The Urban Chalkboard is a Play Café & Learning Studio created for the whole family.

Imaginations with no limits can create their very own area of discovery while stretching their social skills and building character. Our open-concept play area benefits parents by letting them take a moment to relax and connect with other parents. Research shows benefits for parents who take some time out for themselves and who make meaningful connections with their families. All of that happens, right here, at The Urban Chalkboard!
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR

save by loading up a punch pass to redeem for play sessions!

Plan Your Visit

Everyday at The Urban Chalkboard is about creativity & fun. We offer a wide variety of activities, classes, events & unique opportunities to connect with other parents & children in the community. The tabs below are full of opportunities for you, and your entire family, to take full advantage of our unique Learning Studio & Play Café

Walk-In

$ 12 per child
  • Walk-in admissions are subject to play capacity limitation*
  • Children at, or over, 9 months of age pay admission to play
  • Adults, and infants, under 9 months, do not pay admission
  • Daily activities included with admission. view calendar

Reserve

$12
$ 10 per child
  • Reserve online, before arriving, to save $2 on each admission
  • Children at, or over, 9 months of age pay admission to play
  • Adults, and infants, under 9 months, do not pay admission
  • Daily activities included with admission. view calendar
Most-Popular

Punch Pass

$50
$ 40 per pass
  • Load up a pass and redeem for play sessions
  • Share with siblings & friends
  • Passes make great gifts!
  • Good for 6 months from date of purchase
Best Value

Walk-In

$ 12 per child
  • Walk-in admissions are subject to play capacity limitation*
  • Children at, or over, 9 months of age pay admission to play
  • Adults, and infants, under 9 months, do not pay admission
  • Daily activities included with admission. view calendar

 

Café capacity is limited to 30 “players”.  A wait list is available to guests without a reservation. Wait times generally start at 1 hour. You will be sent a text, when a spot opens on the wait list, and will have a half-hour to return.

How do you know if we are at capacity? Find a play session time slot on our activity calendar & follow the booking link. The number of remaining spots will be shown before you make a reservation. Guarantee admission by reserving online.

SUN
closed
MON
9a-2p
TUE
9a-2p
WED
9a-2p
THURS
9a-2p
FRI
9a-2p
SAT
9a-2p

Call for extended hours past 2pm during the summer months- 317.815.5711

Fall/Winter hours begin September 4,2017

Activity Calendar

July 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Urban Beats
2
3
  • Grandparents' Day
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
4
  • Closed
5
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Fiber Optic Sensory Exploration
6
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
7
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mr. Daniel Live!
8
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
9
10
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
11
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Process Art
12
  • Multiples Day
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Fiber Optic Sensory Exploration
13
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
14
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mr. Daniel Live!
15
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
16
17
  • Munchkin Tour
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mr. Daniel Live!
18
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Process Art
19
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Fiber Optic Sensory Exploration
20
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Silent Auction with GOCP
21
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mr. Daniel Live!
22
  • Close At Noon
  • Drop-In Play 9a-12p
23
24
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
25
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Process Art
26
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Fiber Optic Sensory Exploration
27
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
28
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Mr. Daniel Live!
29
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • Scott Gould Music
30
31
  • Drop-In Play 9a-2p
  • BEAM Interactive Play
  • Bricks4Kidz Preschool Camp

How to find us

Address:

452 East Carmel Drive  Carmel, IN 46032

Contact Info:

317.815.5711

experiencematters@theurbanchalkboard.com

-View our HOURS

Take A Tour!

Hover over areas of the cafe to learn more!
Our Reggio inspired Play Café is the epicenter of open-ended play. Little imaginations with no limits can create their very own area of discovery while stretching their social skills and building character. Open play is always encouraged at #theUC!

Main Play Cafe

Kitchenette

Science behind the play: Pretend reality play helps children to sort out the roles they see their care-givers & peers maintain in their daily lives. Utilizing items they want to learn about & use they can develop story-lines and imagine how they fit into the world. Fine & gross motor skills are developed by pushing carts, handling small appliances & pretending to eat a variety of foods.

Under 18 Months

Science behind the play: Toys like NogginSticks & NogginRings help babies reach early milestones by encouraging grasping, batting, visual tracking, sound orientation & object permanence. Time spent on the tummy develops core muscles that will eventually support independent sitting. Contrasting colors, like black & white, grab the attention of new eyes. Simple light & sound combinations encourage focus & attention.

The House

Science behind the play: Open-ended dramatic play provides numerous opportunities for developmental growth. A favorite of many children is to act out "home" roles. They try to understand their surrounding dynamics through pretend play. Sorting out conflicts while learning problem solving skills, creating an imaginary worlds & choosing the roles they want to play help lay foundational executive thinking skills.

