Learn and Grow

Inspiring play and exploration from the backyard to the big stage.

Structured or Unstructured

Bijou Build

The backyard swing set has been reimagined. With Bijou Build, children can swing, climb, and play hide-and-seek, and then parents can collapse and put the whole play structure away. Each Bijou Mainstay (from $600) looks like a tepee, with five triangular Teslin panels that parents attach to five 10-foot two-by-fours purchased separately from a hardware store. The panels are interchangeable and all different, with various doors, windows, and rings for climbing. Hang the cushioned Bijou Sway swing ($50) in the center of the tent and connect multiple Mainstays—or attach a Mainstay to a backyard tree with the Bijou Rambler Bridge ($200). The heavy-duty rope ladder stretches 8 feet and is made for climbing, hanging, running across. Extend play on warm summer nights by adding solar-powered LED twinkle lights.


Sowing Imagination

Hello, Robot! Day-to-Day Life with Artificial Intelligence

Open Little Green Fingers: Easy Peasy Gardening Activities ($25) throughout the seasons. The new book from Berlin-based Gestalten Press teaches lessons in plant life and the natural world alongside instructions for creative projects. The book stands out for its pictures by Romanian illustrator Aitch, whose style recalls vintage botanical books. Detailed, engaging drawings show how to design a watering system or grow strawberries. Children as young as 6 can follow along with an adult and older kids can work through the guide on their own. Also from Gestalten, Hello, Robot! Day-to-Day Life with Artificial Intelligence ($35) introduces children ages 7 and up about another kind of world going on around them: Brightly colored cartoons tell how machines think and learn. The book’s team of authors from Spanish nonprofit CosiCosa includes experts in STEM and social ethics, writing with the intention of building awareness in future generations about emerging technology.


Classically Trained


Newly released season tickets for the 2023–2024 Pacific Symphony Family Musical Mornings series are available now. Each concert is designed to expose young children (ages 5–11) to live orchestra music, alongside an engaging, seasonal stage show. The Saturday morning, 45-minute productions include a fall festival on October 21 to celebrate multicultural traditions such as Halloween, Diá de los Muertos, and Diwali. After The Nutcracker December 3, the March 16 performance, The Carnival of the Animals, showcases the artistry of puppeteers, and on June 8 see opera The Barber of Seville, adapted for kids. All shows include engaging pre- and post-concert activities at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Ticket packages from $65, individual tickets from $15

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