Play, bond, and learn together at these parent-child classes.
Days spent with babies and young toddlers can be a blur of diaper changes, highchair cleanup, toy pickup, and stroller pushing. Then repeat. Mommy and me classes give parents and babies a chance to focus on each other, have fun, learn new things and, maybe most importantly, break up the days. Chicago families have all kinds of choices for baby and caregiver classes, from music to tumbling, music, art, and swimming.
Babies will love interacting with other little ones in a new space, and the classes also are handy for making adult connections. They’re a chance to meet new friends and get support from other moms with children the same age. And, of course, babysitters, nannies, and dads are welcome, too! Read on to find a new class to try.
Lincoln Avenue: 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625 | P: 773-728-6000
Armitage Avenue: 909 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 | P: 773-525-3655
Find smaller suburban branches here.
Class Schedule: Click here
This long-time Chicago music school gives students of all ages a chance to expand their musical horizons. The Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms program is a Chicago tradition, offering a ton of class options for ages 0 to 12 months, 12 to 24 months, and 2 to 4 years. The dynamic teachers tailor the classes to the age of the students — with newborn classes focused on teaching parents lullabies, older babies getting in on the silly fun, and toddlers jamming out with tambourines and jingle bells. All the classes use folk, rock and pop music, and some are offered in Spanish, too.
Sibling Wiggleworms classes let the whole family attend together — and offer one less scheduling hurdle for you. A 16-week session of Wiggleworms costs $304, or less if you buy a membership. The school also offers free Wiggleworms classes around the city during the summer — find them at Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Park at Wrigley.
Address: 3216 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Class Schedule: Click here
The Chicago location of this national gymnastics chain offers parent-child classes for little ones ages 4 months to 3 years. Classes follow the children’s development, getting more active for older babies and toddlers and giving them the chance to explore the room and equipment and to learn to socialize and share with their new friends. The classes aim to improve balance, coordination and independence.
Younger kids play with instruments on soft mats and older kids can take classes that incorporate more advanced dance or sports. Class prices start at $23 per class. As babies grow, take advantage of drop-off classes and other Little Gym events, like Duplo Building workshops and Friday night Parent Survival Nights.
This kids’ class destination starts them young — Bubbles Academy offers a music class especially for babies from 2 to 7 months old. Babies and caregivers play with instruments and parachutes, learn sign language and finger plays, and interact with teachers and other students. Other mommy-and-me classes include music classes for older babies and toddlers, plus classes that focus on specific development skills.
Speech development classes for pre-talkers and toddlers are led by a speech and language pathologist and aim to help your baby develop new skills using songs, signs and books. Core development classes for pre-crawlers use games and exercises to strengthen your baby and get them ready to crawl – think advanced-level tummy time.
Looking for something less structured? Bubbles Academy also has open play time especially for ages 0 to 2. Let your little one loose in a baby wonderland filled with tunnels, balls, blocks, and other toys designed to facilitate sensory awareness, motor development, and imagination. If you have older kids, drop them off at the free sibling care center while you hit mommy and me class. Prices vary depending on package and membership. A group of four classes costs about $125.
Introducing your little one to swimming early on is fun for both of you — and might just make learning to swim easier down the road. Foss Swim School offers parent-child classes for babies as young as 6 months and up to 3 years. Hop into the pool with a friendly instructor and other caregivers and babies to play games, sing songs, and practice new skills. The Backfloat Baby classes are designed to help your child get acclimated to the water and learn skills like back-floating, flipping from back to front and front to back, and safely getting in and out of the water. The best part: The pool is kept warm, so there won’t be any crying when it’s time to get in. (We can’t make any promises about getting out.) Four months of classes cost about $330.
Lakeview: 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste. 119, Chicago, IL 60613
Andersonville: Philadelphia Church, 5445 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
Edgewater: Steep Theater, 1115 W. Berwyn Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Class Schedule: Click here
Babies have plenty of chances to get musical at this happy studio. Merry Music Makers offers the time-tested Music Together classes in mixed ages (from newborns to 5 year olds), and babies-only classes, and even a session with a “Spanish twist” — introducing niños to español through vocabulary and folk songs. Music Together classes invite babies and parents to move, play instruments, sing, and chant along to music from other cultures. The baby class (from birth up to 8 months) adds infant massage, finger plays, and playing with mirrors to the mix. All the Music Together classes come with a CD and songbook so you can bring the music home.
The studio’s French singalong class is taught by a native speaker who engages a mixed-age group of kids and parents with French folk songs and music games. The prices for the different classes vary, but a 10-week session of Music Together costs $225.
Have you tried any of these mommy and me classes? Let us know if you have any other favorites in the comments below!
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