Process Art Table

Science behind the play: Like reading with a child; creating with a child builds a bond that solidifies relationships and teaches all involved about listening, imitation, following instructions, patience & leadership. Process-focused art projects do not focus on the final outcome, but rather the steps taken along the way. Each of us has our own process which should be nurtured so that we are inclined to build upon our creative efforts.

Building Blocks

Science behind the play: Block play is magical. Dozens of developmental milestones can be met just by playing with blocks. Any type of block will do. Early block play translates into measurable aptitude achievements by middle school. Open-ended dramatic play builds vocabulary and important social skills. Impulse control becomes a factor when building socially, and block play sets up simple interactions that test children's ability to maintain control and pay attention.

Train Table

Science behind the play: Dexterity and fine motor skills are developed while snapping together tracks and trains. Social concepts of sharing and comaraderie be come evident when this activity is enjoyed with others. Logic & mapping skills are developed as plans are made to move vehicles along tracks with organization.

Studio Tour

Paul Dana Learning Studio

Our studio is home to many learning opportunities & our BEAM system- a unique interactive digital floor. The space is also available for parties & private rentals!

Dream Tree Nook

The Dream Tree

Created by Indiana artist C. Thomas Lewis. A one-of-a-kind 6 foot maple tree that represents nature in all of it's beauty. Projected upon the tree are weather events and related algorithms predicting climate change. Adding to the tree's ambiance are nature sounds from the mountains. Find out more about the tree's history here.

Chalkboard Calendar

Local artist Kate Oberreich helps us maintain our unique chalkboards. You can find her work all over Indy at many local restaurants and shops. Her cool, unique vibe lends itself to our modern space. She has even trained our staff on the latest hand-lettering techniques so that they can lend their own style to the Play Cafe. Kate also had her art featured in the movie Fault In Our Stars. Very Cool!!!

Logic Nook

The concepts of consequence, comparison, mapping & classification are introduced throughout this type of play. Consequence becomes evident socially and physically as structures are planned, built and possibly destructed. Sorting of different objects by color & size develops comparative thinking and classification skills. Planning a build utilizes mapping and planning skills that lay the foundation for advanced executive functions. Fine motor skills are tested and developed.

Reading Nook

Books for everyone. Turning the pages of an actual book ignites senses in all of us. Little ones can enjoy pages that are rough or soft with pictures or words. Beginner readers will find literature just right for them. Adults will find something for themselves amongst our selection of currents and books.

Velcro Wall

Trial & Error encourages and inquiring mind to keep exploring new opportunities. Failures teach children how to become successful by leading them to the correct process. The introduction of scientific inquiry should be done at an early age. This introduction teaches the concept of hypothesis testing, expected outcomes & secondary outcomes.

Cafe Hub

The Cafe Hub

A birds-eye view of the Play Cafe! Our cushy bench is the place to be when you need to relax or get some work done while your kids play. FREE Wi-Fi is provided for all guests. Food & drinks, purchased in the cafe, are allowed in the play area at one of our tables to keep spills & sharing to a minimum. Outside food & drinks, from other restaurants or home, are not allowed at #theUC.

Full Service Cafe

Bottomless Cups of Coffee

Fresh brewed pots are available so that you can serve yourself with unlimited cups of coffee during your visit. We serve freshly ground brews by Liberation Roasters & Noble Coffee & Tea. Fresh dairy cream & sugars are available. Dairy alternatives are available upon request.

Espresso Bar

We love to make delicious handmade espresso drinks like lattes & cappuccinos. In addition to espresso we also have a variety of specialty tea drinks. Our espresso is an amazing roats from Liberation roasters called Ricks Potion #9!

Nelson's Tea Bar

Handcrafted tea varieties made by local makers Nelson's Tea.

Grab & Go Deli

Our fresh deli case is full of locally sourced and healthy small bites for the entire family. We encourage healthy, allergen-friendly & simple choices to nourish growing minds.

Waiver Kiosk

All children ages 1 day to 18 years of age need to have an adult signed waiver on-file to be present in the cafe. Before arriving the waiver can be filled out online. The kiosk is available to patrons without a current waiver on file & to anyone who needs to add a child to their account.

Retail Shop

Love what you see & experience at The Urban Chalkboard? Take a little home with you. Our favorite brewed coffees, chunky crayons, music CDs & super-soft t-shirts are all available for purchase.

News & Reviews

Andrew S.

“What a wonderful concept…
“What a wonderful concept and refuge for weary parents. It’s also a nice place for your kids to get out and have some fun”

Rachel R.

“It takes the pressure off me…
“It takes the pressure off me as a mom to have to constantly wrangle my kid at home”

Brandon S.

