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Residents Enjoy Mid-Winter Play Day

Over 150 residents came out.

Takoma Park residents came out for a day of fun at the Mid-Winter Play Day Saturday.

“It’s going great,” said “play lady” Pat Rumbagh, the head of Takoma Plays!, an organization devoted to promoting play. “It’s been everything I imagined and more,” she added.

“Everywhere you look there’s people playing, there are a wide variety of activities, it’s so terrific.”

Rumbagh could only estimate the number of attendees. “It’s hard to say how many since they are all over the place, but we filled the auditorium and it holds 150.”

Among those participating were Naomi Lipschultz — who said she is four and a half and three quarters — and her father, Jack Lipschultz. Attending the Play Day seemed like a fun thing to do with the kids, he said.

“We just saw a storytelling, that was fun, and some dancing, and she’s been playing at the dress up area, she really likes that.”

Jenny Wagner and her daughter Ceilidh Wagner, had been at playing basketball at the nearby Takoma Park Middle School, when they ventured to the Community Center “to see what’s going on,” Wagner said.

“There’s always something interesting going on, and today it’s very interesting.” Ceilidh found fun by “building stuff” in the building room. “She’s an architect waiting to happen.”

But play was not limited to children. Mary Feldman is an elder who likes board games, and one of her favorites is “rummy cube.” The game is played with plastic tiles each with a different colored number. The colors are black, yellow, blue and red. Like in rummy you can have three tiles with numbers that are the same, but of different colors, or three consecutive numbers of the same color, she explained.

Teen volunteer Kristiana Danielyan is a student at the Washington International School and Rumbagh had been her physical education teacher. “That’s how I heard about the Play Day,” she said. Kristiana said she was at the last play day in the Spring of 2010 and found “it was a lot of fun.” Therefore, she “came again to help out.”

In addition, the Mid-Winter Play Day saw the introduction of a see-saw made of recycled materials. Jennifer Carter is an interior designer, who combs the local salvage yard for materials that can be reused.

“I’m trying to design playgrounds and equipment that is not plastic and that is made of recycled material,” she said, adding she provided a prototype see-saw she designed and that was made at an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pa.

“This is old fashioned, traditional playground material, metal piping, but it’s recycled heavy-gauge metal piping,” she said.

The next Play Day is Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Takoma Park Middle School, said Rumbagh, who added “but we’re also going to have several activities in between,” including the July Fourth Picnic, "Play and Parade Watch,” at 7301 Maple Ave., and a “playful yard sale,” which will be in July, but which does not have a date yet.

“And we hope to have from eight to 10 ‘traveling play groups’ where we go to different parks and we play,” she said.

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