Two floors up but a world away from the low-grade chaos that greets us every day as New Yorkers. Judy’s Playgroup was just the sanctuary we were seeking for our daughter. The serene, centering energy that pervades the space, and the gentle and direct vibe that characterized our group’s dynamic are extensions of Judy herself. She’s joyfully engaged, with an evident love for what she does and a wisdom and balance that continue to inform our parenting. We can’t imagine having entrusted that precious year of our daughter’s life to anyone else.
– Doug Mehagian and Asma Samadani
Judy’s Playgroup was the ideal introduction to preschool for our two boys. The small size, cozy setting, and most importantly Judy’s loving and confident presence played a key role in developing confident, social kids who now thrive in all their other group environments. We are very grateful for our family’s time with Judy!
– Brent and Lotta Kinetz
Judy’s Playgroup provided my two-year-old son with the smoothest, most warm, careful transition from being at home with his parents and caregivers, to a new environment that hints at and prepares for nursery school while still providing some comforts of home. I can’t imagine a more enriching, safe, and enjoyable (both for the child and parent!) way to ease a toddler into going out into the world without their primary caregivers constantly by their side. Judy’s program truly does provide these children with a second home that encourages socializing in thoughtful and gentle ways by providing the prerfect balance among free-play, organized play, projects, and ritualization, along with some basic life skills like keeping their hands clean as well as their play areas. I’ve had the pleasure of now sending my second child to Judy and look forward to sending my third one there next year! As my pediatrician said when I told her I was sending my kids to her playgroup, “Judy is an institution! How wonderful.” I agree completely.
– Kelly Tisdale & Mike Myers
Judy provides a magical place for children, where imagination thrives, learning is interwoven into play, and lasting friendships are made. I cannot say enough good things about Judy; she is a passionate educator who truly nurtures and understands children (and anxious parents!). My son still talks about his wonderful time there and looks forward to his visits as a “playgroup alum.”
– Zoya & Damien Loeb
Judy’s Playgroup is such a special little corner of the world. I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time watching and learning as Judy interacts with and teaches the kids in such a loving way. However, one of the things I admire most about her is that she has such a strong sense of when to step back and allow the magic of non-structured free-play to happen. She has created such a cozy, creative space (with a toy and book library that any educator would be jealous of) and because of this, the kids’ imaginations soar. It has been such an amazing opportunity for me to see the kids evolve into confident, inquisitive little people through their time at Judy’s.
– Niki Giglio, educator
Both of our daughters (now 3 and 5) went to Judy Stevens’ playgroup for 2’s. We couldn’t have been happier with this decision. Judy provides a warm, nurturing environment where our daughters could feel secure and flourish during their very first separation experiences. At Judy’s, we watched their imagination and creativity develop, as well as their independence, self confidence, and ability to make new friends and play nicely! With such small classes of only 6 kids, with 2 adults, everyone felt like family and our daughters have made lifelong friends. We would wholeheartedly recommend Judy’s Playgroup to anyone looking for an intimate, nurturing 2’s program for their child!
– Megan & Michael Brosterman
Judy’s Playgroup is one of the best things we’ve ever done for our two daughters. Our oldest daughter went for two years, and through the open-play format, learned invaluable lessons about socializing with other children her age. She learned how to share, communicate her emotions, and navigate situations with her friends and playmates. Over the summer she went to day camp, and her ability to deal with the dynamics in a group of 14 little girls impressed her counselors so much, they reached out to let us know. Her confidence in social settings is something we can never thank Judy enough for! We also found, during the school interview process for continuing schools, that admissions offices were happy to hear she attended Judy’s Playgroup!
– Erin Crandall & Ben Phillips
My daughter was lucky enough to attend Judy’s Playgroup for two years. I have two children, ages nine and three. Therefore, I have a unique understanding of the beauty and depth of the work that happens at Judy’s. My daughter loves Judy and she loved going to Judy’s, where she had her own place to be that was hers, with her own friends and projects – that along was an incredible thing. I will say while watching her with the other children her age at the playground, I am always amazed at how diplomatic she is – she is able to say what she wants and ask questions of the other children, find ways to follow her instincts but include the other children in play. It’s an incredible thing to behold and I know from raising two children, one who did not attend Judy’s and one that did, that her ability to navigate social situations so beautifully at such a young age is absolutely because she went to Judy’s. She just entered a full-day preschool and is thriving – walked right in the first day, kissed me and said “goodbye.” I can only imagine that the sense of self she carries so beautifully has much to do with her time at Judy’s.
– Lily Thorne & Josh Hamilton
Our son Max, now 14, thrived at Judy’s Playgroup. He entered this first learning group as our “baby,” but left as a more confident young boy with new skills, words, and friends. Judy’s great gifts of helping toddlers become more empowered was a joy to observe, and learn from, over the course of Max’s year there. Being passionate about the arts, we particularly appreciated Judy’s knowledgeable guidance as her young charges created collaborative and solo artworks. We still have some of these art pieces!
– Monica Forrestall and Kerry Schuss
Judy’s Playgroup was so much more than a playgroup for our children over the years. It was truly a second home. Judy is like family to us. When my third daughter was born, my older two children immediately began planning for when their little sister would get to go to Judy’s! I feel such gratitude for the years my children spent in her wonderful playgroup!
– Stacey Bendet & Eric Eisner
Judy’s Playgroup is one of the best kept secrets in Tribeca. She has been leading these playgroups for two-year-olds for over 30 years, offering toddlers an amazing first experience in group play. She brings her love of children, her kindness, and creativity to the playgroup every day. The kids get to play with their peers and figure out how to share and take turns in a calm and supporting environment. My daughter attended many years ago and she was always eager to go to Judy’s, see her little friends, and have fun!
– Kathy & Mike Sussell
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