The Airplane Spoon lands in Menlo Park offering services for babies, children and parents
Located on Menlo Avenue across from Trader Joe’s, it’s impossible not to notice the catchy sign in front of what looks like the homiest of homes: The Airplane Spoon. Why the name we ask owner Sarina Murrell?
“It’s simple and catchy and stands out,” says Sarina, who has been a professional educator in one form or another for many years. “There’s the connection of the parent feeding an infant—’here comes the airplane.’ Plus, both airplanes and spoons serve a useful purpose even though one is high-tech and the other is low-tech.”
Sarina opened on October 1st with the mission of providing developmentally-focused feeding and communication support to babies, children and parents. It’s her first physical location, adding to services she’s been providing in homes since the beginning of the year.
“I set up the space to feel like a home,” she explains. “The Strong room has components to help move the body. The Happy room—a big play tent—is filled with games and toys and puzzles and books. The Create room offers imaginative things that inspire creativity in expression. The Enjoy room is a kitchen that provides different types of food that we can enjoy together. Outside is Grow: There are garden boxes to plant a variety of food options, plus push bikes and wagons to use.”
Services include specialized feeding support. “Babies don’t come with instructional manuals, says Sarina (known to most kids as ‘Nina’). “How do parents wean off breast or bottle and introduce utensils, as example.”
Another area is communication. “We support children who have complex communication and medical needs—they are non-verbal. We offer alternative communication to support individuals who don’t use their voice.”
Sarina hopes to hire more speech therapists and coaches to fill out staffing. “Right now it’s a little big for me, but I’m excited to be in Menlo Park and enjoying the community!”
Photo by Robb Most (c) 2021