Even before my tiny human was born, I started his book collection by asking for books at his baby shower. I’ve enjoyed engaging him with a variety of different types of books throughout his infancy. Now that he is a young toddler, I love seeing how he interacts with books in new ways.
Below I will provide some San Francisco story time options, as well as my recommendations for different types of books that are best at each stage of development.
2 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127
I took my tiny human to Peek-a-Boo Factory when he was crawling and starting to pull up on things. He actually learned to cruise using the balance beam on his second visit!
- Separate space for crawlers and young toddlers
- Large toddler climbing apparatus
- $6 Last Hour of Play which is great for little ones who get worn out quickly
- Older kids are often in the younger area
- Gets pretty crowded on weekends and especially on rainy days
Deciding how to dress my rapidly growing tiny human can be both a joy and a frustration. I just love to put him in a cute outfit, but it can be tricky to find clothes that are also truly functional for each stage of his development. Plus, he seems to just grow out of everything in the blink of an eye.
Below I have provided a map of places where you can buy consignment clothes and local brands in San Francisco, as well as recommendations for some of my favorite functional clothing items for each developmental stage.
Early Explorer’s Cove
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118
One of the very first outings I took my infant on was a trip to the Cal Academy to visit the aquarium, but it wasn’t until a few months later that I learned about the Early Explorer’s Cove. This is a wonderful place for toddlers and preschoolers, and I think crawlers also can do very well here.
- Has a great animal, nature, and science focus
- Capacity is strictly limited so it never feels too crowded
- There is a platform treehouse with multiple types of steps and a bridge
- Toys and books are rotated seasonally
- Overall smaller footprint than most play spaces
- Very small infant section that can often be disorganized
254 Laguna Honda Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94116
I waited to visit Play Haven until I had a toddler who just started to walk, as the environment seems best suited to me for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Separate low-wall surrounded space for infants
- Can see the whole space fairly easily
- Large multi-activity art studio setup
- Variety of age appropriate toys and activities
- Not as many climbing or gross motor based play structures
- Day pass required for entry
- Gets somewhat crowded on weekends due to birthday parties
Recess Urban Recreation
470 Carolina St, San Francisco, CA 94107
I first took my tiny human to Recess when he was 8 months old. I visited as part of the Golden Gate Mother’s Group (GGMG) monthly weekend free play. I have returned for many similar visits as he has become a young toddler.
- Separate gated space for crawlers and new walkers
- Large variety of age appropriate toys and activities
- Offers a variety of classes and other services for parents
- Has toddler friendly snacks for sale
- Layout of the larger section can create trip hazards
- It would be hard to watch kids in both sections at the same time
- Membership or day pass typically required for entry
- Sensory lab not open during GGMG weekend play hours
Living in a typical tiny San Francisco apartment, when my son started crawling it was very important to me to find some safe places where he could crawl around more freely. As he’s become a young toddler, I also like spaces that promote additional skill development through play.
Here are some quick links to reviews of my favorite play spaces for tiny humans.