“I would recommend a private party…
“I would recommend a private party here for an infant birthday to anyone who’s looking for an alternative to Gymboree or some of the other typical birthday spots. Thoroughly satisfied!”

Megan P.

“Perfect place to sit back and enjoy amazing coffee…
“Perfect place to sit back and enjoy amazing coffee + yummy snacks, while your little ones are entertained with a wide variety of toys and activities!”

Marcie M.

“Always plenty of…
“Always plenty of parking which is a plus! I enjoy when it’s NOT crowded….which is first thing at 9AM and mid-day after 1 PM. Don’t tell anyone else I gave you the inside scoop on that!”

Nicole L.

“If you’re looking for a place for a play date…
“If you’re looking for a place for a play date where you can enjoy some adult time, I definitely recommend giving this place a try.”

Brittany P.

“My sister introduced to me to UC…
“As a new mom that is expecting another baby this was a great place for my 1 year to make some friends and explore while I had much needed sister time with my sister. So happy to meet other moms that also just need a moment with a coffee!”

Keon K.

“Awesome place! Stay home dad paradise…
“Working on business while kids roam around. Love the atmosphere love the owners and the employees! They are super kind and loving towards my kids. If you are a stay home dad and would like some sanity come join me here!”

Emma C.

Yes. Yes. A Thousand times yes!
“Staff are friendly and unhurried despite the frenzy of kids playing. They’ve thought of most everything, which means parents can have a relaxing chat while their kids enjoy themselves.”

Michelle Y.

“What’s not to love…
“What’s not to love? The baby rave is the best. But again its like a moms Starbucks, except no weird looks when you let your child roam around to burn up some energy!”

Staff

Tonya Bergeson-Dana Ph.D.

Co-Founder | Owner
Tonya is a cognitive developmental psychologist. Before co-founding The Urban Chalkboard, she was a tenured professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and her work in speech, language and music development in babies and young children is world-renowned. She’s also a single working mother of an 8-year-old son who keeps the academic in her grounded in reality.

Jessica Beer Ph.D.

Co-Founder | Owner
Jessica earned her Ph.D. in social cognitive developmental psychology at City University of New York. A homegrown Hoosier, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at IU School of Medicine studying development in preschoolers. She contributes to the design of the classes at The Urban Chalkboard from the perspective of a researcher and a mom.

Michelle Weber RN

Managing Director
Michelle is an experienced Pediatric Nurse who has spent the past 6 years staying home to be with her two children. While maintaining her SAHM lifestyle she has been busy volunteering for Saint Pius X Parish, MSPC CO-OP Preschool, & theCityMoms Michelle’s unique skill set has encouraged her to develop her Design, Marketing & Management skills; all of which she will put to great use at #theUC!

Laurel Price M.A.

Communications Director
Laurel works as a professional speaker, trainer and consultant in higher education, primarily working with fraternities and sororities. She has a bachelor degree in Public Relations from Ball State and a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University.

Dana Hueftle

Play Coach Specialist
Dana has Music and Journalism degrees from IU-Bloomington. Over the last 20 years, Dana has been teaching voice lessons and leading and programming worship services at Indianapolis-area churches. She has taught music and kindergarten concepts to kids at her sons’ preschool, and also from her home studio. Dana is currently exploring a Music Therapy degree.

Jenny Woods

Play Coach Specilaist
Jenny has a BA in French and has nearly completed her AS in Early Childhood Education. She is passionate about play-based learning and the Reggio approach to early childhood education. She has many years of experience teaching preschool and running a home daycare. She enjoys music and spending time with her husband, 3 year old son, 8 year old stepson and 13 year old stepdaughter. She is excited to welcome a new baby boy this summer!

Abby Charlebois

Play Coach
Abby is an Elementary Education student at Butler University. She is fantastically organized and loves children. Her smarts and personality will take her to big places. We are happy to have her at #theUC for the time being.

Olivia

Play Coach
Carmel High School Student

Carly

Play Coach
Carmel High School Student

Allie

Play Coach
Carmel High School Student

Anika

Play Coach
Anika is a senior at Carmel High School who enjoys running Unified Track, playing the violin, watching movies, and most of all traveling. She has been to 15 different countries with her favorite being Iceland! Her favorite part about working at the Urban Chalkboard is playing with the kids in the studio doing a variety of activities like the BEAM or working with handmade clay.

Work Here

To apply send a cover letter and copy of your current resume to  experiencematters@theurbanchalkboard.com

Play Coach

Job Description and Responsibilities:

A Play Coach is responsible for caring for and playing with children at the play café, talking to parents, assisting with parties, and cleaning the play café. Must be comfortable interacting with babies and children and leading by example.

