Tag Archives: kids activities

Veterans Day Camps for Kids

Veterans Day Camps

Celebrate Veterans Day on Monday, November 12th

Celebrate our country’s military veterans on Sunday Nov 11, 2018 at the the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, which begins @11:15am from 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and continues to 50th Street.  Then, on Monday when our kids have the day off of school, sign up for a wonderful one day camp and keep the kids busy!

Creative Drama
Play On! Studios
UWS / Ages 4-10

ART CAMP
Creatively WILD Art Studio
Brooklyn/ Ages 2-15

Robots & Science
NORY
UWS / Ages 3-7

Veteran’s Day: Future Celebrity Chef Camp
Taste Buds Kitchen
Chelsea / Ages 4-13

Coding
Launch Math + Science
UWS / Ages 5-11

Wildlife Mini-Camp
Queens Zoo
Flushing / Ages 4-9

Dinosaur Camp
Karma Kids Yoga
Union Sq / Ages 3-5

Cooking Camp
Freshmade NYC
SoHo / Ages 4-12

Election Day Camps for Kids

Election Day Camps

Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day!

We greatly encourage our Kidz Central Station parents to vote.  Before you do so or maybe after if the kids want to tag along, drop off your kids at one of these fun election day camps so they can take advantage of their day off school.

Adventures in Coding Camp
Launch Math + Science Centers
UWS / Ages 5-11

Get ready for a day of excitement as campers explore up to four different coding languages!

Marine Medics Camp
New York Aquarium
Coney Island / Ages 6-10

Go behind the scenes and get up close while experiencing how veterinarians and keepers work together to keep animal friends happy and healthy.

Robots & Science Camp
NORY
UWS / Ages 3-7

 Young innovators will use their strengths, as well as develop new skills, to program a robot and build circuits and structures.

Zoo Mini-Camp
Queens Zoo
Flushing / Ages 4-9

This is a great opportunity to learn how to be more kind to our oceans and make a difference!

Zoofari Camp
Prospect Park Zoo
Brooklyn / Ages 5-10

Explore primate adaptations, meet incredible animals up close, and design an animal superhero of your own.

Jr. Keeper: Sea Lions
Bronx Zoo
Bronx / Ages 7-10

Participants will get up close animal encounters, help make enrichment for the animal collection, and practice the skills it takes to take care of wild animals!

Cooking Camp
Freshmade NYC
SoHo / Ages 4-12

Join this two-hour drop off Election Day Cooking Camp. Kids will be cooking one sweet and one savory recipe.

Special Offers for Back-to-School Classes

specialoffer

It’s Back-to-School season!  Test out the Right Program for Your Kids with these Low-cost Trials or Drop In Classes.

Special Offers

ART Classes Limited Time Offer

Claire’s Creative Adventures (UES) introduces children to artists and cultures, using paint, clay, wood, sand, pastels, fabric, etc.

**Save $75 through 9/14/18 on all Fall semester classes!**

Kids classes

MUSIC Classes

Try GuitarViolin, Piano, Voice, ($40) lessons at Willan Academy of Music.

Jam Sessions Babies ($36) at Kids at Work or Sun Sessions Outdoor Music ($36) at Hudson River Park.

Babies love BananaJam Music ($28) or Sing Along ($28) at 14th Street Y.

Music with James ($20) in Murray Hill is a high-energy music class.

Andy & Suzanna Kids Music ($20) bring music, puppets, bubbles (UES, UWS).

In Long Island City, take a trial in Singing ($40), Piano ($40), Broadway Youth ($30), or a Baby Music Class ($10) at New York Stage of Mind.

Kids classes

DANCE & MUSICAL THEATER Classes

Zumba! ($10), Hula ($12), Ballroom ($12), Georgian ($20), Bollywood ($20), or Belly Dance ($19.50) at The DanceSource in Queens.

Ballet/Tap Combo ($15) or Hip Hop ($15) at Dance Workshop NY UES.

Trial classes in Ballet/Tap, Hip Hop, Yoga, or Storybook Ballet ($45 each) at Midtown Movement and Dance.

Drop-in at CenterStage to Debut! ($20) or Hip-Hop Funk ($45) + MORE.

Kids classes

SPORTS & YOGA Classes

Drop-in to Beginner 1 or Beginner 2 ($44 each) at Physique Swimming.

FunFit Kids (UWS) drop-ins for Yoga, Multi-Sport, 2Lingo Hebrew ($35-42).

Bring your babies to Lap Babies and Crawlers ($32) or Walkers, Runners, Jumpers ($32) at 14th Street Y.

Yogi Tales: Live Music Yoga ($25) in Washington Square Park.

Prenatal Yoga ($20), Baby Yoga ($20), Kids Yoga ($30), Yoga Art ($30), etc. at Karma Kids Yoga.

Kids classes

LANGUAGE Trial Class

¡HOLA! Música! ($15) in Queens is gentle Spanish intro with ¡HOLA!.

Kids classes

COOKING Drop-in Class

Cooking Classes ($20) teach kid friendly recipes at The Creative Kitchen

FREE Classes and Events for Back-to-School

It’s Back-to-School season!  Enjoy these free classes and events around New York City.

openhouseJCP

Jewish Community Project (JCP) Downtown Open House on Sep 5 & 6

  • Rosh Hashanah arts & crafts
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Kid friendly snacks and coffee for grown ups
  • Read a story from our PJLibrary book shelf
  • Meet JCP staff & Register for fall classes and high holy holidays
  • Free Demo classes at 10am: Sing With Suzi on Wed Sep 5 @10am, Shajam with Tkiya on Thurs Sep 6 @10am
  • Open House Fun Days!

 


Free classes

FREE TRIAL with ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish on Sep 6

 


 

free classes

FREE TRIAL with Upper Manhattan Forest Kids

 


free classes

Audition for Children’s Choir with Willan Academy of Music on Sep 17

  • All children who love singing are welcome to the choir. The audition (no longer than 5 min) will be September 17th (6pm – 9pm) at 520 8th Avenue New York, NY 10018. Children (age 6+) will be asked to sing a song of their choice and to repeat a few basic musical patterns.  Audition for Children’s Choir.

15 Fun Kids Weekend Classes

Kids Weekend Classes

Arts Weekend Classes

Fashion Design & Illustration for Kids for kids ages 6-12 at The Fashion Class.  Students will learn to draw the elongated fashion figure. Then, they’ll sketch poses, color and render fabric (lace, denim, sequins) and design a full collection of clothing.

Young Artists: Mixed Media for ages Ages 7-12 at 92nd Street Y.  This class allows each child to express themselves through the fundamentals and in the execution of fine arts; such as drawing, painting, collage, printing, and sculpture.

 

Sports Weekend Classes

Beginner 1: Water Exploration for ages 3-5 at Physique Swimming.  Skills Acquired include: Submerge and exhale in water, Float prone and supine without floats, Push and glide from the wall, Front crawl and Back crawl.

Soc Roc has Fall Soccer Classes for 18 months to age 14 in Manhattan/Queens/Brooklyn.  Soc Roc was created by former pro soccer player James Christie. The goal is to encourage kids to be physically active, gain confidence, and social skills while learning the sport of soccer.

Ice Skating- Youth Learn to Skate for kids ages 5+ at Aviator Sports in Brooklyn whether the goal is to achieve Olympic fame or simply enjoy the recreational benefits of skating.

Youth Flag Football League for ages 5-14 at 14th Street Y is in collaboration with the NFL Youth Flag Football League. Players are taught proper technique in catching, throwing, running, and defending.

Outdoor Classes for ages 1-4  with Upper Manhattan Forest Kids organizes parent-child outdoor classes in Central Park and Inwood Hill Park.

Family Yoga for ages 4 – 7 at Karma Kids Yoga. Partner poses are emphasized ensuring great bonding time. Play yoga games and practice partner acrobatics and flying partner yoga,

 

Dance Weekend Classes

Fairies & Fantasy Dance Class for Girls & Boys ages 3-6 at In Grandma’s Attic. Students training in pre-ballet, creative movement, and improvisation. Each week a favorite fairy tale or classical ballet story is read, and then reenacted through dance with costumes and props.

Ballet/Tap Combo for ages 6-8 at Midtown Movement and Dance Company.  This class combines the basic movement of both dance styles.

Classic Ballroom for ages 6-12 at The DanceSource in Queens. Cover the basics of Fox Trot, Salsa, Swing, Tango and Waltz.

Demi Soloists for kids ages 4+ at Joffrey Ballet School. Your child will dance with an emphasis on the foundations of ballet. The dancers are encouraged to expand their movement vocabulary through games and creative exploration of dance movements.

 

Music Weekend Classes

Music Together (Babies) at Eastside Westside Music Together.  The music activities and materials are specially designed for parents and caregivers who want to learn as much as possible about music development in infants. Meet other parents of newborns and learn activities you can recreate at home with your baby.

High Note NYC Piano and Vocal Instruction for ages 3+ teaches both piano and vocals to build confidence, fluent music reading, and solo performance competency.  Nora has years of experience and training with young children.

 

Language Weekend Classes

Spanish For Children for ages 3-5 at Language Workshop for Children. Original music, vocabulary-building songs, language immersion, festive visual aids, action games and native-fluent language teachers.

September Events for the Family

September Kids ActivitiesHere are fun upcoming September Events in and around NYC to help ease the transition to Back-to-School.

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September Activities Kids

Step into the interactive world of the Gazillion Bubble Show and be dazzled by spectacular lasers, lighting effects, and bubble artistry. Book Your Tickets.

 

September Kids Activities

Learn the evolution of firefighting at the New York City Fire Museum from bucket brigades to  volunteering to modern day. The Museum also houses a special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who sacrificed on 9/11 Schedule Your Tour.

 

September Kids Activities

Karma Kids Yoga is NYC’s only yoga studio dedicated just to kids and families. Children are encouraged to “play” yoga and experience how their breath and body move together.

Sunday Morning Sing-A-Long with Suzanna on Sep 16

Yoga & Essential Oils Workshop for the Family on Sep 22

Pajama Glow-in-the-Dark Yoga! on Sep 28

 

September Kids Activities

Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. Their outreach activities and education programs for children are wonderful opportunities to connect with wildlife.

At the Queens Zoo:

Wildife Mini-Camp: Yom Kippur on Sep 19

Animal Yoga For Families on Sep 30

At the Prospect Park Zoo:

Zoofari Yom Kippur on Sep 19

Breakfast With The Baboons on Sep 22

At the New York Aquarium:

Keeper For A Day: Sharks on Sep 22

Family Overnight: Sharks After Dark on Sep 29

 

September Kids Activities

Taste Buds Kitchen was proclaimed the “Best Kids Cooking Class” by New York Magazine.  Enjoy a variety of unique and creative cooking events for kids and families ages 2 to teen.

Sprinkle Donuts Workshop w/ Caregiver on Sep1

Butterfly Cupcakes Workshop w/ Caregiver on Sep 2

Back-to-School Cupcakes on Sep 8

Grandparents Day Tea Party on Sep 9

Rosh Hashanah: Mystery Basket on Sep 10 or 11

Pretzel Twist Workshop w/ Caregiver on Sep 15

Rainbow Cupcakes Workshop w/ Caregiver on Sep 16

Yom Kippur: Baking 101 on Sep 19

Sushi Rolls Workshop w/ Caregiver on Sep 23

Twist and Twirl Cookies Workshop on Sep 29

Unicorn Cupcakes Workshop on Sep 30

Joffrey Ballet Goes Back-to-School

Joffrey Ballet Dance Classes for Kids

Joffrey Ballet School makes dance fun!  Their custom curriculum encourages age appropriate learning and teaches classical ballet, as well as, contemporary ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern dance.

Here are excellent options for After-School or Weekend classes this Fall/Winter 2018 season at Joffrey Ballet.

Dance With Me

Age: 2+.  Wed or Sat.  Specially designed for 2 year olds who are not yet comfortable being in a class alone. Each child is joined in class by a parent or caregiver who will be the “dancing partner.”

Baby Ballerinas

Age: 3+. Mo, Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. Children learn the elements of creative movement and ballet and skills such as turn-taking and following instructions are emphasized. Dancers explore movement qualities, musicality, and motor coordination.

Demi Soloists

Age: 4+.  Mo, Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. Dancers will learn through creative movement and basic ballet. Dancers are encouraged to expand their movement vocabulary through games and creative exploration of dance movements.

Pre-Ballet 

Age: 5+. Tu, Wed, Th or Sat. The elements of creative movement will be augmented with an emphasis on coordination. Basic ballet concepts will be introduced.

Pre-Ballet 2

Age: 6+.  Tu, Th or Sat. Dancers are introduced to a class format that prepares them for a “real” ballet class via exercises emphasizeing straight legs and pointed feet, posture, placement, stretches, etc.

Foundations of Ballet

Age: 7+. Mo, Wed, or Sat. Students learn dance exercises consisting of barre and centre work with focuses on posture, placement and comportment of classical ballet. This training develops a strong foundation for Classical Ballet.

 

Family Fun and Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

rogerKidz Central Station just had a ridiculous fun time at NFL Experience Times Square (NFLX) and we want to spread the word.  This is a live action experience that involves athletic skills games (e.g., vertical leap, quarterback challenge, blocking dummy, etc) and a wholly immersive 4D surround sound movie theater to bring us the feel of being “in the game.” This is awesome if you are a football fan, but  we learned that you do not need to be a fan or even know much about the game to enjoy the journey.NFL Experience Times Square

On a hot and muggy day, NFLX was the perfect place to get our kids out of the house and out of the sun to release their energy.  When we first arrived, we visited the second floor gift shop and cafe area where Good Morning Football is filmed.  The kids got to sit at the desk and pretend they were tv hosts.

Next, we entered the exhibit, which begins on the fourth floor with a walk down a hallway that introduces the 32 football teams and showcases jerseys and helmets and displays for each NFL conference.  Learn football history here, especially with  an interactive map where we could learn about any team we chose.  This is an example of when you do not need to be a fan.  Kids love pushing buttons and being the one in control of the adventure.NFL Experience Times Square

After taking some fun photographs in front of a green screen, we entered the theater, aka The Stadium, for a short 13 minutemovie.  This was the favorite attraction for both the kids and adults.  During this interactive film, the audience gets to feel like they’re in the game.  There are screens on both sides of you, on the ceiling, and in front of you with speaker systems all around.  The seats move with what’s happening in the film.  If there’s a tackle, you feel it.  When we were watching games take place in snow, it began “snowing” in the the theater and I swear, it felt like snow.NFL Experience Times Square

After exiting the movie onto the third floor, you and the kids can take part in all the skills games.  The kids rushed forward to the tackling dummies and tried with all their might to try to move them.  They tried their hands at the quarterback throwing contest and the vertical jump challenge.  These were the 2nd and 3rd favorites for the kids as their competitive sides were now in full force as they ran around to all the games.  NFL Experience Times SquareThey created or suited up their own football player on screen and then had that player mimic their movements.  They weighed themselves together to compare to offensive linemen.  They stood next to a height chart to see if they could reach Julian Edelman.  Note, short is still tall in sports.NFL Experience Times Square

A Jon Gruden video taught us one of his actual game plays, which he drew up on a visit here.  We walked through the victory tunnel and celebrated our Super Bowl win.  There was another photo op in front of a green screen in which a bucket of Gatorade is spilling you.  The kids loved it!  It was very cool was seeing all of the Super Bowl rings and the Lombardi Trophy in person.  Also, Good Morning Football ends filming at 10AM and players have been known to hang around.  We didn’t see any NFL players during our visit but Sterling Shepard stopped by the day after and posed with lucky fans.  Next time!

