Oakland’s Kindergym: 30 years of drop-in fun

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Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays throughout the year, a spirited toddler guru, Dawn Margolin, leads toddler classes and Kindergym playgroups at Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland. The play sessions are open to children of any background, though circle time on Friday will incorporate some elements of the Jewish Shabbat tradition. Dawn has been conducting this program for more than 30 years and current parents of teens have shared fond memories of the class with us.

Classes are for walking children, ages 3 and under and they start at 10 am. Families are welcome to try a class for $12 and then sign up for the remainder of the session, choosing any of the 10 am timeslots during the week.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, immediately following the toddler classes, Kindergym — featuring most of the same equipment as the class, minus art, water play, and snack time — is available on a drop-in basis. Staying for Kindergym after a Toddler class costs $5, while dropping in for Kindergym alone costs $10. Kindergym is from 11:15 to noon, and includes 30 minutes of unstructured free play and 15 minutes of circle time.

Bi-monthly Sundays bring a 90-minute drop in play session to the space, with kids under 3 invited to experience bubbles, climbing, sliding, parachute play, ball pit, and play-dough. Sunday “PlayDays” run from 10 to 12:30 and cost $12 per family.

Find out more about the Kindergym programs with Dawn at the Temple Beth Abraham website.

Temple Beth Abraham is located at 327 MacArthur Blvd near Lake Merritt.