The big kids are back in school and as busy as can be, but what about the little ones still at home with mom or dad? Luckily, the Emerald City is chock-full of classes and programs tailored for tiny tots. So whether you’ve got musical tots, physical tots or experimental tots, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite classes to keep them entertained and develop their growing minds and bodies.

baby swim class

photo: Christine Roulston

Swim Like a Fish

There’s no need to pack up the swimsuits just because summer’s over. Now is the perfect time to give your baby a first taste of swimming or keep the momentum going from your toddler’s summer lessons.

Safe N Sound
This established Seattle company offers private lessons for kids ages 2 & up. Their 15-minute (yes, you read that right!), one-on-one lessons are specially honed to deliver maximum learning and fun for short attention spans. The best part? Parents do not need to be in the water, but are encouraged to watch while kids learn the basics of swimming and water safety. Psst… new swimmers are encouraged to take more than one lesson per week. Half-hour lessons are available by scheduling two 15-minute lessons back-to-back.

Good to know: In addition to the cost of lessons, families pay a monthly membership fee depending on their type of membership.

2040 Westlake Ave. N., Suite 105
Seattle, Wa 98019
206-285-9279
Online: snsswim.com

KinderSwimmer
For those families south and east of Seattle, KinderSwimmer offers locations in Renton, Maple Valley and Spanaway. Classes are offered for kids as young as 3 months and parents join their little fish in the water for singing and activities during the 30-minute classes.

165 Jericho Ave. N.E.
Renton, Wa 98059

23305 Dorre Don Way S.E.
Maple Valley, Wa 98038

402 160th St. S.
Spanaway, Wa 9838

425-271-7946
Online: kinderswimmer.com/washington-register-now

Waterbabies
With a variety of classes including programs for infants, preschoolers and school-aged children, and a variety of locations, Waterbabies has something to suit every little swimmer. Programs are available for newborns as young as 3 months as well as preschoolers and school age children. A child and parent are in the water together during Waterbabies classes and a child is in the water independently during Waterkids classes. Baby and toddler classes involve play-based learning to build confidence and teach water safety for parents and their little ones.

Good to know: Classes are held year-round and are scheduled in quarterly sessions ranging from 7 to 15 weeks (depending on the time of year).

Columbia Athletic Club at Pine Lake
2930 228th Ave. S.E.
Sammamish, Wa 98075
425-313-0123

Columbia Athletic Club at Silver Lake
505 128th St S.E.
Everett, Wa 98208
425-745-1617

Columbia Athletic Club at Juanita Bay
11450 98th Ave. N.E.
Kirkland Wa, 98033
425-821-0882

Bellevue Aquatic Center
601 143rd Ave N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98007
425-452-4444

Online: waterbabiesusa.com

dancer

photo: Rachael Brandon

Get Your Groove On

Tap into your little one’s love of music and movement with a dance class specifically crafted for him or her.

Creative Dance Center
A non-profit offering dance education for more than 30 years, the Creative Dance Center provides classes that are multi-sensory, creative and fun. A variety of programs are available for kids as young as 2 months all the way up to unparented creative dance and ballet classes for the pre-K set.

12577 Densmore Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98133
206-363-7281
Online: creativedance.org

Evergreen City Ballet
At this Renton studio, kids as young at 20 months can learn the basics of ballet. With caregivers close by, little ones use a variety of fun props for stretching and dancing. Kids also work on coordination, recognizing music and rhythms, counting and timing as well as self-confidence.

Good to know: Once your child reaches age 3 or 4,  he or she can move onto the unparented class. Here, dancers express themselves with scarves, musical instruments, parachutes and more.

2230 Lind Ave. S.W., Suite 109
Renton, Wa 98057
425-228-6800
Online: evergreencityballet.org

DrummerGirl-cc-AshleyWebb-viaFlickr

photo: Ashley Webb via flickr

Music to Your Ears

Every parent knows the power of music, even with the tiniest newborn. Explore the magic further with one of the many music classes designed specifically for you and your little one – no rhythm required!

Sunshine Music Together
These 45-minute music and movement classes are designed for newborns to 5-year-olds and their caregivers. Activities include songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement and instrument play and all activities are informal and non-performance-oriented. All classes are developmentally appropriate for kids and easy for parents and caregivers.

