Busy Kidz in Folsom offers safe, fun play zoneBy: Laura Newell, Features Editor
FOLSOM, CA - Busy Kidz in Folsom is a unique experience for kids and parents – and during Folsom’s recent rainy days, it is just another option for letting kids safely release some built-up energy.
Owner and director Orna Harel opened the location to give parents a safe place to play with their kids while having a little mommy time too.
Molly Mix, Busy Kidz marketing director, lives in Folsom and works with Harel.
“I worked as a teacher at Sundance Montisorri in Folsom for five years before coming here,” Mix said. I taught Orna’s daughter.”
As mother’s themselves, the women wanted to use their skills to create a unique setting at Busy Kidz for children to play and learn at the same time while being supervised by parents.
“We wanted to create something that was a realistic experience for growing kids,” Mix said. “We supply the tools and the play area. A lot of people tell us that they would love to have this at home, but it’s too expensive to manage at home. So they are happy to have this facility available locally.”
The drop-in play zone is for ages 10 and younger. However, there is a parent area with coffee, magazines, free wifi, computer plug-ins and chairs. Mix said this is also where older siblings can work on homework alongside their parents while the younger kids play.
“Busy Kidz is an indoor miniature city for kids to play within,” Mix said. “Each room has a Folsom inspired theme and stuff to support the themes. We both live in Folsom and it’s our community. We made a lot of the buildings to reflect the Historic Folsom area. It gives the kids a familiarity so they can emulate the real things in their lives and what the adults have in their real lives.”
There are 11 rooms total within Busy Kidz, including a restaurant, grocery store, doctors office, a house, a park, a puppet theater and an infant area for 18-month olds. The infant area has soft, squishy toys and sensory items. Other rooms include an elementary school, costume boutique for dress up and a library. There are also specialty rooms for box-building and a lego room.
“There are a lot of places that kids can be busy with their bodies, but here they can also use their minds,” Mix said. “It’s a full sensory experience for their bodies and their brains. This is a very important development that they need as growing kids. We want to help their growth – mentally and physically.”
After opening on Halloween, Mix said they have seen hundreds of kids come in and play.
Shaina DiMariano-L’Heureux, of DiMariano Family Dentistry in Folsom, took her 2-year-old daughter Claire, to Busy Kidz on a recent stormy Saturday afternoon.
“This is such a great place to let her run around and be active. I enjoy it also because I can sit and talk with other moms,” she said. “I feel so safe just letting her go and play. This is the perfect place for a rainy day. It’s so easy to just get stuck at home with a movie, but this is a great option. We needed this in Folsom.”
Victor Rios, of El Dorado Hills, also brings his two young sons, Elijah, 5, and Gabriel, 17 months, to Busy Kidz.
“I think this will benefit our communities very well,” Rios said. “Parents can socialize and kids can play socially in a safe environment. They can play independently and learn while having fun.”
Rios, who works from home, said it is also nice that the play zone offers free wifi for parents.
“While my 5-year-old is playing, I can bring my computer and work in the parent’s area,” he said. “It’s a great option.”
Elijah said his favorite room is the classroom with the typewriter and globe.
“There is so much stuff – I really like playing here,” he said while pretend typing on the keyboard.
Mix said the name Busy Kidz, was formed because that was their goal – keeping kids busy.
“This is a different, unique experience that is meaningful,” Mix said. “It’s called Busy Kidz because it’s not mindless play. It’s active, engaged, interesting play with lots of opportunities for exploration for boys and girls.”
Busy Kidz is located at 118 Woodmere Road, Suite 110, in Folsom. For more information, call (916) 608-880.