Spending quality time with your child is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they grow up to be happy, healthy adults. One way parents have been doing this is enrolling in what’s been traditionally called “Mommy & Me’ classes.
Mommy & Me classes (or Parent & Me classes) are activities hosted by local child-friendly businesses that offer yoga, art, music and other creative classes that encourage self-expression. They are designed with both parent and child in mind and are meant to enrich the parent-child bonding process through instructional learning.
The benefits of these classes, however, extend far beyond growing the parent-child relationship.
1. Gets mom or dad out of the house.
Mommy and Me classes help promote a sense of balance for parents by allowing them the opportunity to socialize. Social psychologist Susan Newman, author of Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day says, “For mothers, classes are an opportunity to not only get out of the house and for many, get out of a rut, but also an opportunity to meet people and potentially make new friends—some of which, along with their child, will be in their lives for years and years.”
2. Teaches children the importance of physical activity.
A lot of Mommy and Me classes involve movement — whether it’s dancing, yoga or even free play. Exposure to physical activity at a young age encourages children to value exercise. As they grow older, they’ll continuously build from a foundation of the skills they learn. Besides new skills, these kinds of classes teach children self-control and reasoning, encouraging them to become more comfortable with their bodies and what they can do physically. With more movement comes more independence!
3. Babies begin to develop communication skills.
Mommy and Me classes offer opportunities for your baby to learn important communication skills. Whether through sing-a-longs, teacher instruction or even just observing how other parents and babies interact, your child will pick up new vocabulary, learn important social cues, and begin to understand how to follow directions. Through enjoying a new activity together, you and your child will learn how to better communicate with each other.
4. Toddlers learn how to play with other children.
Not only are Mommy and Me classes a way for parents to get out of the house and meet new people, but it’s a great way for your child to make new friends, too. With making new friends comes important social skills such as sharing, compromising and empathy. “For children, classes are a chance to socialize with other children and learn new skills,” says Newman. “For the youngest set it’s the chance to be with and play with other children, especially important for only children who do not have siblings at home (yet) to copy or play with. Among the skills to be learned, adjusting to new people and new circumstances—a first step toward building confidence.”
5. Children learn to use all of their senses.
Babies and toddlers learn best when they use all of their senses. Many Mommy and Me classes offer learning opportunities that engage as many of the body’s senses as possible. From cooking and music to gymnastics and swimming, pretty much any class you find will encourage your child to use more than just one of their senses. This helps with developmental aspects like fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving, and cognitive growth.
Above all else, you’ll find that Mommy and Me classes offer you the chance to not just watch, but actively take part in your child’s growth and development. In our opinion, there’s no better feeling of satisfaction than that!
Ready to get playing? There are so many virtual classes to explore. Check out tons of options here! If you live in the New York, Los Angeles or Chicago area, make sure you check out these Mommy and Me classes.
Monica + Andy, Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
Join us for a 45-minute music class of upbeat tunes that you and your little ones can jam out to! Your teacher comes armed with a guitar and props/instruments for the kids to use throughout the class: shakers, scarves, a parachute and more! Jam out to fun children's songs, rock n' roll oldies, and today's hits.
The Craft Studio Tribeca, 174 Duane St, New York, NY 10013
Toddlers’ first exploration into art! With songs, a mini art lesson, and quick changing activities, it is the perfect way to get your little ones excited to craft! We finish each class with a dance party to get our wiggles out!
Book Nook Tribeca, 23 Warren St, Lower Level, #8, New York, NY 10007
Our Baby Hoots program, provided in conjunction with the Sunny Songsters, takes children on an exciting theatrical journey filled with original songs, instrument exploration, and storytelling. Through play and lesson-based learning, children gain an awareness of their own minds and bodies, while also developing an awareness of those around them.
Little Play Society, 5065 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Chiqui Social- Culver City, 8530 Washington Blvd B, Culver City, CA 90232
A curate,d unstructured experience designed to create opportunities for pro-social interactions. Our teachers will facilitate guided games and introduce materials with the intention of coming together in a positive and supportive environment. These collaborative activities will allow children to experiment and explore each other at their own pace.
Miracle Mile Toy Hall, 5464 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Whether you've been enjoying Kindermusik with your little one since their first months or you're new to these magical classes, Sing and Play is a class just for our 0 to 2-year-olds. Kindermusik is the world’s leading provider of music-based education for children, and Peekaboo Music brings the official program to Miracle Mile Toy Hall! Sing and Play sessions offer a sensory-rich, caring and gentle environment for early walkers and toddlers to explore and react to new sounds, sensations, and objects.
Tiny Tunes Studio, 69 E 16th St, Unit 1, Chicago, IL 60616
Tiny Sensations is a 45-minute sensory development class designed to stimulate baby’s various senses – touching, feeling, seeing and hearing. Each activity is carefully designed to address these different senses and to stimulate the pattern of learning and exploring. Tiny Sensations provides a safe environment for parents and/or caregivers and babies to bond through creative play, baby signing and storytime, tummy time activities and music.
Be Kids Cafe, 2800 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Energy is our first language, learning to navigate it early on is essential.
This class will be using calming sounds, aromatherapy and guided breathing to encourage relaxation. In addition, inserting positive affirmations and feel-good imagery. Benefits of toddler meditation include: Improved mental attitude at school/home, relieve stress and anxiety, healthy relationships between siblings and parents, nourishing the bond with self and others.
Oui Chef, 2622 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
This class encourages 1.5 - 2-year-olds to get their hands dirty and start learning simple cooking techniques with the help of their caregiver. Also, caregivers will be given methods to further include their child in cooking at home.