NFL Experience Times Square

And we will visit again because the cafe broadcasts games during the season, as well as, other sporting events such as March Madness during the rest of the year,  The location is fantastic on Times Square and the 2nd floor had a perfect view of all the action.  And they serve a full menu (and bar) along with lots of kid friendly options.  My son was also interested in the idea of a birthday party here.  See below for details.

NFL Experience Times Square

Kidz Tips:

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Birthdays at NFL Experience Times Square

ALL PRO – $800

  • Admission for 21 (kids and adults)
  • Kids Lunch Package Options
  • A Birthday Cake! Choice of chocolate, vanilla or Fruity Pebble Marshmallow
  • Paper Goods (plates, cups, utensils)
  • Commemorative photo for all children
  • Dedicated Tour Guide
  • Bounceback return visit admission to NFLX for all children!

Birthday MVP Child will also receive:

  • One NFL Team Mini Helmet (Team of Choice)
  • One NFLX Credential & Lanyard

MVP – $1100

  • Full ALL PRO Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • NFLX Goody Bags

HALL OF FAME – $1400

  • Full MVP Package benefits PLUS:
  • Birthday Child’s Name Listed on Select Screens
  • Upgrade to Premium NFLX Goody Bags (includes Junior Leather NFL Team Logo Football
  • One Adult Menu Food Platter (feeds five)
  • Open Bar for One Hour

NFL Experience Times SquareTo reserve your party, please request info here.

Ultimate Guide to Mets Citi Field With Kids

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

Baseball was my favorite sport as a child and I loved a day at the ballpark. However, visiting the ballpark with my two young  and very different kids is not easy.  My 3rd grader loves baseball from first pitch to last. My 1st grader is happy until his hot dog is eaten and water has spilled all over his shirt…so 1 ½ innings. 

This is why I am so excited about the New York Mets game plan for Sunday home games in 2018.  “Family Sundays with the Mets” includes 2 hours of pre-game kid-focused activities, a promotional giveaway, and an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Met.  At the end of the game, kids 12 and under are even invited to run the bases in the Mr. Met Dash.  An entire day at the ballpark filled with family friendly fun?  Sounds like a hit for kids and parents.

Pre-Game Activities at Citi Field

We had tickets for Sunday, May 20th – NY Mets Vs. Arizona D-backs.  Arizona was in 1st place in the NL West but the Mets were looking to sweep the weekend series.  We were pumped for this matchup! Outfitted in our Mets gear, we hopped the 7 train to Citi Field in Queens, a 45 minute trip from Madison Square Park.

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

Two hours before Sunday game time, Mets Plaza in front of the main entrance is full of carnival games, skills games, inflatables, face painting, arts and crafts, balloon artists, and other kids activities. It is a music-blasting party atmosphere. In other words, my “I want to go home” six year old was immediately engaged.

Smart play, Mets!

 

 

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

 

Arriving early, among the first 15,000 fans, ensures you one of the cool giveaways (a plastic bat for this game). Plan now for these upcoming key games and cool giveaways: June 3rd vs Cubs (an on trend fanny pack) or June 10th vs Yankees (Jeurys Familia Fathead) or June 24th vs Dodgers (Mets Cap).

 

 

 

 

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

 

My kids enjoyed EVERY game of the pre-game activities!  They practiced their hockey shot and  tested their pitching strength. They played basketball toss, magic ball, tic tac toe, ring toss, and wiffle ball. We got a family photo with Mrs. Met.  “Is that a girl?” my little one kept asking.  We watched a Tae Kwon Do class give a demonstration.  Of note, the area never felt crowded, which made the whole experience pleasant. 

