When we were in the States for Thanksgiving, I was impressed to learn of a new social program in my hometown that has allotted some space in the old Junior High School as a play area for young children, with all donated toys. Ambiguously called Family Connections, it's a free, dry, and warm place for even the poorest parents to bring their kids and let them run around and play with toys that perhaps their parents could not afford to buy them individually. Nora absolutely loved it. Her favorite toy was a plastic playhouse that she could go inside and close the door. She liked it so much that we've decided that something similar should be her Christmas present this year. (Don't tell her yet!) We have space for one in the corner of our living room, and I think it will be really special for her to have a chunk of space in the house that is hers to control.
A panorama of the Family Connections place, showing all the variety of toys for kids of various ages. Costumes, dinosaurs, a piano, finger paints, a slide, books, etc.
Nora locks her grandmother inside the playhouse.
Mommy looks like a giant peering into the "kitchen".
There were several other Spanglish-speaking kids there. Nora bummed a juice box off of one. It was her first experience with a juice box; she got the hang of it immediately.
Oh, and they have laundry facilities too, so I guess you can do your laundry while the little tykes wear themselves out.
Nora behaves like any proud new homeowner, inviting in guests, locking in guests, trying to close the door by grabbing the outside doorknob from inside, etc.