Hanging out at home in PJs with your kids has its merits, but it’s the mommy-and-me classes that let you spend QT time with your kids (and new BFFs), while growing their imaginations and nurturing their skill sets. And D.C. has no shortage of grown-up plus kiddo meet-ups. There are a ton of great classes; many that may not even be on your radar. Here are some of the coolest to sign up for as a duo.
Photo: andres sandoval via flickr
Most parents who do yoga at home have at some point had their curious kiddos try to imitate their Downward-Facing Dog or Warrior II poses. If your children seem to enjoy being a part of your practice, why not take them to a Family Class at Breathing Space, founded by a mom who enjoyed a baby yoga class after having her own little one? A bit different than the yoga you’re used to, the family yoga at Breathing Space also includes songs, games, props, and a ton of other kid-friendly activities. Classes are centered on a theme such as nature, and include partner poses you and your child can do together. The classes are also different than a typical yoga class in that they are multi-week and don’t allow drop-ins, so be sure to check the schedule and sign up ahead of time. Worried you’re going to miss a class? Breathing Space lets you do a makeup class in an appropriate series.
Locations and Prices Vary
Photo: seams so easy via flickr
Three Little Birds Sewing Co.
Have you ever vowed that you’re going to make a Halloween costume for your kiddo, or hem a dress, or fix that ripped seam in your favorite shirt that you’ve been holding onto for three years…but then you realize you don’t actually know how to sew? Now you can learn, and you can bring your kids with you! Three Little Birds Sewing Co.’s Mommy & Me Sewing Classes are for ages 5-12, and during the class you’ll both learn how to use a sewing machine and make a pillowcase (and a second one for you if there’s enough time). Don’t worry, you can take this class even if you don’t have a machine, since the three hour class comes with use of the machines (and thread!). There are a few materials you’ll need to bring, but they’re all available in the store if you don’t want to make a separate shopping trip ahead of time. Bonus: the cost includes one parent and one child, and if you have more than one kiddo, it’s only $10 extra per child.
Est-ce que tu parles français? If not, you can learn how to speak French at Alliance Française—and so can your kids! Parents attend classes for bébés (divided into 12-24 months and 24-36 months), and songs, dances, and lots of other fun activities. During the school year there are three sessions, and during the summer there are camps and Saturday classes for little kids. If you’re looking for a class for just your child, Alliance Française also offers kid-only classes for up to age 16.
Metamorphosis Art Enrichment Center
No longer are art classes just for kids. At Metamorphosis Art Enrichment Center, parents and their kids benefit from swirling colors around a palette, squishing papier mache between their fingers and dirtying their hands with charcoal. If you feel the need to always color in the lines while your little one is pushing you out of the way to make wide messy strokes then head to Metamorphosis where you and the kiddos can get your art on. Separate classes for kids and parents let their inner Jackson Pollock shine while you channel Cezanne.
Tiny Chefs Baking Bootcamp
For little ones who just can’t help but drag a chair to the counter every time you enter the kitchen, surprise them with some mommy and me cooking lessons. Tiny Chefs run their own bootcamps and classes that will teach kiddos (and parents!) how to measure, combine, sift, calculate and follow recipes so that one day you can have your very own, pint-sized and adorable sous chef. We particularly love their Baking Bootcamps and Tables of Tapas classes where kids ages 3-6 learn the fine of art of cookie making and tapas prep.
Photo: Lars Plougmann via Flickr
Don’t you wish that your baby could tell you exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it? Luckily, there’s a class that can help expedite your wishes! Tiny Fingers’ baby sign language classes are perfect for helping your growing mini-me let you know when she’s tired, hungry, or upset. It’s not magic, but you might think it is when your 9 month old signs “more milk”. Cue the hallelujah chorus and get the video cam ready to capture your uber smart and super cute “talking” baby.
Cost: $40/adult and child; $75/2 adults and child
5311 Gainsborough Dr. (Fairfax, Va)
D.C. Self Defense Karate for the Whole Family
Families who kick butt together stay together. At least they do at D.C. Self Defense Karate where the whole family learns the ancient Japanese art of Karate which emphasizes skill, discipline, fitness, virtue and leadership. Kids and their grownups can build muscle, sharpen mental awareness and gain self-confidence. Stronger bodies, disciplined kids, and a sharper mind? Where do we sign?!
Photo: Imagination Stage via Facebook
Imagination Stage-Sunday Funday
Sunday Funday is no longer about sitting back and drinking a cold one with your buddies at the neighborhood watering hole. Now it’s filled with miniature antics from pint sized princesses, pirates, dinosaurs and probably a lion or two. So pile your herd in the car and head to Imagination Stage’s Sunday Funday where parents and their kiddos can bring stories to life through dance, art, movement and reading a favorite book. You even get a take home “Parent Pack” to keep your little stage monster entertained long after the curtain call.
—Kelly Ann Jacobson and Hilary Riedemann