The Child Care Action Council Brings a Rainbow of Fun to Free Summertime Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups

Western Washington’s Child Care Action Council is a nonprofit with a mission to promote and nurture early learning communities where families and children thrive. They host free Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups all year round but their summer programming is extra special because it’s outside in the warm sun and soft green grass.

adults with kids under a shelter at a park
Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups take place all year round at locations in Thurston, Mason and Grays Harbor counties. Preregister and come ready to make new friends for life. Photo courtesy: Child Care Action Council

Sunshine, Songs and Smiles: Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Takes Fun Outdoors this Summer

The first five years of a child’s life are delightfully simple. They eat, sleep, play and learn almost around the clock, to the dismay of tired caregivers everywhere. But playtime does more than just burn off energy and get out any extra wiggles. Educators and pediatricians explain that play promotes cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development in a healthy, stress-reducing way for growing minds and bodies.

Child Care Action Council Family Services Director Tovi McClellan is giving a shout-out to all Lacey families because summer is just around the corner. “Get ready for a summer of fun, friends, and fresh air because Kaleidoscope Play & Learn is adding an outdoor group this summer,” she says. “That’s right, those awesome playgroups you know and love (or maybe haven’t experienced yet) are setting up shop at the Lacey Regional Athletic Complex for a season of outdoor play.”

This summer session runs every Monday – rain or shine, because even puddles can be fun – from June 3, 2024, through August 26. Weekly get-together’s take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and are free to attend. Invited are children aged 0 to 5 with their caregivers. online pre-registration is available, but not required.

kid playing with colorful plastic shapes at a blue metal table under a park shelter
The Child Care Action Council welcomes kids 0-5 and their caregivers to summertime sessions of their free Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups. Photo courtesy: Child Care Action Council

Learning Through Play with the Child Care Action Council

What makes Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups so special? “That’s easy,” says McClellan. “Imagine a vibrant play space filled with laughter, exploration, and activities designed to spark your child’s curiosity and development. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups go beyond playtime: They’re a chance for children to sing songs, listen to stories, engage in creative activities, and most importantly, make new friends. Here’s the magic part: You, the caregiver, are an essential part of the fun. Kaleidoscope Play & Learn provides a supportive environment where you can bond with your child, learn new games and activities, and connect with other parents.”

Sessions will be led by bilingual facilitator Patricia Granison. She is passionate about fostering social-emotional development in young children through play-based learning, says McClellan. Fluency in Spanish and English allows her to connect with children and families from diverse backgrounds, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment with the Kaleidoscope program. “Patricia’s creativity and infectious enthusiasm make her a beloved facilitator by both children and parents,” says McClellan.

“At Kaleidoscope, it’s always a joy to see the excitement on the children’s faces when they reunite with their friends at playgroup,” says Granison. “It’s even more heartwarming to witness the beautiful friendships that blossom between the caregivers as well.”

Bilingual Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups are a great way for even the youngest children to learn, experience, explore and grow. Photo courtesy: Child Care Action Council

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn All Year Round, in Thurston, Mason, and Grays Harbor Counties

Traditional, year-round Kaleidoscope sessions take place multiple times each week in locations across Thurston, Mason, and Grays Harbor counties. Find a session that works for you



Grays Harbor

kid playing with giant blocks on cements with adults nearby
Summer’s Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Groups run from June 3, 2024, through August 26 at Lacey’s Regional Athletic Complex. Sessions are Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Photo courtesy: Child Care Action Council

Kaleidoscope Play and Learn activities include story time, songs, interactive games, and art projects. Parents, need some help finding child care, homelessness support or literacy and STEM information? The Child Care Action Council is happy to help. They also provide training and support for providers in the child care industry, offering customized training, classes, licensing information, business and leadership coaching, and more.

If your family, group, organization or business would like to support Child Care Action Council’s ongoing mission, you can donate, volunteer, sponsor their programming, share stories, like them on social media, join the team or become part of the governing board.

Kids need a helping hand 24/7 for the first few years, both literally and emotionally. Support them by giving what you can to the Child Care Action Council because strong families make a strong community. Together we’re all part of the vibrant kaleidoscope of life.


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