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Early Childhood

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What people are saying:

"Through Tot Lot we have become so much more connected to the community. When we moved here, it was hard to adjust to life in a bigger city. But we immediately plugged in to Tot Lot and started meeting so many friends. Now it seems like everywhere I go I see somebody from Tot Lot. It makes me feel like I belong here.

- Tot Lot parent

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Tot Lot

Outdoor Tot Lot is back this summer! Join us in the HPNC playground for open play and specialized activities.

Summer 2024: June 11 - August 15

Outdoor Tot Lot

Tuesday & Thursday mornings: 9:00am-12:00pm 

Cost: Pay what you can! Consult the chart below for contribution suggestions.


Tot Lot offers opportunities for children ages birth to 5 years to experince the world outside their home with their caregiver. Hosted outdoors or in our expansive gym, children have access to mats, riding toys, play structures, balls, and open-ended building materials. A separate area is available for non-walking children to safely play, explore, and observe. 

We design our programs with the whole family in mind. Tot Lot is a time for caregivers to build strong networks and to boost their mental health through relationship and connection. For young children, our goal is to create a safe space for them to explore their physical limits, build friendships, and experience new and challenging sensations within the context of loving, attuned, and supportive care.

Self-directed play with peers is intentionally at the core of our programming, because we know that this is the most direct way to foster: 

  • Healthy social and emotional development

  • Self-regulation and self-monitoring

  • Joy, curiosity, and wonder

  • Motor, language, and problem-solving skills through real-world experience negotiating with peers

  • Confidence and sense of self

Tot Lot Holiday Parties for 2024-25

Stay tuned for dates!


Throughout the year, Tot Lot celebrates a number of holidays with with our children, caregivers, and parents. Holiday parties take place from 10a-12p on regularly scheduled Tot Lot days, with Tot Lot open for drop in play from 9-10a. 

All parties feature themed crafts and activities for children ages birth to 5 and their adults. If you are interested in supporting Tot Lot Holiday Parties by volunteering, please contact Community Engagement Manager Chanel Easter at

What does "pay what you can" mean? 

HPNC aims to make our programs accessible to families across all income levels. As such, we are pleased to offer Tot Lot as a pay-what-you-can program. Please consult the chart below based on your family’s size and monthly income to determine the suggested contribution relevant to your situation.

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Tot Lot and all of HPNC's programs would not be possible without the support of donations from our friends and neighbors. If you are in a position to do so, we ask that you consider helping cover the cost of another family's participation with a tax-deductible donation. 

Tot Lot is additionally made possible by volunteers contributing their time to this special community. If you would like to give your time to make Tot Lot happen, please email Chanel at


Nature Club

Occasional Nature Club Pop-Ups will be offered in Summer and Fall 2024. More regular programming will resume after our upcoming building renovations are complete.


Next Session:

Stay tuned!

Did you know that kids who spend time in nature have stronger self-esteem, are more creative and cooperative, are better at following directions and problem solving, and are physically and mentally healthier? 

We invite you to join our nature-based, child-directed play club intended to ignite a love of the outdoors for our youngest explorers. Activities can be adapted for kids ages 6 months - 5 years.

Expect developmentally appropriate games and conversations about nature and environmental stewardship. We plan to watch the seasons change together, hunt for bugs and the first signs of spring, search for outdoor treasures, dig in the mud, and splash in puddles. Come dressed for the weather and ready to take in the full range of sensational experiences that the outdoors has to offer. 

We’ll be gearing up to plant our garden this summer and may begin some seedlings indoors that the kids can tend and watch grow. 

Nature-based activity offerings will include: 

  • Natural materials for building, climbing, and balancing

  • Nature-based sensory enrichment experiences

  • Movement and mindfulness activities to build body awareness and interception skills

  • Opportunities for early season planting and bug catching

  • Periodic special guest gardening and local wildlife experts to share experiences about city gardening and environmental stewardship

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