Good to know: Since these classes are made up of mixed ages, it’s a great activity for families with a pint-sized posse. Second siblings receive a discount and infants under 8 months attend free with a registered sibling.

Queen Anne Studio
2111 1st Ave. W.
Seattle, Wa 98119

Madison Park Graham Visitors Center
2300 Arboretum Dr. E.
Seattle, Wa 98112

Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (West Seattle)
9131 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98136

Fit4Mom (Redmond Town Center)
7303 164th Ave. N.E.
Redmond, Wa 98052

Kennelly Keys Music
4918 196th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, Wa 98036

206-281-1111
Online: sunshinemusictogether.com

Joyous Noise Music
Joyous Noise Music offers Kindermusik, a research-supported curriculum based on music and movement. During class, kids and parents play, sing, dance, giggle and learn together all while stimulating each child’s development.

Good to know: Parented classes are divided based on age and begin with newborns and go up to 3-year-olds. At age 3, kids can take part in a 45-minute independent class. Joyous Noise Music also offers a weekly family music class, perfect for grownups and their kids ranging in age from babies to 5-year-olds, who want to enjoy music together.

Edmonds Community Center – Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St., Rm. 114
Edmonds, Wa 98020

Life Community Church
232 5th Ave. S.
Kirkland, Wa 98033

Redmond Town Center
7430 164th Ave. N.E., Ste B220
Redmond, Wa 98052

EMP Museum
325 5th Avenue N.
Seattle, Wa 98109

Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Avenue N.
Seattle, Wa 98103

Willis Tucker Park Activity Center
6705 Puget Park Dr.
Snohomish, Wa 98296

Backstage Dance Studio
13420 SE 32nd St.
Bellevue, Wa 98005

425-385-3636
Online: joyousnoisestudio.com

Musikgarten
For newborns to 9-year-olds, Musikgarten provides a pathway of music-learning in narrow age groups. During class, kids listen, sing, play instruments and learn to read and write music. In doing so, they also acquire an enormous repertoire of great songs, and eventually play them all on the piano.

3007 22nd Ave. W.
Seattle, Wa 98199

3821 260th Ave. S.E.
Issaquah, Wa 98029

206-285-9516
Online: nwmusikgarten.com

The Musik Nest
The Musik Nest offers Kindermusik, a research-supported curriculum based on music and movement. The classes introduce kids, from newborn to age 5, to the joy and wonder of music. Participants explore, express and discover without pressure to perform.

Good to know: Classes are divided based on age and range from newborn and toddler parented classes to a drop off class designed for ages 3-5.

317 N.W. Juniper St., Suite 50
Issaquah, Wa 98027
425-427-0984
Online: themusiknest.com

Kidpainting-cc-ChristineRoulston

photo: Christine Roulston

For Pint-Sized Picassos

Nurture your little one’s love of art (and cut down on the mess at home!) with these art classes that explore all types of art mediums.

Roaring Mouse Creative Arts Studio
This Ravenna studio offers creative arts classes for the 2-and-a-half to 5-year-old set. Kids ages 2-and-a-half to 4 can take part in a special class that involves playfully exploring creativity through a variety of experiences in music, drama and art. At age 4 and 5, your little artist can participate in a unique class designed to prepare and support the pre-kindergarten child.

7526 20th Ave N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
206-522-1187
Online: roaringmouse.org

Arts Aloft
Arts Aloft offers preschool art classes for kids ages 4 to pre-k. During these popular classes, kids can get their hands dirty experimenting with different art mediums such clay, plaster, paint and oil pastels while developing their fine motor and creative problem solving skills and building self-esteem.

3302 E. Spring St.
Seattle, Wa 98122
206-920-2015
Online: artsaloftforkids.com/classes.html

Thrive Art School
Interested in picking up on some art techniques yourself? Thrive Art School offers classes for kids ages 3-5 and their parents. Have fun learning together as you create some very special artwork within a supportive environment. Art projects are based on fun and familiar subjects such as animals, people, landscapes and the art masters. The best part? You and your mini-me will get to play, learn and express yourselves with markers, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, chalk, glitter and more.

