21 Jul 2021
Seabrook has always had a family-friendly focus as a core value. With kid-centric shops like Brooklets Toys and Seabrook Kids, plus a myriad of fun outdoor activities, a family vacation on the Washington Coast should be on every family’s bucket list. Our Pod by the Sea brought the final piece to the puzzle with high-quality childcare right in Seabrook’s Town Center.
A New Pod on the Washington Coast
Kid-focused spaces have always been in the master plan for Seabrook and the Our Pod Family was a perfect match.
“This summer we came out to the coast for a little vacation during teacher appreciation week and Mother’s Day,” elaborated Kayla Schroader, co-owner of Our Pod By The Sea. “We were dreaming about the idea of having a space right on the ocean with a retreat for our families and having a space where your kids can find their community as well.”
It wasn't long before their dream was realized in Seabrook.
“We walked into Brooklets and started talking to Lindsi about our favorite toy stores in Tacoma and The Pod Works and she mentioned how wonderful it would be to have a branch here in Seabrook. She pointed us towards the sales office where we met Rhonda and everything snowballed from there,” laughed Kayla. “It was actually 8 weeks from the time that we took our vacation to our opening date on July 3rd.”
Our Pod by the Sea was an instant hit on Market Street during the 4th of July weekend opening. While homeowners and guests strolled through the Seabrook Saturday Market, the open doors and kid-friendly activities offered a peek at the new space.
Interactive Space Brings Seabrook Inside
Walking down Market Street, it’s almost impossible not to be drawn to the storefront. Chalk drawings cover the sidewalks while a bubble machine attracts the attention of children and adults alike. The windows are illustrated with Orcas, Salmon, and a large whale tail imploring you to explore the colorful space inside.
“Our space is the gallery storefront so it is very bright and open with high ceilings and big windows with great lighting. We’ve gotten creative with the space,” described Kayla.
Towards the front of the windows you’ll find activities and decor reflecting the beach. Seashells and rocks from the beach with a fishing game recreate the beach experience. As you venture further back you’ll find tinker toys like montessori-inspired wood pieces and ocean creatures. They also worked to bring pieces of Seabrook into the space. A small barn with horses was inspired by the Farm District while a pizza oven and cash register open up the imagination so children can pretend to work in Frontager's Pizza.
The space is a growing, evolving space filled with creativity. Each trip you may find new art pieces or immersive learning tools inside. Coming soon is a large submarine reading nook that will be the centerpiece of the space. One wall is filled with colorful pieces of art that create a sense of wonder.
“We have a really fun collection that includes many Tacoma artists on our gallery wall. One of my favorite pieces is a native necklace piece that was given to us by one of our moms who is a member of the Quinault Tribe,” noted Kayla.
Behind the Pod
You’ll notice the orca on their logo and several inside the store. Not only a symbol for the Pacific Northwest, their mascot has a deeper meaning.
“Orca Pods function as a family, as a community," Kayla said. "They lift each other up and offer support. It’s exactly what we try to do at Our Pod.”
Tacoma based families might be familiar with the Our Pod Family of Businesses and co-owners Natasha Howell and Kayla Schroader. The core idea was to create a community that focused on creating a flexible family life for parents and children. Our Pod includes The Pod Works, Tacoma Children’s School, The Co-Lab, and most recently, Our Pod By The Sea here in Seabrook.
“It is a collaboration that brings together families and creates communities,” noted Kayla.
While the other Pod businesses have a strong focus on coworking and curriculum classes for children, Our Pod by the Sea has rotated it’s model to focus on family vacationers and homeowners.
“Opening Our Pod By The Sea was very congruent with our other stores so it wasn’t like we were reinventing the wheel when we opened this space," Kayla said. "We had a lot of systems in place and we just had to shift our model to the families here in Seabrook.”
Day Camps, Drop-ins, and So Much More
Day camps are 4-hour blocks or you can book an hour or two of drop-in childcare.
“You can drop your kids off for a couple hours in the morning and take a surf lesson one day and come back during the evening to go out for a romantic dinner,” smiled Kayla.
Our Pod has a revolving curriculum that focuses on different themes. Kids can learn about ocean life during Under the Sea week or build their own gnome home during Gnomes and Fairy week. Each camp includes a field trip to somewhere in the town.
“Some days we might head over to the playground for some fun and enjoy our lunch out there, other times we may travel down the gnome trail," she continued. "We aren’t planning any beach excursions because we want that special experience to be saved for time with parents.”
Stay and play passes are perfect for families with younger kids who want to do some creative activities together or to familiarize their children with the space.
“You can come play as a family and orient yourself with the space," Kayla said. "It makes later day camps and drop-off sessions more comfortable.”
A Sneak Peek At The Fun Weekly Events
- Friday Game Night - 6:30 PM (With drop off or play pass admission)
- Saturday Family Talent Show - 12:30 PM (No admission fee required)
- Sunday Parade at 2:30 PM (No admission fee required)
- Monday Movie night at 5:30 PM (With drop off or play pass admission)
Small Classes for Big Impact
The model plans to have one teacher for every six children. Each child gets the attention that they deserve.
“Sometimes we may be full with our condensed space but with the come-and-go nature of drop-in, there will likely be open spaces later that day,” she said.
A few common themes in the Our Pod family are comfort and growth. New experiences are sometimes scary for children but the team of caregivers focuses on building a relationship with the children and parents so that the space can be a familiar and exciting experience.
“We really work with helping the kids grow to be comfortable in the space," Kayla continued. "One disclaimer that we tell parents is that a lot of the kids do cry when it's time to go. And that’s funny because those might have been the same kids that cried when mom and dad left.”
During your next trip to Wasington’s Beach Town, book a spa day, a surf lesson, a romantic dinner, or just some alone time to sit back and relax. With flexible childcare from Our Pod by the Sea you can unwind while knowing that your kids are in good hands. Their time at Our Pod might just be the highlight of the entire trip.
Our Pod by the Sea is now offering drop-in childcare for ages three and older for up to four hours and family playspace for families living in or vacationing in Seabrook.