Parent You Should Know: Keri Demos

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Keri Demos and her family | Provided Photo

Having four children in four years is a feat on its own, but starting a business when one is only 4 years old is hall-of-fame worthy.

Keri Demos, owner and operator of The Playroom—a children’s STEM play center with daily drop-in playtimes, events, classes and camps for children ages 0 to 10—did just that. And now she has the opportunity to take what she loves doing and expand it even more.

The Playroom is scheduled to reopen at a new, bigger location at 2205 Commerce Road, in Forest Hill, Maryland, on May 1.

“We are thrilled to be able to grow alongside our young friends in the community by offering a wider range of classes and activities,” Demos says. “We are also extremely excited to have a first-floor location that is accessible for all.”

Demos has a background in working with children who are neurodivergent. She has a bachelor’s degree in adaptive physical education, a master’s degree in early childhood special education and a specialty in the field of autism. She taught at Kennedy Krieger Institute and was involved in private practice in the ABA field.

At the new Playroom, she will be able to continue offering these skills with more room to play, better accessibility for those with different abilities and new programs this fall. The new space features ball pits, climbing structures, a magnetic maze, gear walls, a LEGO table, a racetrack, a giant train table, and more.

Demos also teaches a feature class called StoryPlay that helps children improve on turn-taking, sharing, direction following and school-readiness skills.

When she not at work, Demos enjoys making hairbows she calls “loopy loops” that she sells at the Playroom, because she never got a chance to dress a girl as a mom of four boys, she says. She also enjoys kayaking with her husband.

Demos and her husband, John Demos, live in North Hartford with their four boys, 17, 19, and twin 21-year-olds. She shares the lessons she learned raising them and starting her own business.

Learn more about what The Playroom has to offer at playroomharford.com.

Q&A

What was it like starting a business with young kids at home?

Interesting is my favorite word. I had to manage my time; I used my boys as my guinee pigs. I would try some of my activities on my children. I started The Playroom because I couldn’t find what I wanted for my boys in my area, so I decided to start it myself.

Once my boys were in school, I decided it was time to share what I learned with others.

Keri Demos was raising four children as she started a new business, The Playroom. | Provided Photo

 How did you balance work and home life?

Carefully. I was motivated, and I enjoyed teaching, so it was a priority for me. It was things I already did with my children, so it flowed easily.

What has been your greatest challenge as a parent?

Making sure I spent enough individual time with each of my kids. Four boys in four years? They were close. My husband and I divided and conquered. Most things we would do as a family, but we would make special playdates, so they’d get activities just with Mom or just with Dad.

What’s something you wish you knew before becoming a mom?

Having the reassurance to know they’re going to be fine would’ve been helpful. They were my full-time job in the beginning. I gave up working full-time to stay home with them for a while in the beginning. [I would have liked] to know that I was doing the right thing.

What is the best advice you received career-wise?

Do your best! You can’t do it all, so do what you can do and be happy with that.

What do you hope your children learn from you?

Flexibility. Being a mom of four children, two cats, a dog and juggling the things that happen daily—you have to go with the flow!

Family Favorites

Way to spend a weekend: Play croquet, go out on our boat or play board games.

Vacation spot: The beach—family time together at the beach, because we get to slow down that way

Local spot: The Playroom!

Game: Card games

Meal: Seafood, Maryland crabs!

Dessert: Boston Crème pie

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