 

 


Kidz Tips

  • Tickets start at $15/person (children 32″ and under are free!)
  • Arrive early to sample all the games and snap your photos at the Home Run Apple in front of Citi Field
  • Take the 7 train or LIRR to Mets/Willets Point Station
  • Utilize the Uber Pickup zone on 126th St

 

Inside The Ballpark & Fan FestKidz Central Station @ NY Mets

After a fun filled hour of outside play, we were ready for the ballpark.  The kids were swinging their free plastic bats. We grabbed Nathan’s trusty hot dogs, nachos, and ice cream before heading to our seats on the 1st base side on field level (section 109).  We settled into our seats, ate our food, and watched the 1st inning. Every seat at Citi Field offers a great view of the game. Still, my younger one was ready to go home by the top of the 2nd.

This was the right moment to visit Good Humor Fan Fest on the field level beyond center field.  Walk across the concourse, over Shea Bridge, and enter this food court and kids playground area.

Kiz Central Station @ NY Mets CIti FIeld

Games include a dry dunk tank with the opposing team’s “fan” (my sporty 9 year old dunked him to much applause), wiffle ball batting practice, and tee ball in a mini Citi Field.  You can get a photo with Mr. Met and Mrs. Met again.  Several Kids Club representatives are here to help you (read more below).

Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

 

Fan Fest is open until the mid-7th inning, and we hung out here for four full innings. There is a large tv screen so you can keep your eyes on the game. FYI , Shea Bridge is a fantastic viewing area for the game and a perfect meet-up location if you have friends attending the same game but sitting elsewhere as we did. Restaurants in this area include Papa Rosso, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and Shake Shack.  The kids had pizza and flavored icees while my husband and I tried spicy fried chicken sandwiches at David Chang’s Fuku outpost.  We could stay here all day!

 


Kidz Tips

  • Diaper changing tables are in all concourse restrooms
  • There are 15 Family Restrooms
  • Visit the Mamava Station for nursing moms on Empire Suite Level
  • $7.00 Kids’ Meal including a Nathan’s hot dog, popcorn, juice box, and prize is available at the concession stand behind Section 121 on the Field Level
  • Go to the Bullpen Gate on 126th St after the game to line up for the Mr. Mets Dash

 

Family Sundays with the Mets is a Home-run

 Kidz Central Station @ NY Mets Citi Field

We are happy to call Family Sundays a win!   After Fan Fest, we went back to our seats for the 7th inning.  Just in time to watch the Mets seal the game with back to back homers!  The longest we’d lasted at a baseball game before this was 4 innings at Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium was a huge bust.  Very impressive because we were exhausted from the day’s activities. Unfortunately, we didn’t hold out for the Mr. Mets Dash, but my older son knew a school friend in attendance with his little league team who did the dash.  He loved that experience, of course. We will definitely be back for a day at Citi Field.

Let’s go Mets!

 

Mr. Met’s Kids Club

Family Sunday activities are for all ticket holders.  But, there are extra perks if you sign up for one of the Mr. Met Kids Club membership packages.  This is a great deal for your little Mets Fans!  We are signing up as we had a great day and want to go to a Brooklyn Cyclones game next.

  • All-Star Membership  – $35 Four (4) complimentary tickets* located in Promenade Outfield seating that can be used for a select game
  • MVP Membership – $55  Four (4) complimentary tickets located in Baseline Box seating on the Field Level that can be used for a select game

Each membership includes:

  • 2 BOGO ticket offers
  • 1 complimentary scoreboard message
  • 4 complimentary Brooklyn Cyclones tickets
  • Access to Mr. Met’s Kids Club ticket offers
  • “Passport” with barcode and lanyard for check-in.  Passport allows fast pass access to the Mr. Met Dash.  In addition, earn prizes (autographed player cards, Kids Club hat or jersey) by checking-in at the game with Passport.
  • Drawstring Bag, Pencil Case, Bookmark, Door Tag, Pair of Wristbands

Note:  Kidz Central Station was offered promotional tickets by the Mets organization. This did not affect the author’s review.

 

Guide to Finding the Best Youth Baseball Program

 

Our partners at New York Sports Connection provide our Kidz Central Station families an insider guide to finding the right youth baseball program for your child.

