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Northern Highlands Daily Voice serves Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River & Waldwick

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Waldwick Playgroup Features Painted Feet, Spaghetti Bins

Olivia Burks' little one has fun with painted toes.
Olivia Burks' little one has fun with painted toes. Photo Credit: Facebook
Burks and her toddler.
Burks and her toddler. Photo Credit: Facebook
Hugs & Bugs in Waldwick lets youngsters get messy and learn through imaginative playtime.
Hugs & Bugs in Waldwick lets youngsters get messy and learn through imaginative playtime. Photo Credit: Hugs & Bugs website
Hugs & Bugs, which has a center in Waldwick, welcomes youngsters to learn through sensory play.
Hugs & Bugs, which has a center in Waldwick, welcomes youngsters to learn through sensory play. Photo Credit: via Hugs & Bugs website

WALDWICK, N.J. — A Hoboken mother of two is not afraid of youngsters getting messy in her Hugs & Bugs Club classes in Waldwick.

“There are a lot of expensive toys that children like for two seconds, and then they are done with them,” said Olivia Burks, who is also running classes in Hoboken and West New York.

“This past week, we did pipe cleaners in pasta strainers for fine motor skills for children who have sensory issues — it’s wonderful for them.”

Burks is a painter and actress and came upon the idea of a sensory class for children when she had kids.

“I can’t explain what sticky is. I wanted my son to learn these things,” she said.

Her first son, Jackson, quickly grew tired of repeated books, toys, and activities, she said. Sensory bins filled with rice, however, he could do.

Burks brought the bins and more to her classes where children will "do all the cool, crazy things" — like play with paint on their hands and feel pasta between their toes.

She doesn't mind cleaning up the messes in between classes because it's the only place some kids can make it.

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