Active Moms’ Club is thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger today, Marylynne Schwartz co-founder of ClassClasher. ClassCrasher is a brand new online marketplace for parents looking for kids’ enrichment programming – from full semesters of classes, to summer camps, to drop-in experiences. They aim to be the go-to place for parents looking for kids’ activities in Chicago!
A Zen koan for new moms: If the physical demands of a mommy-and-me class are greater than some postnatal workouts, does it count as exercise? For those of you who can muster the energy to grunt in the affirmative after a long day with a newborn, I’ve put together a list of my favorite high-energy baby classes. Not only do these help tire out your little one for nap time, but they can help you burn a few calories between trips to the gym.
Okay, I admit these classes are aimed towards getting children comfortable with the water, but my older daughter would come home afterwards looking like we made her swim laps for an hour. She loved the water though, and it’s gratifying that now as a three year old, she’s already able to swim short distances by herself. For the participating parents, you get a half hour water workout, with lots of lifting and moving in the pool. While it’s not quite water aerobics, it’s a close second. Chicago Blue Dolphins has a great class starting at 6 months that you can find here: https://classcrasher.com/class/56jb3g5a/infanttoddler-level-1-monday-430pm
I know what you’re thinking–how much physical exertion does singing require other than maybe having your vocal chords get a workout? My first music class with my daughter started with a rousing rendition of The Wheels on the Bus which required me to lift her up and down (with the people on the bus), move her round and round (with the wheels), back and forth (with the windshield wipers), and so on. I think I was out of breath by the start of song number two. My daughter loved the combination of motion and music though (and was entranced by the teacher’s guitar playing) and we’ve pretty much had a music class on her schedule ever since. The earliest options at Old Town School of Folk Music are for the 0 to 5 months crowd, and there are tons of available times and instructors. We went to this one with Miss Julie and thought she was great: https://classcrasher.com/class/dba368gj/lullabies-wiggleworms
Learn to Play class
There are a number of options and play spaces in Chicago for tots, but I personally like the idea of getting the most activities squeezed in. The Music, Movement & Messy Art class held at Away We Play for the 6 to 12 month crowd certainly fits the bill. As for the parents, if you think corralling your child as they move between dancing, singing, and creating artistic masterpieces is easy, please come take care of my two daughters too. https://classcrasher.com/class/2eadl1ag/music-movement-messy-art-6-12-months
Given that most kids don’t walk until they’re at least a year, I would have assumed that soccer was a long way off. I’ve got to give credit to Super Soccer Stars for finding a way to start early at training your little ones to play the world’s most popular sport. They even use puppets to keep the kids engaged. As for the parent activity angle, who do you think is chasing down all those soccer balls? https://classcrasher.com/class/l1a8e1dj/kick-play
While none of these activities is a substitute for a real workout, they tend to make great compliments. Finding ways to stay active while bonding with your infant or toddler sounds like a win in my book. Plus, if they turn out to be the next Michael Phelps or Mia Hamm, you can point back to the mommy-and-me classes you took them to and hog all the credit.
Marylynne is a mom, wife, newly minted entrepreneur, recovering attorney and community enthusiast. She has just launched a new website, www.classcrasher.com, to help Chicago parents find full semesters or single day sessions of classes for their babies, toddlers, and children to attend. On top of all that, she blogs to share her parental musings and insider tips for making the most of (aka surviving) kid-centric things to do in Chicago on her blog.