Infant massage, computer coding and meditation are among other baby classes you won’t believe exist
Kids classes aren’t what they used to be.
While classics like gymnastics, art and music are still offered from infancy through adolescence to encourage socializing or pave the path for little ones to attend Harvard, some parents are exploring more creative (and absurd) extracurricular activities. And they’re forking over small fortunes to enroll their kids in totally unnecessary programs — like $200 deejaying classes.
“Babies and toddlers don’t need specific classes to thrive socially,” Donna Holloran, parent educator, child development specialist and owner of Babygroup, told Moneyish. “However, they do need opportunities to be around other children, so go to the park or put together your own playgroup.”
Joanna Port, director of Crestwood Hills Preschool, agreed. “It’s great exposure for the child to be around other children, to learn how to be in groups and make friends,” she told Moneyish. “Skills can be learned in music and dance, but it’s not always the case, since toddlers and babies are often too young.”
But it’s also not always about the kids. Scheduling these sessions can give parents a much-needed break. “I know some of the classes are silly, but sometimes I just want to hang out with my friends,” Hayden Ellison, a mom of two little girls, told Moneyish. “So we all sign up for the same class, and that way the kids and the parents both win.”
When looking for a class worth signing up for, Holloran recommends keeping four factors in mind: “Make sure the class works with your baby’s or toddler’s nap schedule; make sure it’s a clean and safe environment that is also age-appropriate; confirm that there is a sick policy that is enforced; and that there are makeup classes offered.”
But if you’re looking for something outside the box, here are six baby classes that you won’t believe exist.
Baby DJ School
If classic nursery rhymes aren’t your jam, this totally modern take on music lessons will prep your little one to be the life of the party. Starting at just two months old and offered through age five, Baby DJ School offers eight-week sessions for $200. Each class introduces electronic, hip-hop and house music to the group through singing, dancing and interactive technology, like mixing and scratching beats. As for newborns, listening to music and having a parent assist them in slow and simple “dance” moves is about as wild as it gets.
With tech jobs on the rise, and salaries in that field among the highest, it’s no surprise someone had the idea to start teaching young kids how to code. Seattle-based Computing Kids offers a variety of classes for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. With six and 12-week sessions that begin at $130, and summer camps covering subjects like creative computing, web programming and mobile app inventing, the next generation is sure to be super tech savvy.
Parents looking to bond even more with their babies up to nine months old can sign up for a series of $100, 60-minute baby massage sessions at the Pump Station, where an instructor teaches special massage strokes and techniques that can help reduce gas/colic and improve sleep patterns. By the end of the four-week series, you’ll have learned how to give a full-body infant massage while also further developing your relationship with your little one.
Since farm-to-table fare is having a moment, it makes sense that we’d want to teach our kids how to forage from a young age. The Los Angeles-based company Little Saplings offers hands-on classes designed for parents and kids from early preschool age through adulthood to learn about gardening topics like planting potted gardens and growing vegetables. The owner, Ruth Steinberg, operates her business on a sliding scale, but her typical rate is $85 per hour. The other reason Little Saplings is popular — they do birthday parties!
Teaching a kid with zero attention span how to meditate might sound counterintuitive, but The Den in Los Angeles specializes in teaching meditation techniques to youngsters. Parents can enroll their 7-to12-year-olds in a $150, 45-minute, four-week session that takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, or opt for a $185 private lesson for those who prefer a more targeted experience. During each class, instructors help children gain a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection, engage sensory perception and explore interconnection.
Teaching a child how to be mindful is a trait that requires a lot of practice, but thanks to Molly d’Amecourt, a trained expert in the field, parents and kids can learn how to be present and patient for about $400. With in-person group classes, online group sessions and one-on-one meetings offered, d’Amecourt insists that the real work is done at home once parents are equipped with the tools necessary to help guide their child.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved