Whether you are looking for a way to get out of the house, bond with your child, meet other like-minded parents, or you want to give your child a head-start in music or movement principles, you might want to consider a "parent and me" class. Moms, dads, and even nannies are finding the time to spending time one-on-one during enrichment classes for children.
What to Expect
For a glimpse into what a "Parent and Me" class is like, in Music Together or Kindermusik, you will be part of a cookie-cutter, set curriculum class, which is occurring simultaneously around the world.
You will sit in a circle, sing along to songs, incorporate hand movements, sometimes dance, and actively participate along with your child in the class.
It is in these classes that you can first discover your child's passion for rhythm—or, it can be where you both get to meet new friends. While you and your child march around the room beating a drum, you can also chat with some of the other moms and dads in the class and arrange coffee dates, playdates, and birthday parties.
Benefits for Children
Many of these classes for music, yoga, gymnastics, and others claim to offer your child intrinsic value for their healthy development and your parental-child bond.
For example, Music Together and Kindermusik, two early intervention music programs that have been offering babies and young children classes since the 70s and 80s, have done evidence-based research both claiming to prove that music introduced through their methods have great developmental benefits for your child.
Gym glasses offer children a safe place to run, play, and blow off steam and can be especially helpful during the winter months.
Added Benefit for Adults
As a new parent, it can be difficult trying to figure out parenting, childhood milestones, or how to juggle a new role as a stay-at-home parent or working parent.
An added benefit for parents is that you can see, by meeting and talking to other parents, that the difficulty of this new role is a shared burden by many.
Classes for All Interests
Whether it is music, art, gymnastics, yoga, cooking—or something else altogether—most communities with a booming children population should have classes available. You can consider looking for parent-child classes through your local community education office, library, or YMCA.
Yoga or Martial Arts
Most local communities have yoga offerings that include parent-child classes for bonding through poses and relaxation techniques. Local martial arts studios may also offer children's classes or parent and me options.
Help your child become comfortable in the water and learn basic water safety by taking a parent-child swimming class.
You can relieve stress by taking a dance class with your child.
Look for local Zumbini classes for toddlers or Zumba Kids classes. Or, ask your local dance studio about parent and me classes they may hold or if they know more information about parent and me classes.
Learn how to prepare simple, healthy meals by taking a parent-child cooking class together.
Tips for Success
- Introduce yourself to one or two parents in the class.
- Consider suggesting that some of you go out for coffee as a group after class sometime.
- Use the class time to interact and bond with your child.
- Turn off your phone to eliminate distractions.
- Choose a class time that does not conflict with your child's nap schedule.
- If you work full-time, look for classes in the evenings or split the class time with the other parent, grandparent, or nanny.
- Repeat and reinforce the songs and activities with your child at home.