Union Square Play is the love child of an early childhood and parenting educator, a hospitality expert, and the former director of operations for Thomas Keller.
We are three parents who were raising our babies, pursuing our dreams, and just trying to keep.it.together when our paths crossed at the perfect time. We all felt the need for a community and play space that put children and parents first. The stars and our visions aligned, and Union Square Play was born.
Our first foray was a bustling play space in Union Square, NYC. What started as a space to bring the best programming for children under three in a parent friendly format has grown into national Mom Groups, internationally distributed Play Packs, and a thriving digital community with Parenting+ .
What we've learned with the space, the groups, and the packs is that community is the most powerful of all.
Much like parenthood, we’re learning as we grow—each one of us leveraging our unique background to create a thriving community.
The Organic Way to Play
Our programming and approach to raising children are led by Jennie Monness, who is also the founder and creator of Mo’ Mommies. Jennie studied Psychology in Education and received her Master’s Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She started her career as an early childhood teacher for two and three year olds, and then became an Educational Director of a preschool for approximately 8 years before becoming the Center Director of Explore + Discover Early Learning Center.
The RIE® Educaring philosophy:
START WITH RESPECT
STRIVE FOR AUTHENTICITY
The way we look at and listen to our children has a major influence on the way they see life. By being genuinely engaged, we help children feel secure, competent, and independent.
TRUST YOUR BABY
Allow babies to initiate, explore, and discover with minimal assistance, so that they can fully celebrate their wins.
OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE
Babies learn amazingly fast during their first two or three years. By simply watching your little genius, you’ll resist the urge to teach and instead provide an environment for learning.
ALLOW FOR OPEN PLAY
Set aside plenty of time for uninterrupted play and freedom for babies to do their own thing.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE
The more consistent, predictable, and safe an environment is, the easier it is for babies to move and learn.
Slowing down while changing diapers, feeding, bathing, or dressing creates the freedom for your child to be an active participant instead of a passive recipient. (And participants make for better explorers.)