Nearly a year after Sophia van der Harst moved her Poekie Nook children’s sewing and crafts hub to Tam Junction – and strengthened ties among the bevy of kid-centric businesses around her in the process – she’s ready to throw a big ol’ three-year-old birthday party.

The celebration, set for Saturday March 18 (1-5pm) promises the chance for free Poekie-making, pizza, cake and music.

Poekie Nook is the “nook” revolving around the Poekie (rhymes with “spooky”) – a cute, pillowy stuffed animal that has inspired children to “create, craft and imagine” is the central piece of a sewing system that teaches kids a variety of skills. 

The Waldorf-trained Van der Harst created the Poekie, named for a Dutch term of endearment used by many moms in Holland for their babies, in 1998 as one of the founders of The Planet, the children’s drop-in day camp and activity center along Richardson Bay near Seaplane Adventures and the office buildings that house Glassdoor

Poekie Nook has become a mini-community center of sorts in Tam Junction, as van der Harst has again arranged with Roco Dance nearby a four-week, dual camp called “Dance in the Morning, Sew in the Afternoon.” Van Der Harst’s experience with doing that program in 2016 led her to expand the idea to offer to work with the other kid-friendly businesses in the area like Mojo Dojo KarateMathnasiumStudio4Art and Proof Lab to allow kids to connect with more than one of them in a day.

The move has been a hit with parents in search of giving their kids more than one option for the fun day while knowing that their transition form one to the other would be supervised.

“It worked very well, and it was easy for me to do,” van der Harst says. “We’re definitely looking to expand on that concept this summer.”

The 411: Poekie Nook is hosting a three-year-old birthday party on Saturday March 18 (1-5pm) with free Poekie-making, pizza, cake and music. 247 Shoreline Highway.

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