Two working moms have teamed up, bringing the love of their babies and motherhood to the forefront to welcome Little Play Society to Los Angeles.
One of the first of its kind, Little Play Society (LPS) is a community-driven indoor play, creative and social space for mothers and their children.
The organization was created to provide a safe, communal space for parents to play with their children beyond parks and the home.
Last November, Latanya Foster-Phillips and Teree Henderson attended an event focused on Black mothers in Los Angeles, and felt that something for mother-baby interaction was missing in the city. From there, they conceptualized LPS.
“It was really in that moment we decided to do it ourselves,” Henderson said. “We knew that the need was there and we knew the need wasn’t being met.”
Their determination and perseverance have since brought the multipurpose space to Mid-City in just eight months.
“We knew what we needed to do to get it done, so we just did it,” Henderson said.
LPS will feature programmed classes including art, interactive story-time, dance, and music and movement classes for children.
As mothers, both women feel inclusion and socialization are important for young children, another natural service provided by LPS.
“I personally think it’s pretty important to expose your kids to different environments, different people, a lot of different things as early as you feel comfortable because that’s how they learn,” Foster-Phillips said.
“Our goal is to help offer a space that kids can come in and start to socialize with other babies and toddlers,” she said.
In an effort to make the space open for all, parents can also attend programs designed for new mothers and more. LPS will include childbirth education and post-natal support groups led by professional doulas.
“It’s more about getting the parents in and having them along with their kids have a space they can grow and commune in a safe and proactive environment,” Henderson said.
Little Play Society is open Monday through Friday. Mothers can reserve private play for two-hour blocks Monday through Thursday, with free play on Fridays. LPS has also launched a crowdfunding campaign to expand.
The motto and mission, “Cultivating creativity and community through play,” grounds the founders each day. “It’s been a definite labor of love,” Foster-Phillips said.
As graduates of Howard University, Foster-Phillips from Detroit and Henderson from Washington, D.C., have made Los Angeles their home for both work and family. As mothers of toddlers, the working mothers have now added entrepreneurs to the list of duties.
“Some days are harder than others,” Foster-Phillips said. “I think we’re kind of just happy to be able to do all three.”
Inspired by their boys, Henderson and Foster-Phillips said they are excited to be able to manifest their dreams and continue to be mothers, backed by amazing support systems and joy for what they are creating.
“This is just a testament that moms can do anything,” Henderson said.
— (L.A. Watts Times)