Guide to Youth Baseball with Kidz Central Station
Baseball is the national pastime and something many kids grow up playing. Yet, knowing when and how to introduce young players to the sport can be confusing. Below we explain some of the particulars of youth baseball, as well as, the different options available to the burgeoning ballplayer.

When considering organized programs for young players, we recommend parents focus on those that make the game fun while also providing much-needed instruction from coaches with experience with specific age groups.

 

Age Determines Play Level in Youth Baseball

In youth baseball, the level at which a child plays is normally determined by their age not their skill level. A child’s “baseball age” is set by their age on April 30th each calendar year. For example, if a child turns eight on April 29 they play 8U that spring and summer. A child who turns eight on May 1 will play on 7U teams (because they were still seven on April 29th). While players can play “up” and join an older team if they have the skills to do so, they cannot play “down” and play with younger kids even if their skills match those of the younger players.

 

Field Sizes Vary for Different Ages

Different age teams play on different size fields. Field sizes are listed by the distance from the pitching rubber to home plate and the distance between the bases. For example, Little Leagues (11 and 12 year olds) play on 46/60 fields, meaning the pitching rubber is 46 feet from home plate and the distance between bases is 60 feet. There are various incremental steps (50/70, 54/80) before players advance to a regulation 60/90 field (actually 60’6”). Most advance to the larger field around the time they play 13U ball.

 

Tee Ball May Be Your Child’s First Step into Youth Baseball

The first step for most young players is tee ball (usually ages 4-7). As the name implies, batters hit a ball placed on a stationary stand (tee) that is secured to home plate rather than a pitch thrown from the pitcher’s mound. The thinking is that young players don’t have the hand eye coordination to hit live pitching. Tee ball fields are even smaller than the 46/60 Little League fields. The goal at this level is to teach kids hitting and fielding fundamentals and to get them to enjoy the game. In many tee ball leagues, scores and outs are not recorded. Instead, each player on a team gets to bat each inning. Remember, the idea is to make it easier on hitters while keeping kids engaged.

 

Try Coach Pitch After Tee Ball

Tee ball can eventually evolve into coach pitch, the theory being that young kids are not adept enough to throw strikes consistently. Coaches are not trying to get batters out. They want batters swinging and hitting. Coach pitch is usually for ages 6-8, but can begin earlier or last longer for some. There are many variations of coach pitch leagues with some having no walks, or a coach coming in to pitch after a kid pitcher has “walked” a batter. As with tee ball, the aim of coach pitch is for kids to develop a love of the game and to encourage them to want to continue playing at higher levels.

 

The Evolution to Kid Pitch Leagues and Baseball

This is when baseball begins to feel like the sport kids watch on TV. Kid pitch leagues can be recreational/community leagues, accredited Little Leagues (the ones that culminate with regional and national championships held in Williamsport, PA), and travel teams.

  • Little Leagues are governed by Little League Baseball. The spring/summer Little League season runs from late March or early April to mid-June. There are strict residency rules with players only allowed to play for leagues in zones where they live. Some Little Leagues also play fall schedules. In Little League, players are generally assigned to teams in the hope of forming balanced teams. The main Little Leagues (often called “Majors”) is for 11 and 12 year olds. After that players graduate to Junior (13 and 14) and Senior (15-18) teams.
  • Challenger Baseball. Both Little League and many recreational leagues provide Challenger Baseball for children with disabilities to enjoy the sport. Outs and runs are often not counted.
  • Rec Baseball. Most rec leagues play two games per week, usually a Saturday or Sunday doubleheader. These leagues are open to all players regardless of skill. Rec teams normally only practice before their scheduled games.
  • Travel Baseball. Travel or tournament baseball can start as young as 7U. Travel baseball is more competitive, has more talented players (teams hold tryouts for open spots), requires more of a time commitment (more practices and travel to tournaments), and costs more. Some travel teams play three seasons – spring, summer and fall.