Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classes: Water Tots & Water Babies

~A post from Daddy!

It looks like LG and I are on the waiting list for Water Tots this time around. Make sure to sign up in the early morning whenever registration begins. (this reminds me of the competition for classes in college!)

Although I won't be swimming on Saturday mornings this spring, I figured I might as well post an overdue review of the classes.

I really enjoyed both Water Tots and Water Babies. It gave me an assigned time with my daughter every week and gave her something to look forward to doing with daddy. I also learned the delicate skill of changing a diaper on a locker room bench.

Water Tots is designed for kids ages 1.5 to 3 years old and teaches them some basic swimming skills like paddling and kicking and just gets them more time in the water. Water Babies is for babies 6 months to 1.5 years. The only major difference is the skills you are working on, with the Babies class mostly focused on getting used to the water and having fun in it.

The classes are fairly small (about 8 kids if I remember correctly) and only last about 30 minutes. Adults get in the water with their child and move them around the water while the instructor tells you what activity/skill to be working on. LG most enjoyed playing with the toy ducks and doing the hokie pokie each week. She also got pretty good at kicking and paddling by the time the class was done.

There are lockers in the changing rooms, so I recommend bringing a lock to keep your gear in. I took the class at Washington-Lee HS and always found parking available.

Oh and kids are required to wear a swim diaper. I brought a training diaper by accident once and LG's bathing suit blew up like a balloon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Class: Abrakadoodle (Twoosy Doodlers)

We have attended the Abrakadoodle Twoosy Doodlers classes this session and we really liked them. Given how much they cost we should probably be getting a lot more out of them, but they are a fun way to spend a Monday morning. The projects (except for one) are completely appropriate for toddlers and LG really looks forward to going to 'painting' class. The instructor is patient and encourages creativity. We did have a good time, however, I don't think we will sign up again for two major reasons:
  1. Inappropriate furniture. This class takes place in a room intended for adult use. The table is high and the chairs are huge. Kids need to kneel or stand on the chairs in order to reach the table. This isn't safe and it isn't ideal since the kids have trouble reaching everything they need. I think a toddler class needs to happen in a toddler room.
  2. Cost. These classes are way too expensive for a parent and child class. You could easily recreate the experience in your own home for a fraction of the price. I don't know why these classes are more expensive than gymnastics which has specialized equipment and specially trained teachers but I imagine it has something to do with overhead charges.
Like I said, this class was fun. LG adored it! But we'll be signing up for gymnastics next session :).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easter Egg Hunts

Are you ready for some Easter fun?Freeman House Museum, Vienna, VA
Saturday, April 4
10:30am -11:30am
Link: Freeman House Events

Hip Hip Hip Hooray it is that time of year again. Hop on over to the Freeman Store on Saturday, April 4th with children under 12 and celebrate in some old fashioned fun with your youngsters. The Easter Egg Hunt starts promptly at 10:30 followed by storytelling. Event ends at 11:30. Bring your favorite basket! Call for more details at either 703.255.6360 or 703.938.5187. Arrive early.

Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church
Saturday, April 11
Link: Special Events at Cherry Hill Park

The Easter Egg Hunt is held Easter weekend each year in Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Avenue). In addition to scrambling for eggs, children ages 11 and younger participate in a make-your-own-candy-bag craft project and have a chance to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny. This event is free to all participants.

Reston Zoo, Vienna, VA
April 11 and 12
Children: $8.00
Adults: $10.oo
Link: Special Events
More details to be announced on the website.

Tudor Place, Washington DC
Saturday, April 11
10:00am - 12:00pm
Member children: $7
Nonmember children: $10
Adult Chaperones: $3
Link: Eggstravaganza at Tudor Place!
Details from the website:

Celebrate Spring and Easter at Tudor Place's Third Annual Eggstravaganza! Children of all ages enjoy the largest Egg Hunt in Washington D.C. and a thrilling Egg Roll Contest. After the exciting games, spend the morning decorating festive eggs and building a spring basket! The Easter Bunny is available for pictures all morning. Visitors also enjoy a self-guided tour of Tudor Place's 5 ½ acres of glorious gardens. The Egg Hunt begins at 10:30 a.m. and the Egg Roll follows at 10:45 a.m. Bring your own basket, spoon, and one hard-boiled egg per child.

*Updated to add* Thank you Robin B.!*
Mason District Park, Annandale, VA

Spring Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 11, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Rain or Shine
Start Times: 11:10 a.m. (2 yrs & younger);11:30 a.m. (3-4 yrs);11:50 a.m. (5-6 yrs);12:10 p.m. (7-9 yrs)
Mason District Park
6621 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 941-1730

Booked: Upton Hill Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Places that had hunts last year but have not released information for this year:
Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls, VA

For more options (especially those in MD and Loundon) check out the Washington Post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Toddler Yoga Anyone?

LG and I have enrolled in a toddler yoga class that is supposed to start on Monday. The trouble is that we are one kiddo short of a class so it may not happen! Boo!

If you are at all interested in trying out the Itsy Bitsy Yoga program, check out their website to find a class near you! It is appropriate for any child between the ages of 0 months and 4 years - different classes for different ages.

LG and I did Itsy Bitsy Yoga together when she was only 10 weeks old. It was terrific! An incredible bonding experience and it really helped her sleep. I highly recommend the class and the book to any new mommy. Our teacher, Kim Blackmon, is the same teacher we had for our baby class. I remember really liking her and always feeling calmer in her presence.

But now we want to try yoga for an older child. We hope you do too!

pretty please.

UPDATED to reflect that the class is now full! I will post a review once we have started!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cherry Blossoms!

I love Cherry Blossom season. It is beautiful and marks the start of the really fun spring season in the DC metro area.

If at all possible, I do recommend that you check out the blossoms on a weekday. The weekend crowds are large and it can be difficult to maneuver a family around the tidal basin.

This will be our third Cherry Blossom season with LG and I think we are finally ready to try some of the events :).

Here are some important dates to mark your calendar with:

There are tons of other Events as well and depending on the age/crowd tolerance of your child you may be able to spend a few weekends enjoying the beautiful buds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Arlington County Classes for Spring

The new catalog is available and registration begins on March 19th. You can mail in registration or register online.

If you plan on registering online, take the time to set up an account now. Some of the very popular classes fill up quickly. More information about registering is available here.

We are currently undecided about what classes we will sign up for but we are excited for possibly returning for another round of Water Tots and/or Tumbling Tots. We are also considering giving soccer a try but since the classes fall a bit too close to nap time this may not be an option.

Map of Parks