5 Ways to Find the Perfect Music Classes for Toddlers
Maximo just turned 18 months, in the middle of this polar vortex they’re talking about. Great. I have a very curious toddler and it’s -18 outside? In NYC??? We of course checked out our favorite kids’ class site – KidzCentralStation.com to see what we could find to cure this case of cabin fever. There are tons of options, especially for his age group, which has seemed to be a off-age for us. (Hard to find classes, clothes, and….) So we decided to try the Soc Roc Soccer Semester for the winter. It starts at 18 months, so even though Maximo would be one of the youngest, it sounded like a great “boy” activity to kick off the year!
1. Social Skills.
Seriously, is there anything cuter than a room full of little boys all running around demolishing balls and cones together, and encouraged to do so? Maximo was in HEAVEN chasing around the other boys and coaches.
2. Exercise for Mom.
Don’t think you’re gonna just sit back and relax in a sports class – being a mom is a hands-on job! You’ll find yourself running up and down the “field” alongside your little mini me, and burning off unexpected calories for the upcoming bikini season!
3. Following the Rules.
Maximo is 18 months remember, so he’s best skills right now are NOT following the rules and listening to instructions. The best thing about this class is that it teaches the kids to do so. From “sitting on home base,” to learning to tap your feet and clap your hands, to using hand-eye coordination to kick and set up props, you’re getting more out of a soccer class than just exercise!
4. Real Soccer Skills.
If you sign up for a real class through KidzCentralStation.com, you are sure to find quality classes. This means real soccer players and coaches teaching your babies the basics. I just LOVED how involved the coaches were with the kids. They also made sure to find one-on-one time for each boy with lots of encouragement and high fives. Seriously, so cute. Maximo didn’t take long to warm to to this great interaction.
5. Learn Something New.
This class isn’t all about kicking balls – like mentioned above they actually teach coordination skills, and there were a lot of new things Maximo got to try out – and was really good at! If anything is good at entertaining a toddler, it’s new experiences.
Soc Roc offers a trial class before jumping right into the full semester, so maybe we’ll see you at class next weeK?
I recently attempted my first art class – ever. As in, I even cringed going to art class in middle school. But, I actually had an AMAZING time, and created some really cool art work for my son’s bedroom in the process.
It made me think – just because I myself am not a big painter, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t let my son try it and explore – he might really enjoy it!
1. Step Outside the Box. I realized it is always important to step outside your comfort level and try something new. You never know – you might really enjoy it! And in NYC, you can ALWAYS bring a friend along with you so you don’t have to feel alone. So imagine how fun it is for your kids to be running around with all the other kiddies with this weird stuff they call paint all over their hands!
2. It’s Relaxing. I learned that art is great for you to relax. So it’s great for kids as well – to release stress, anxiety, whatever it may be, and just let go and paint. The next thing you know, you’re focused, chill, and hours have passed! Very therapeutic!
3. It’s Creative! This is a given – but if you’re like me, you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body to save a life. However, if you get the right teacher and class, you will see that EVERYONE can be creative, and you’ll probably learn something about yourself. How amazing is this for our kids? To let them be kids, and paint and create to find themselves. You might be surprised what your child is capable of!
4. Art Can Help Enhance Skills. Art opens up your self-expression, letting you explore things you didn’t know about yourself. This is great for little children who are learning and absorbing everything. It helps polish their social skills, helps them learn to be independent, as well as use creative AND critical thinking.
5. Because it’s Fun! Let the kids be kids! What is more fun that splashing paint, glitter and everything messy you can imagine onto a masterpiece. I know my son can’t do all that in our apartment, so it’s a chance for him to really get dirty and love it! I have also heard that studies say art helps students do better in school overall. And I believe it – why wouldn’t a child who is allowed to be creative and express himself be more interested in learning as well?
I actually took my classes at The Art Studio NY, and they offer children’s classes as well! (You can read about my full experience here). Here are some other great art class providers you can find on KidzCentralStation.com:
I get it –it’s cold. It’s REALLY cold when the wind catches you just right turning the corner around a big building. You don’t want to leave your house. But eventually you are going to have to step outside. (Okay maybe YOU CAN stay in all winter by ordering groceries and online shopping – but how is your baby/toddler handling it? As a mom myself of a VERY explorative toddler, I know I need to get him out of the house, even for a short walk, at least once a day. So if it’s too cold to play in the park – why not try one of the hundreds of classes offered right here in your backyard? Take advantage of NYC this winter with all the opportunities hiding away from the cold inside.
Winter Activities for Toddlers: Here are 5 Reasons You should Brave the Cold to Attempt a Kids Class This Winter:
Using KidzCentralStation.com you can find all kinds of different classes – by age, by type of class, even by neighborhood. So you don’t HAVE to trek it all the way to 57th Street in the snow if you live in Tribeca! Most places also offer a free trial class, so you can try before you buy. We all know how picky toddlers can be – so this takes the stress out of commitment until you know they LOVE it! Plus, there are even reviews on site to see how other moms/toddlers liked the class as well!
