"things to do with toddlers in boston"

NEW Early Childhood Education Center Opens in Brookline!

Puppet Showplace Theatre is excited to partner with Bright Horizons at Brookline because we both deeply understand the value of early childhood education. Find out more about the opening of Bright Horizons at Brookline, and why dramatic play that encourages imagination and expression is important in early childhood development...

Puppet Showplace Executive Dir. Thom Yarnal, Bright Horizons at Brookline Center Dir. Lindsay McKenzie,
and Toddler Education Coordinator Daniel Gonzalez

by Guest Blogger: Bright Horizons at Brookline Center Director, Lindsay McKenzie

At Bright Horizons we recognize the importance of dramatic play in child development. A child’s pretend play in classrooms or at home is often considered fun and imaginative, but with limited educational value. The truth is, in the midst of creating a doctor’s office or clomping around in grown-up shoes, children are learning to solve problems, coordinate, cooperate, and think flexibly. Similar to the previously mentioned activities, puppetry is a wonderful form of dramatic play.

Through imaginative play with puppets, children easily ascribe feelings and ideas to these ‘people’ and ‘animals’ and often use them to express, explore and work out their own ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Pretending is very important in a child’s development. In every Bright Horizons center, children will find a dramatic play area of the classroom, designed to encourage imagination and expression.

Bright Horizons at Brookline: Now Open

Bright Horizons at Brookline, which opened in March 2014, incorporates dramatic play into their World at Their Fingertips curriculum. The center’s Toddler Education Coordinator, Daniel Gonzalez, is an experienced puppeteer who weaves dramatic play into the children’s activities to encourage the development of important complex social and higher order thinking skills. 

"Dramatic play in a childcare center is just as important as any other areas in the classroom,” Daniel says, “Through the use of various props, children are able to explore and mimic roles they've seen through their parents and other adults. This helps to develop their social and communication skills, and their gross and fine motor skills. It has become an essential piece of the early childhood experience."

Infant classroom, Bright Horizons at Brookline
Bright Horizons at Brookline serves children 6 weeks to 5 years old with Infant through Kindergarten Prep Programs. Center Highlights include Movement Matters Zone with Rock Climbing Wall, SMART Board and Touch Screen computers, Parking, Enrichment Activities and more! To learn more, please click here or call 617-232-0295. The center is currently accepting enrollment in all programs! 

Kindergarten Prep classroom, Bright Horizons at Brookline
Bright Horizons at Brookline Sponsors Puppet Playtime

Because of the importance of dramatic play in child development, Bright Horizons is a proud sponsor of Puppet Playtime at Puppet Showplace Theatre. This weekly interactive performance for young children fosters the same principle as our dramatic play areas. LEARN MORE.

Performers Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins with Bella Monster in Puppet Playtime
lead toddlers in imaginary play at the grocery store

This week in Puppet Playtime....

Two 5-week sessions: Weds @ 10:30am 
Last week's Puppet Playtime with Bella:
 "Adventure in the Night Sky"
Jan 16 - Feb 13; Feb 27 - Mar 27



What a blast! Our BRAND NEW programing for toddlers and tiny tots kicked of last week, to great success. This interactive program is designed especially for little ones and their grown-ups to sing and sway along, and join in the fun. Today, Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman returns as a guest blogger to talk about the program, and give us a sneak-peek at what is in store for tomorrow!


Phil Berman

What a whirlwind week! It's hard to believe that Brenda, Bella and I are already on our second episode of PUPPET PLAYTIME. The three of us had a blast last Wednesday on our adventure in the night sky with all the kids and grown-ups who braved the snow to play, sing songs and experience the magic of live puppetry.

As a kids' performer with no children of my own, I spend a lot of time thinking about how my work can best fit in with the busy lives of the families we entertain. With very young children it can be a hassle to leave the house to go anywhere, let alone attend arts events! What can my work offer to kids and grown-ups alike that makes each show a "must-see?"

What I saw last week was a beautiful preview of things to come: parents, caretakers, relatives and lots of little tykes playing with their familiar faces. By the end of the program, kids were singing, clapping and laughing together (as well as some of thier older companions.) I hope that this feeling of family and community continues to grow as we continue with the series through the winter.

Tomorrow we're in for an icky treat at PUPPET PLAYTIME: we'll march with the ants, meet a quartet of quarrelsome critters, wash out spiders and feed some very hungry caterpillars. Leave the OFF! at home, because this buggy adventure is sure to bring a smile to kids and grown-ups alike.

See you at the theater!


Come dance, play and pretend with us, Wednesdays this winter at 10:30am!