Creating an activity space for the Community

Mrs. Abrar Adel Darwish, Founder - Talk, Play, Grow

IMG_2691As Bahrain This Week team walked into the sunny interiors of Talk, Play, Grow located at the 20th floor of Business Bay in Juffair, we were welcomed by warm smiles and busy hands of little prince and princesses who were preparing for one of their happy sessions at TPG. The founder and owner of the new venture, Mrs. Abrar Adel Darwish took few minutes from her busy schedule to sit with BTW detailing the idea behind and a kid’s life with TPG.

Being a mom and Being for the community

“With my career background as a speech and language therapist, I used to work with children who had language difficulties. Also being a mother of 3, I spend most of my time with my kids interacting with them. I try to provide them with an environment where they can play, learn and at the same time I can bond with them. This gave me the idea of creating a space not just for my little ones but for the kids in our community, where they can come in, have fun and play but at the same time learn and grow. That is where the name comes from – Talk, Play and Grow.”

More than a Pre School

“This is the place where moms can come in with their kids and have the coffee and cookie while watching their kids developing through the activities we offer. It’s all about being with the kids and be part of what they are doing. It is important for the child to bond with their moms, which gets lost when you drop them off and leave. Of course we sometimes allow moms to go out for an hour or so but we also encourage them to be there with their children and see how they are entertained. It is also an opportunity for the mothers to interact with each other and enjoy being with their kids.”

“We also stand unique from others, like we give kids space to do those things which they may not be allowed to do at other places. For eg: our sensory classes are the most popular sessions where kids do activities which help them develop their senses to touch and smell and they can get messy. We allow them to be so. Be covered in colors or water or flowers. We are not worried about things getting spilled on the floor because that is when kids develop, by scooping and dumping without the fear of “Nos”. It is fun to see them looking at me and their moms to see if we would stop them. And our reply would be ‘Yes…go ahead’!”

“At TPG we have coffee evenings every Tuesdays at 7 for the moms, where there will usually be a speaker, giving a lecture on a certain topic. Our endeavor is to make sure that the mothers and kids are comfortable because, if the mom is not comfortable, the child will take longer time period to get used to the place.”

“We are not a nursery or a day care but a community activity center and learning here doesn’t mean memorizing the A, B, and Cs. This is the place where the kids are free to explore and create with our support and learn on the go.”

The Joy of being with TPG

“Am here every single day! I am blessed that I stay close to this place and my children enjoy being here. It helps me to be with the kids as soon as they walk into TPG every day and know how comfortable they feel here and also help them get accustomed as quickly as possible. A lot of my ideas revolve around the interests of my kids and it helps me create new activities for the children here.”

“The sensory classes, the jumping clay classes on Tuesdays, story times, ballet classes are some of the popular activities we have in here. The mix of professional ballet with the crazy kids dance has always been children’s favorite and we sometimes have moms also joining their kids in their dance. The camps that we organize also have started to gain popularity among the kids and mothers alike.”

The Year Ahead

“Having started last November, we are still developing. We have changed a lot depending on the needs of the moms and the children. At TPG, our aim is to grow virtually and build a community beyond the walls of this place. To create a hub for mothers and kids where they can come in, get comfortable, relax and get the information needed as a mom and a place for their kids to develop and grow. We have new collaborations, ventures and events planned as well for the coming year. We also have plans to start classes called TPG babies for little ones as young as 0 months to 18 months.”

“And yes, it is true that we are able to cater only to a particular niche of children but we have extended our afternoon hours and we work on Saturdays so we can accommodate the working mothers as well. And we hope that as we grow, we will be able to do more for them.”