Engage children:

  • Ability to scaffold play (take the child’s lead but gently guide their play)
  • Ability to work out disagreements between children
  • Ability to use age appropriate behavior management techniques

Facilitate birthday parties:

  • Greet guests and make sure they have an amazing time
  • Communicate with parents to keep the party flowing smoothly
  • Set-up tables, chairs, decorations, and crafts
  • Serve cake, drinks, and food
  • Lead organized crafts and sing-a-longs
  • Clean floors, tables, coffee pots, sanitize toys

Experience:

  • Babysitting and caring for babies and young children
  • Course work or experience in early childhood development or education
  • Working with small groups of children
  • Attention to detail and customer service
  • Experience playing a musical instrument, art, or drama is a plus but not required

To Apply:

Email the following to experiencematters@theurbanchalkboard.com attention Dr. Jessica Beer:

  • Cover letter that explains why you would be a good fit for the position of Play Coach
  • Resume that lists and briefly describes any experiences you have that are relevant to the job description. This may include paid positions, course work, or life experiences.
  • Names and contact information for two references who can speak to your skills and character

Position start date: Immediate

Where: The Urban Chalkboard Learning Studios and Play Café:  452 East Carmel Drive

Hours: Must be able to work weekends.   Must have some weekday and weekend availability during holidays and winter/spring/fall breaks. Hours will be flexible each week and will range from 0 to 10 hours/week.

Competitive Hourly Pay

About the Urban Chalkboard:

The Urban Chalkboard is Indy’s first play café and is located in Carmel. We are a place where families with young children age birth to 6 years come to play, have coffee, and meet up. Think of us like Starbucks meets The Children’s Museum. The owners have PhDs in Child Development and designed the space to be a unique spot for young children to free-play, learn, and make new friends, and to be an equally enjoyable space for adults to relax, meet friends and have a moment to themselves. We offer yoga, music, and wellness classes for children, and we host birthday parties.

Cleaning Crew

Job Description and Responsibilities:

Responsible & Reliable person to disinfect toys, vacuum, mop, clean bathroom & complete daily cleanup after business hours Monday – Friday. Ideal candidate would be a self-starter available to work alone. Cafe cleaning would take place for 1-2 hours between the hours of 5p-10p weekdays & possibly some weekends.

To Apply:

Email the following to experiencematters@theurbanchalkboard.com attention Dr. Jessica Beer:

  • Cover letter that explains why you would be a good fit for the cleaning crew position
  • Resume that lists and briefly describes any experiences you have that are relevant to the job description. This may include paid positions, course work, or life experiences.
  • Names and contact information for two references who can speak to your skills and character
Position start date: Immediate Where: The Urban Chalkboard Learning Studios and Play Café:  452 East Carmel Drive Hours: Must be able to work evenings 5p-10p & occassional weekend availability. Hours will range from 5 to 10 per week. Competitive Hourly Pay
Play Cafe Benefits: 1 free admission for your children, or grandchildren, per cleaning session worked along with 10% cafe/retail discount.

About the Urban Chalkboard:

The Urban Chalkboard is Indy’s first play café and is located in Carmel. We are a place where families with young children age birth to 6 years come to play, have coffee, and meet up. Think of us like Starbucks meets The Children’s Museum. The owners have PhDs in Child Development and designed the space to be a unique spot for young children to free-play, learn, and make new friends, and to be an equally enjoyable space for adults to relax, meet friends and have a moment to themselves. We offer yoga, music, and wellness classes for children, and we host birthday parties.

BLOG

Play- The Purpose of the Urban Chalkboard

Playtime for Kids We have all heard the news that play is on the decline in the US. From birth, families are inundated with toys targeting educational and academic achievement. Children are going off to preschool at the tender age of two to three years and many experience a classroom environment that involves passive learning, more direct instruction and less exploration. Many of us share the unreasonable expectation that our children should know how to

Read More »

Music and Play

-Tonya Bergeson-Dana investigates the role of play and music in early language experience and cognitive development in children with hearing impairment in an article originally published in ©BATOD Magazine • May 2017-   In their ground-breaking 1995 book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children, Betty Hart and Todd Risley relayed findings from their longitudinal study on language acquisition suggesting that children from affluent environments might hear 30 million more words by

Read More »

Research to Real World: Preschool Prep… for Parents

“Research in developmental science shows us that children enrolled in preschool and kindergarten environments that provide opportunities for them to practice perspective- taking and controlling their own behavior and emotions in child-directed play-based programming show better academic skills several years later.” Learn how to prep for preschool   in Dr. Jessica’s  Research to the Real World  column in Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine! Read article here.

Read More »

452 East Carmel Drive Carmel, IN 46032  |  experiencematters@theurbanchalkboard.com | 317.815.5711