In today’s modern world, the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” is hard to come by for many families. That’s why when two struggling new moms had trouble finding their village, they decided to create one. Located at 250 Old River Road in Edgewater, The Village gives children a place to play, learn, and grow while parents have the chance to relax, work, or grab a cup of coffee. Keep reading to learn more about what makes this play center unique and the exclusive offer for Hoboken Girl readers.
How The Village Came to Life
The Village is a supportive and nurturing Early Childhood Learning Center and Play Cafe that provides parents with a comforting Montessori-styled space where they can bond with their little ones while enjoying La Colombe Coffee Beverages and light bites. With a focus on early development, The Learning Center at The Village provides several development-focused classes for children up to six years old. Parents can choose from a variety of summer camps this season, and classes including academic-focused Pre-K, Mini & Me Storytime, crafts and sensory-based play, as well as summer camps.
The Village was started by two neighbors and friends, Dana Khaddash and Neha Chawla, who became pregnant with their first babies around the same time. Dana has a double Masters degree in Education and worked as a special needs teacher, while Neha, a natural entrepreneur, owned and manages a real estate brokerage in Hoboken + New York City. Both women became mothers in 2018 and suddenly felt the need for a “village” — a space where their children could be comfortable and play while also learning and developing — giving moms a chance to unwind, work, or have coffee in a positive and relaxing environment. In order to spend more time with her firstborn, Dana decided not to return to teaching — and in the fall of 2019, and The Village became a reality.
“The Village is a business that was born out of a need. It was opened as a dedication to our first children, Celine and Jahan. After a pandemic, having our second children, and Dana being pregnant with her third, the business has evolved and continues to evolve alongside our lives as mothers,” Neha told Hoboken Girl. “As our children grow, so do the offerings at The Village. The Village team and community feel like a big family, and it is incredible to watch this family grow as the months go by.”
Both co-founders, Neha and Dana, are extremely involved in the day-to-day operations and are expanding The Village, with a second location slated to open in Bergen County this Fall.
What Makes The Village Unique
The Village is not just a play space for kids — it is a home away from home for parents and their little ones. The Cafe offers premium La Colombe Espresso beverages and a variety of baked goods and light bites. The shop is curated with sustainable development toys, gifts, and children’s goods. The learning studio is on the second floor and is used for classes while the play space can be used for events. The Village is also available for private birthday parties, which can be customized to any theme.
One aspect about The Village that sets it apart is the kind of classes provided for the children. From music and movement to cultural immersion classes, diversity plays a big part in what little learners experience at The Village.
Summer Camps at The Village include:
- Learn + Grow Summer Camp consists of three-hour classes that incorporate a variety of activities including morning meetings, story time, small-group instruction, guided play, arts + crafts, and cooperative learning activities that develop social skills. Ages 3 to 5.
- Learn + Grow Toddler Summer Camp ensures children’s first experience in a school-like environment is a positive one. The Village learning is centered on growing a love for learning at a young age in a clean and safe environment. Ages 17 months to 33 months.
- Little Explorer’s Outdoor Summer Camp includes instructors leading little campers on guided walks and exploration through the little pond across the street from The Village. Daily activities also include a picnic, scavenger hunts, identifying animal friends, flower pressing, foraging and more.
Classes at The Village include:
- Music + Movement with Kidzmusik guides students in songs with colorful props, real instruments, and costumes.
- Let’s Make a MESS is a sensory and STEM-based exploratory class. This class encourages messy learning as little ones explore through sight, touch, smell, and hearing.
- Little Villager’s Arabic + Cultural Immersion series engages children in Arabic and Islamic songs, alphabetic and numerical lessons, and crafts and activities.
- Mini + Me: Interactive Story Time is a series of interactive storytimes, crafts, and play. Little ones acquire early language and creativity skills through an interactive storytime and craft every Friday.
- Little Villager’s Bollywood Dance class focuses on basic steps, postures, and spatial positioning of the students. The teacher works towards building student concentration and focus, encouraging students to work independently.
Families can join a learning pod in a clean and safe environment; shop non-toxic, sustainable, and quality toys thoughtfully; and enjoy open-play sessions, classes, summer camp, and birthday parties — all in one space. Pre-K classes and summer camps are the most popular activities for the kids, and the Lavender Latte + avocado toast are a big hit with the parents.
Don’t forget to mention ‘Hoboken Girl’ to receive $3 OFF the first hour of open play (usually $15), 10% OFF afternoon camps, or 10% OFF any party package.