Last year we spotlighted some of our favorite “mommy and me” classes over at Momtastic and we now have a few more not-to-be-missed options to add to the list.
While some require semester commitments, others are drop-in, each of which have their own set of perks. Obviously, drop-ins are great for flexibility, but there is a camaraderie that develops in the ones that require commitments among the children, but also among the parents. Early childhood is such a unique time and it’s amazing for parents and caretakers to develop a community of support around them and many of these classes offer the opportunity to do just that.
Shababa and Parkbench at 92NY
I cannot recommend each of these classes enough. Shababa (a mix of “sababa,” which means “cool” in Hebrew and Shabbat), is drop-in option on the weekend (of which there are very few). It’s a mix of interactive activities and music. It’s an amazing thing for the whole family and one of the few classes where I saw many fathers as well as mothers. I am still in awe of the care and creativity put into this class. 92NY also offers Parkbench, which encourages independent play, but also has a “snack time” where the children sit around a table to eat/drink. Finally, there is bubble/music play as well as art time. It requires a semester commitment and many of the children in the class stick with it from those early baby years all the way to starting pre-school.
Baby Love Shabbat at Chabad Sutton
Chabad Sutton’s Baby Loves Shabbat is another class that blew me away. If you’re looking for something to entertain your kiddos for an extended period of time this class is a good 1 hour-plus option. It starts off with challah making (and delicious chocolate challah at that) and is followed by crafts, music and bubbles. Songs and themes are changing week to week. There are drop-in options as well as a discount if you commit to a semester (which most people do). This couldn’t be a more fun loving and welcoming environment and the amount of thought and care put into the class is heartwarming.
À Petits Pas at fi:af
As someone who spent 13 years at The Lycee Francais de New York I know the value that French education offers. While my kids won’t be going to a French school, I love the idea of exposing them to the language and culture (not to mention discipline and manners) and fi:af allows for just that with À Petits Pas. The semester class includes free play, art, singing, snack time and themed learning (like weather or days of the week). It’s a sweet and cozy environment that also offers the opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect with one another.
The Art Farm is a unique “urban farm” that offers drop in as well as commitment options (there is also a free trial). They have various types of classes including ones that mix story time, music, art and more, but they all involve animals in one way or another. Rock, Smocks, And Animals, for example, involves learning about a new animal every week. It includes songs and stories about the animal, an art project and each class ends with free time for caregivers and children in The Art Farm’s urban farm where you’ll see animals like bunnies, reptiles, fish and more.
The Craft Studio
The Craft Studio is a colorful art destination (they also sell wonderful gift and play things for toddlers and young children). You can pop in to paint something or join for an art themed class that ends with disco lights, music and dancing. With classes ranging from 18 months to 5+ this is a great destination for the whole family.