As a working parent, I wanted to make sure that I’m giving 100% to my son as if I was home with him all day long. During the winter months, I’m noticing that cabin fever is starting to settle in on my little toddler who needs room to run, play and be a kid. While there are some park districts and private community organizations that offer classes for kids over the age of 3, finding classes for 1-3 year old toddlers is extremely challenging, especially for nights and weekends as well as finding something nearby. Recently I’ve been in contact with Rory Halperin who is the Editor-in-Chief at Mommy Nearest.
Mommy Nearest is the fastest growing mobile community for parents and caregivers in the United States. We believe in forming consensus when it comes to the places that we take our children and that the opinion of the masses outweighs that of the individual. We encourage our community of parents and caregivers to share their experiences with others so that, at the end of the day, we can all make the best decisions for our children.
Rory and I recently emailed about how working moms lament on parenting blogs that it is challenging to find Mommy & Me classes that accommodate after work or weekend schedules. Another challenge I’ve personally encountered was that many websites were not updated with the most recent information when searching for dates/times when their classes were offered. So you may need to do a little research to see what tot classes might be the best for you and your little toddler.
I recently found a few classes in Chicago’s southwest suburbs which I’d like to share with local parents to help combat the winter cabin fever that you and your kids might be facing (I’ve listed the evening and weekend times for the working moms, but other dates and times are available for these programs).
Evergreen Park Recreation Department – Mom & Tots classes (Dads always welcome!)
Frankfort Park District – Family Swim
Get out of the cold and join us indoors for swimming! Registration is done at the door at the Lincoln-Way East Aquatic Center. Children 18 & under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
Location: Lincoln-Way East Aquatic Center
Dates: Jan. 10, 17, 24 & 31 Feb. 7
Fee: $2 per child and $5 per adult.
You’ll notice that I’ve listed resident and non-resident fees. I live in the City of Chicago, but many of the tot classes through the park district and private centers are during the day which don’t fit my work schedule. I’m so grateful these classes are offered to non-residents for a very minimal additional fee.
There are other park districts in the south suburbs like Tinley Park, Orland Park and Palos Heights just to name a few. Many of them, along with the Chicago Park District, have lots of classes for tots especially during the day and for kids 3 and over, but these classes fill up quickly. When looking for classes check the dates offered and when registration opens.
Like in many different situations, you need to be your own advocate for your child. I would suggest calling to find out more information regarding parent and tot classes, especially with your local park district. If you see a class description for a class that would be of interested to your toddler, ask them if the class is really for kids over the age of 2. If you have a 20 month old child who you feel has the skills and abilities to be successful in a particular class, speak up. Bottom line, these toddlers need to stay active year-round and to get out of the house, so help get them involved!