Review of VIPS Friday Friends
We walked into VIPS to be greeted by 3 friendly staff members that had us sign-in and get name tags. We then proceeded to an area called KIDSTOWN. My sons would have been happy to stay there for the two hours. It is basically what it sounds like. There was a post office, grocery, KFC, and a library to name a few of the stores in KIDSTOWN where it was all their size. I do not know if my 3 year old liked delivering the mail to the all the places, working at KFC, or going grocery shopping best. I think my 1 year old was excited on how many chairs and things were in his reach and it was ok to play with all them.
After some free play in the KIDSTOWN, the staff members rang the triangle to get everyone’s attention and to divide us into groups to go explore 3 rooms: sensory room, Braille room, and computer room. The sensory room had a ball pit, low lights, lights that switched colors. The computer room had various games and drawing programs for the kids to learn and play. Finally the Braille room had alphabet bags where kids explored what things started with each letter of the alphabet and a Braille typewriter where a staff member made name tags for the kids. We stayed in each room until we heard the triangle and then lined up for the next room. After visiting these rooms, a special guest typically meets them in the KIDSTOWN area. These vary each week and have included yoga and dancing. Next, we toured the sensory garden where there were some water balls, herbs, flowers, and vegetables to explore. Then we hit the playground. There were slides, swings, sand play, balls, and more. The surface was nice and soft for the kids and sail shades were up over the sand play area and swings to provide some shade. The staff provided some water prior to heading in for story time read by readers of Braille and large print to conclude the Friday Friends program.