cultures from around the globe in one place. From the moment they walk through the welcoming gate into the play area, they’ll be transported—no plane needed! As owner Giselle Fuerte explains, it's a place for kids to “explore the different ways people live their lives and experience the world.” It’s her hope that when kids play here they begin to “see and value the world as a diverse chorus of voices, perspectives and needs necessitating equal consideration.” Parents and caregivers will notice this ethos in every nook and cranny of the indoor playground.
The large windows and wall decals that frame the play area create an inviting environment for tots and big kids alike. Upon first glance, the space looks like others—with a playhouse, climbing structure, farm stand and more. But it’s the details that prove things aren’t necessarily what they seem. The painted playhouse is actually a West African Rammed Earth Home, and the oven just outside is similar to earthen (or clay) ovens used by cultures all over the globe. Even the play food is representative of staples from other cultures, like sardines, sushi and lentils. Look for the helpful sheets nearby that explain each purposeful element. Read them, then share the fascinating connections and facts you learn with your kids.
Cross over the bridge to get to a quieter place to play in the back. Tiny tables line the walls where kids can sit down with a good book, set in a far-off place. Or put on headphones to listen to music that’s anything but local. Little artists will happily sit and color at another table before heading over to play with the beautifully designed natural wood people set across the way. These stations are a chance for kids to experience different languages, rhythms and ideas from diverse cultures.
Fuerte also has plans to install a display case that will feature artifacts and everyday treasures from various countries. Like a small museum, what’s in the case will rotate, and everything you see will be respectfully curated thanks to the knowledge and guidance of people who are native to the country on display.
The Shop Side
In addition to the educational playspace, look for toys, games and clothes produced by makers from around the world (and some local too) on the store side. In fact, some of the books and playsets your kids will love in the play area may be available for purchase so you can continue your exploration at home. Whether your kiddo has a friend’s birthday party on the horizon or you’re looking for some new play clothes, items with a focus on the world beyond Seattle are sold here. Who knows, you may even find owner Fuerte’s book, The Lying Liar Called Racism on the shelves too.
Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase if you need to push pause on play. Café tables dot the play area perimeter and make this a great spot to catch up with friends (it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?) while the kids play.
Make It a Day
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Burien, take time to explore the area before heading home. Lollipops is just a few storefronts away, and families can always count on fun in the sun at Seahurst Park, whether they’re exploring tide pools or the nature-themed playground. The Highline Heritage Museum (open Fridays through Sundays, from 1-5 p.m.) is another easy stop for families to make. And before you head home, you’ve got to grab a cookie (or two!) from Treat Cookies. The store opened in April of this year and has fans all over the city.
Opening Day: Aug. 3
Dates & Times: Tues.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Child Wonder the World
2202 S.W. 152nd St.
—story and images by Allison Sutcliffe