Whether you're looking to break a sweat, teach your child to dance or swim, or just enter a support system with other moms in the area, Orange County is home to several great "Mommy & Me" classes. Here's a round-up of some of the best ways to get out and play with your little one.
The New Mom School
200 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Being part of supportive group is key when you have a baby. The New Mom School (formerly OC Mommy and Me) is the best blend of this for both mom and child, where certified parent educators and specialists are on hand to cover topics that all moms need to know about. The support system offered at OC Mommy and Me is not only fun, but it's a great place for both moms and toddlers to engage in activities that strengthen the bonds. Classes include Toddler Parenting so that parents can cope with any challenges that may come up, and many others.
2301 N Kraemer Blvd
Placentia, CA 92870
Fit4Mom encourages moms to make strides in fitness, motherhood, and life. Various exercise programs are offered around Orange County for moms to enjoy with their little ones, including: Fit4Baby, designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnancy; Stroller Strides, a stroller-based workout program designed for moms at any fitness level; Stroller Barre, a unique blend of ballet, Pilates, barre, yoga, and stroller-based exercises; and Body Back, a targeted high-intensity workout for women at all stages of mommyhood. In addition to classes, most locations offer community-building activities like playgroups and Mom's Night Out.
Blue Buoy Swim School
1702 Nisson Rd.
Tustin, CA 92780
Since 1956 Blue Buoy Swim School has been making students feel like family. With second and third generations taking classes there, the gentle yet effective approach they take keeps families coming back year after year. Teaching is tailored to each student's specific needs, and is reinforced with lots of positive support. A Parent & Me class is offered Monday - Saturday for children under three, and caps off at a maximum of six students per class. Large steps, shallow water, and bathwater warm temps create the perfect conditions to help your little one get comfortable with being in water. Free trial lessons are available.
3315 Hyland Ave., Suite B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Granola Babies is not only the largest natural mothering boutique in Orange County, it's also home to an Enrichment Center offering a variety of classes taught by industry experts. The Nurture Baby Naturally Series gives new moms of babies 0-12 months helpful information on raising healthy and happy babies, as well as a chance to ask questions and share information with other moms while babies play. A fun and interactive Parent-Child Sign Language Class teaches both babies and their parents helpful sign language through songs, stories, lap bounces, toys, rhymes, fingerplays, and more. Music, art, education, and even a Ma & Baby Yoga class are available as well. After you and your kiddo are done playing, check
8875 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
Is there anything more adorable than a little girl in a tutu? How about a whole class of little girls in tutus? Tippi Toes' Toddler & Me dance class (ages 1 ½ - 3 years old) uses music, movement, and balance to introduce kids to dance in a fun, friendly, and positive manner. Parents are encouraged to support their tiny dancers while helping to keep them on track in class as they twirl, plie, and build their strength and confidence in themselves. Aspiring ballerinas and their aspiring stage moms can try out the Toddler & Me class for free.
LePort Montessori Huntington Harbor
16081 Waikiki Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
A balanced blend of academics and play, LePort Schools offer children a chance to learn about the world around them while growing their unique personality. The school offers three Mommy & Me classes for children ages 2 months - 3 ½ years. Their Infant Mommy & Me class (2 - 17 months) helps new moms learn valuable skills and child development basics, as well the chance to explore simple Montessori materials with their little one. Toddler Mommy & Me (18 - 36 months) is the next step in enjoying time playing, crafting, and learning home skills with active kiddos, followed by Primary Mommy & Me (2 years 9 months - 3 ½ years) which helps children prepare for preschool by exploring specific topics they'll find in school, developing self-care skills, and introducing early literacy and number skills. Parents always accompany their children in class, and are encouraged to form bonds and support networks with each other.
Parent & Me Gymnastics
Cal Elite Kids
22982 Avenida Empresa
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
It's never too early to start your little one off on a track of good physical fitness. Cal Elite offers two 30 minute Parent & Me gymnastic classes: Sweet Peas and Tutsi Rolls. The Sweet Peas class (birth - walking) focuses on sensory processing, developing gross and fine motor skills, and setting the foundation for coordination and strength development. Tutsi Rolls (12 months - 2 ½ years) uses equipment and circuits specifically designed for kids to learn gross motor skills through progressive lesson plans. Both classes provide a helpful structure and consistency that benefits both
Orange County Public Libraries
Libraries in your area consistently offer classes, lectures, story times and activities that both you and your child will enjoy, and they are usually free. Some libraries offer a weekly "story time" for toddlers at no charge that also includes a simple craft or other type of activity that relates to the stories. You can just show up on the days you want to go, and there is no registration involved. Some are so popular you must sign up in advance and schedule a specific "session" that you are interested in. Aliso Viejo and Irvine University Park libraries offer a weekly Toddler or Preschool Storytime and include songs, finger plays, crafts and stories for children through age 5 (with a parent). Ladera Ranch Library offers very popular story times for both infants and toddlers that require registration via a lottery system. The best part of attending a mommy-and-me class at a library is that even if you decide not to attend the class, you can enjoy time together at the library reading a good book or two. That is time well spent.
Article by Kellie Fell.
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