• Introducing
    Before Backpacks

    Before Backpacks connects Parents of young children with Early Childhood Research and Approaches. Creating environments and experiences for Parents and Children to play and learn side by side.

  • Parents & children with Neuromuscular Disorders Initiative

    Rettsyndrome.org, Dr. Pam Diener, PSD Therapies and Laura O. Martin, Founder of PGiP/Before Backpacks are exploring partners to join this new initiative. The vision is to combine cognitive training, motor control and educational expertise into one ground breaking program.

  • Embarking on an
    Impact Study!

    This is our 10th year of playgroup! Our very first alums are 10-12 years old. We are exploring the possible impacts of this program many years later.

PGiP in downtown Bethesda!

In November, PGiP, Playgroup in the Park, will be starting its 10th year on Middleton Lane in downtown Bethesda! Our new home will include not only our innovative Classroom, but also a Collaborative Learning Lab and Studio. All three will come together under the name Before Backpacks.

Innovative Classroom & Unique Playgroups

Playgroups are collaborative learning communities; connecting families with young children in our innovative classroom.

They create a place for parents and children to play and learn side by side.

Outcomes from our Learning Lab are woven into playgroup experiences creating an emergent, collaborative, and dynamic curriculum that builds from moment to moment. 

The materials, furniture, and textiles, down to the specific kind of colored pencil, are chosen with intention and purpose, then all of the components are connected into one innovative design.  

Groups are forming now for:

Parents & Children 6 months to 2 1/2 years old.

Parents & Children under 6 months old.

Parents & Children with neuromuscular disorders.

Join a Playgroup!

Collaborative Learning Lab & Studio

The Learning Lab takes current research outcomes from organizations like Zero to Three and Harvard Center for the Developing Child off the page and into practice. 

The Lab also conducts Action Based Research on a variety of topics such as; “How do children explore light?” , “How can young children paint like Jackson Pollock?” and “How to support development of fine motor skills using glue?”

In addition products and materials are field tested.  For example, going beyond blocks to build the strongest towers or finding the best brushes for painting with small hands.  We explore products currently on the market as well as designing new ones.   

Learning outcomes are then woven into playgroup experiences creating an emergent, collaborative, and dynamic curriculum.  

In support of our vision to spread contagious inspiration, the Lab explores ways to share what is learned with every parent everywhere.


Have an idea?

Learning Local

In 2012 our faculty choose “Learning Local” as the pedagogical focus for the year.  Since then we have continued to connect and collaborate with our local community.

We are thrilled to be one of Montgomery County Girls on the Run's charities of focus for their November 18th Race!

BCC (Bethesda Chevy Chase High School) is steps away from our new location, creating opportunities for internships and collaboration with their early childhood program.

Interested in collaborating?

Vision & Mission

To spread contagious inspiration to every parent everywhere.

To create collaborative communities, innovative environments and impactful experiences that connect families, inspire parents, and motivate childrens’ further exploration.

You can take action and spark inspiration today!