High-Quality Holistic Education that is fun and developmentally appropriate, while focusing on the development of The Whole Child in Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois.
The Play Lab has been an absolute miracle for my son. When I enrolled my son JJ into the play lab he was in speech therapy and all of my worries of going through that were a stressful time in my life. Not only did JJ receive his services to jumpstart his speech but he also received an environment of unconditional love, unconditional encouragement, unconditional support, and all-around unconditional everything. Melinda is an amazing teacher/mentor to me and my family. Her love of enriching the whole child is no slogan. My son has thrived and continues to show me how attending the play lab was the best decision I made hands DOWN!! I can’t wait to enroll my youngest son in a few years. Jj is now in kindergarten and we just had his first teacher conference. His current teacher phrased how JJ speaks up for himself and is very sweet and kind to his classmates. He adjusted to his class very quickly. I owe this all to Melinda and the Play Lab. I’m eternally grateful for Melinda and the Play Lab!!
My son attended The Play Lab for preschool and I literally can not say enough good things about the experience. Ms. Melinda, aka TiTi, is an outstanding teacher. Her gentle, loving spirit taught my son how to self-soothe and tackle problems with ease. Her progressive approach to teaching should be taught everywhere. The children at the Play Lab learn to meditate, get involved in community work, and become young activists, along with traditional kindergarten readiness. Learning is fun at the Play Lab. It was exciting for my son to become an astronaut while studying space, or a doctor while studying the human body. Ms. Melinda loves her students and treats them as her own. My son, who is now in Kindergarten, tells me every day how much he misses The Play Lab. Honestly, I miss it too. I wish she kept them till college
My daughter has attended The Play Lab for a couple of years now, and words cannot express the impact this school has had on her. She has grown so much academically & emotionally. The social-emotional learning environment that The Play Lab fosters, emphasizing the importance of learning through play, is like no other. With small class sizes, the individual approach to children is visible. I love the focus on every part of the child’s development. Addison started writing numbers and letters at the age of 3. She looks forward to going to school every day. She is safe, happy, and healthy, and loves telling us about all the fascinating things she is learning each day. My daughter can be an extremely ‘strong-willed, do-it-all-myself’ kind of girl. With Ms. Melinda’s patience, creativity, and kindness our daughter has thrived and excelled beyond our beliefs. The experience is one of positivity and growth. I will forever be grateful beyond words.
My daughter has attended this school for the past 2 years. She was a prematurely born baby with a lot of hard work ahead of her. We had worked with different therapists and different doctors to overcome some major hurdles through the past 4 1/2 years of my daughter's young and growing life. We had not-so-good experiences with some and great experiences with others. With all that said, my wife and I had no doubt about who we wanted to teach, mold, inspire, uplift, and love our little fighter. I would like to be honest and mention that Melinda Martinez is not only my daughter’s teacher but is also my sister. I am not giving this great review because she is my sister, nor did I choose her school because she is my sister. Melinda has always been the “Smarty pants” in our family and as long as I have been alive, I have never seen her stop educating herself. If you ever have the pleasure of just talking to her, you will see for yourself how special Melinda is. She will absolutely blow you away when discussing her methods of molding, teaching, inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging your child’s young mind, body and soul.
Melinda has created the perfect environment for small children at the Play Lab. The Play Lab itself has four good-sized rooms for the kids: one for sleeping, one for running around, one for teaching and educational toys, and one for arts and crafts. (There's also a separate bathroom for the little ones' handwashing and teeth brushing). All the rooms are thoroughly outfitted, but also very clean and well organized. Our little ones had more dedicated space than their regular daycare, which is a very good specialist center!
Love Everything About This Place!!!!!
Melinda is one of the most compassionate, loving, caring & nurturing souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing! She is the BEST person to help teach your children everything a preschooler and kindergartener should know! She even teaches about nutrition, gardening, music & how to be kind to everyone... Any child would be lucky to attend The Play Lab & be even luckier to have Ms. Melinda as their teacher!
Meli is such an amazing, compassionate and talented teacher. She instills confidence in her students and gives them the education and care that they truly deserve. The Play Lab is a home away from home.
Having filmed multiple events for The Play Lab, I've seen firsthand the impact that The Play Lab and its founder Melinda Martinez have had on its students. I witnessed firsthand the growth of the students as they were fully engrossed in Mrs. Martinez's philosophies and teachings. She keeps her class size small, so she can ensure her focus will be on one on one interactions with her students, and that all students will get equal amounts of attention. She incorporates "play-based" teachings so that her young students have fun while they are learning. These students will go on to bigger and better things in life and will do so because of what they learned, and the friendships they forget while at The Play Lab with Mrs. Melinda Martinez
Excellent one-on-one instruction,, loving, caring, and safe staff and facility.