What are you waiting for? Book a class today!
Every mom deserves an A+ for all the effort and love she gives her family on a daily basis. kidzcentralstation.com wants to highlight amazing and inspirational moms, who are passionate about what they do on both a personal and professional level, have insights on work/family balance and are great role models for our children.
We have met so many moms that are following their passions, have taken risks, and have built both a family and a career that they find exciting and rewarding and we want to share their stories.
Ahhh birthdays. Once you hit 30 or become a mom they just don’t matter anymore – I sometimes have to remember my age when people ask – I just started saying – early thirties 😉
But now birthdays have taken on a mutant form for kids – long gone are the days of cute little family get-togethers at home. They have morphed into enormous events that fall right below planning your wedding.
So much so that I even wrote an e-book to help you get started and try not to spend more than a four-year college fund. (you can download it here).
So when Queens Mamas threw a Birthday Show – I knew I had to swing by and see just what options were out there. Yes, a lot are extremely expensive, but here in NYC – you expect to be paying top dollar for quality, custom items. Don’t we do that everyday?
Big Apple Circus
(running through January 12th if you have a birthday coming up!) – if you’re a last minute planner and you have the holidays AND a birthday coming up – save yourself the hassle and just book the circus – even adults will love this venue!
Young Chefs Academy
This is actually out by me in Queens but their birthday classes look AWESOME – they were also ranked as Parents Magazine top 10 birthday chains! Think get messy, get healthy, educational and delicious all at the same time and you have a happy group of little kids! This is for older kids – at least 4-5 years and up, but I already have it booked in memory for Maximo in a few years and I can’t wait.
Coney Island Luna Park
I think it’s written in your genes as a New Yorker to just love Coney Island. After Hurricane Sandy, they really revamped and opened back up this summer bigger and more fun than ever. Luna Park is great for any age as they have little kiddie rides and big kiddie rides. You also get the boardwalk, beach, and Nathan’s. Sounds like an awesome summer birthday party location to me!
Winter Village at Bryant Park
Again this one is only due to the holiday season – but they BOOK birthday parties – and if my birthday was in December as a kid, well I’m just saying – a skate party on the ice in the city is pretty hard to top. Plus, they had fake snow falling at their table…now I am excited for winter! You can get more information on booking parties on their website.
Gymboree (Lexington Ave location) ok this one wasn’t at the show but Maximo LOVES this indoor playground. I am including it because it’s indoor – if it’s raining, it’s too hot in July or your birthday is in January – maybe you want to book something indoors for the little ones. Plus, they have multiple locations around the city so you can be sure to find one close to your neighborhood.
Who DOESN’t love crumbs??? And now they have Colossal cakes – but I think a more appropriate name for them this time of year is monster-size cupcakes (aka cakes that look like monstrous cupcakes). They have pretty much every flavor combo you could dream up, and bring enough for the grown-ups. I will probably steal Maximo’s piece if it’s Crumbs. #sorrynotsorry
Did you know Buddy now has a Manhattan bakery location? (located by the 42nd street Terminal) And they also deliver – so if you decide to get a cake that looks like this, you won’t have to tote it in a cab.
The Nature Company
This one might be more for the boys, or if you’re a tomboy mom like me, maybe you want to get your kids hands dirty with things they don’t see everyday in the city – like snakes. Okay, well, the ones that MIGHT flush up your toilet DON’T count!
Maximo loves animals and getting to pet and learn about different types is always a win in my book! I mean, we DID book his first birthday at the zoo! The Nature Company will come to any venue (including your living room) for your party – so why not! Who doesn’t want snakes and lizards in your home! Just don’t tell your neighbors!
Growing up in the country, we learned how to swim by jumping in our pond. You couldn’t see anything in the muddy waters – you just jumped and hoped you missed a frog and a rock. Once your feet hit the slimy, gushy ground, you were up, out and repeat. Even though the East
River presents the same look – dark, dirty and you want to jump and not land on anything – especially nothing dead or contaminated, I would rather Maximo’s first swimming classes experience not be so – well, adventurous.
So where do you go when you want to find the best (and cleanest) swim class in NYC? Kidz Central Station of course! And the popular vote went to Physique Swimming – with a huge rate of moms booking consistent classes. That must mean they like them!
This is NYC – every mom knows some things CAN be questionable. So I took one more blind leap and booked Maximo’s first swim class.