6329 Ravenna Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115

2900 E Madison St., Suite #200
Seattle, Wa 98112

206-522-1659
Online: drawingschool.com

Sponge School

photo: Sponge

Explore Another Language

You already know your mini-me is like a tiny sponge that soaks up everything (good or bad!) you throw his or her way. Why not take advantage of your kiddo’s extra absorbent brain with a fun and engaging language class?

Zoom Language
Through 60- or 75-minute classes, Zoom Language provides Spanish language immersion for kids ages 1 to 10.  Kids learn and practice Spanish grammar and vocabulary through music, creative visual aids and manipulative, sensory and cognitive games. Can you say, “Muy bueno?”

Good to know: Parented classes start at 18 months. At age 3-and-a-half, kids can move on to a drop-off immersion class.

1116 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, Wa 98107
206-783-5000
Online: zoomlanguage.com

Sponge
In addition to child and caregiver classes for newborns to 4-year-olds, Sponge offers classes for kids ages 3 to 5 who are ready for independent learning. Sponge’s classes focus on practical everyday language with fun units every five weeks. During class, kids play games, participate in crafts, sing and move—all in another language!

Good to know: Kids ages 3-5 can choose from Spanish, Mandarin and French offered in Sponge centers and at day-cares and schools in the greater Seattle area.

3107 S. Day St.
Seattle, Wa 98144

10600 N.E. 68th St., Suite A
Kirkland, Wa 98033

4114 198th Street S.W., Suite 3
Lynnwood, Wa 98036

206-227-7138
Online: spongeschool.com

Polly-Glot-Tots
Did you know a polly-glot is a person who speaks three or more languages? While mastering three might seem a lofty goal, you can start by exposing your little one to at least one new language at Polly-Glot-Tots. Their lively immersion classes are offered in French, Spanish and Mandarin and they integrate play, music, movement and art to engage little ones and connect the foreign sounds and words to everyday items and activities. Classes are designed for kids ages 1 to 5 with a guardian.

North Kirkland Community Center
12421 103rd Ave. N.E.
Kirkland, Wa 98034

Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103

206-861-9698
Online: pollyglottots.com

We invite interested parents to visit the Early Childhood School at the Stroum Jewish Community Center to take a tour of our facility, experience a day in the life of a child in the classroom, meet staff and faculty and have an opportunity to ask questions. Nationally recognized for Excellence in Early Childhood Practice with campuses on Mercer Island and in North Seattle, the Early Childhood School at the Stroum Jewish Community Center welcomes all families – Jewish and non-Jewish – with children ages 3 months to five years. We follow a Reggio-inspired and emotionally-responsive practice, encouraging children to test their theories of the world so as to develop a love of learning, a strong sense of self-reliance and a foundation for critical thinking and social well-being. Part-time and full-day options are offered on a school-year, summer and year-round basis, as are a variety of enrichment classes for kids, ages 2-5. We naturally integrate Judaism’s morals and values into our classrooms and school and we believe Judaism’s core values are truly universal.

photo: Stroum Jewish Community Center

Other Classes to Try

If you’re looking for even more classes for you and your toddler to try, the Seattle Children’s Theatre offers classes for thespians as young as age 4; Frog Legs Culinary Academy serves up seasonal cooking classes for kids starting at age 3; Woodland Park Zoo offers early childhood programs for you and your little critter (ages newborn to 5); Stroum Jewish Community Center welcomes all families – Jewish and non-Jewish – and offers a variety of enrichment classes for ages 2-5; and Sweet Pea Cottage provides classes starting at 3 months of age that tap into baby’s curiosity about music, and provide other means of expressing emotions with baby sign language. For active kids, Arena Sports offers Lil’ Kickers soccer classes for kids as young as 18 months and the Seattle Gymnastics Academy offers classes for kids as young as 6 months. The Seattle Parks and Recreation also provides programs for little ones in everything from martial arts and cooking to swimming and art.

Note: Many of the classes mentioned above offer a free trial session, so you can try before you commit—another reason to get out and explore Seattle’s toddler scene!

Does your little one have a favorite class or program? Tell us about it in the Comments below.

— Christine Roulston