Swimming Classes for Babies by Physique Swimming at the Mercedes Club
First impression upon walking in
Very clean and fancy, but didn’t come off as very kid-friendly. It was an upscale, luxury sports club and I didn’t exactly see any other strollers lurking around. But the staff was extremely friendly and walked me into the locker room to show me where everything was and how to get to the pool. Strollers are big and bulky, and I got a couple ‘too bad you have a kid’ smirks from the young, rich clientele walking in with makeup, who could more likely use a cheeseburger instead of a treadmill. But I am never one to be intimidated, so I dressed Maximo into his suit via the stroller , rolled him right out to the pool area, and parked my City Mini. I always hate the feeling of not having to push myself and the stroller into areas where I’m not sure if it’s allowed. But I figure when it’s just me, and I have all this stuff and a squirmy toddler, it’s do first, ask later.
We walked over to the edge of the pool where I see one other mom and a little girl floating in the water already. I ask if they’re in the class and they’re excited there is another mom to join them! Well, at least we’ll get a lot of one-on-one attention!
The swimming teacher was super nice. She totally took into consideration that it was Maximo’s first time in the water and went slow to introduce him to floating and kicking. Luckily for me, Maximo loved it. It took him a few minutes to understand what all this water was – but once herealized I wouldn’t leave his side and he could float and kick happily – he was smitten.
We started with the basics – floating on his stomach and trying to kick. After that, floating on his back (definitely didn’t like this as much) and looking up and singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Then we had a little floaty fish we would throw and ‘swim’ to get.
Then we played Maximo’s favorite – Humpty Dumpty. You sit them on the side of the pool, and lean them towards you. Count to three and have them jump into the water with you. Then – Maximo did something I didn’t expect his first time – he went underwater! (If you blow in their face right before they dunk, they automatically hold their breath.) He popped up and looked around – a little surprised, but overly excited to do it again!
I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke experience. Our buildings pool is finally open for the summer, so I took him him down yesterday right before it closed to let him try out some of his newly learned skills. And he took to them just like a fish! In fact, he didn’t even want to get out this time. Ahh, to be a kid again! Talking to my other mom friends, the consensus is that all their kids loved the classes too – and they have started their babies as early as 6 months! Moms also let me know that they played the same games as we did – so it’s going to come down to WHO is teaching your class, not WHAT they are teaching. So make sure you and your baby like working with the instructor!
I highly recommend Physique Swimming classes for babies because they are totally professional and I felt safe with Maximo in the water. They were really nice and patient – I never felt rushed or stressed. And they hold their classes in reputable, clean pools in the city – aka – no new germ friends to tag along home.
Stephanie is a published author—featured in the New York Times, NY Metro Parents Magazine, PARENTGUIDE NEWS, as well as an #expertmom for MommyNearest.com, and contributing author to KidzCentralStation.com and Kidville.com’s Voices of the ‘Ville — author and speaker/consultant on motherhood and the importance of marketing and research in a business arena, specifically online. She also owns her own social media company, www.socialmindedmediagroup.com
The internet is changing faster than you can change a diaper these days. And with all the other priorities of being a mom – who has time to keep up? Well, you can with these tech tips for moms!
I am here to provide you with some simple tech tips for moms, to use your phone and social media to look like a pro all the other moms on the playground can look up to. You’ll look so smart and tech-savvy!
~ Mommy Nearest. The coolest app in NYC – and it’s FREE!! It’s location based, so you can whip out your phone anywhere in the city to find things like the closest changing tables, stroller-friendly restaurants, and hidden parks and playgrounds. Imagine how cool you’ll look to other moms when you know where all the hot spots are—with one simple click.
~ Mama411 – A great newsletter/email service that will email you ALL the cool up and coming events going on for the week – so you don’t have to scour the internet to find them yourself! You can also log into their website to see all events at once as well. Wondering what carnivals are happening this week? Need something to do this weekend? They’ve already mapped it all out for you – all you have to do is show up!
3. Be Smart. If you are going to be on social media, make sure you are aware of the dangers. Turn off your location services if you are tweeting you’re away from home, at your child’s school, or even playground. You never know who can be lurking online from behind computer screens.
~ Don’t broadcast that you’re going on vacation to break-in artists. Make sure all your settings are private so only your friends can see your personal information, like addresses and phone numbers. Have you check your Facebook settings lately?
4. Best New Social Media Award goes to – VINE APP. Vine is a video sharing app – sort of like Instagram, only with 6-second videos. It’s super cool because you can press the screen and many times as you want to record different time increments in that 6 seconds (aka – it doesn’t have to be one solid video stream as if you were using your video camera on your smart phone). So it makes amazing little pieces of history. Highly recommended to document all those little moments of your baby growing up.
Written By: Stephanie Barnhart, Founder of Football, Food and Motherhood, a comical blog navigating the trials and errors of pregnancy into motherhood in the big city. She is also the Founder/Social Media Consultant at Socialminded Media Group, as well as an #expertmom for MommyNearest.com.