You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about a toddlers and what happens when they start toddling (and talking)! We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about children in their second year. Each Wednesday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of a parent with a toddler. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a babybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.
What classes are available for my toddler?
Expert: Marsha Greenberg
There are all kinds of toddler classes in neighborhoods throughout the city. What is actually more important then finding a class that teaches something is finding a class where the facilitator understands toddler behavior: a class that allows for open exploring time, for dumping and pouring and physical movement. When classes have age appropriate materials and a physical space that is comfortable and teachers that understand what toddlers are about it is a winning combination. Almost all neighborhoods have classes with different times that match your toddler’s nap schedule. Check out some spots to see what they offer. Also talk to other parents and see what their experiences have been. Try to remember it is less important what is taught but more important that the social emotional experience is good for all of you. Some toddlers will sit and touch messy materials for art and some won’t, some toddlers stay close to their special grownup and some explore. All of these behaviors are typical so be sure to look for a class that suits your own toddler’s temperament.
Mom: Mina McKiernan
The range of exciting classes for toddlers these days is mind boggling. A quick Google search of “toddler classes” + your zip code, will start you with a list of options. When you walk around your neighborhood make sure to be on the lookout for new places catering to kids and always ask other parents what their experiences with different classes/teachers has been.
babybites’ team: Heather Ouida
Depending upon where you live, there are toddler classes in just about every “subject” – gym, dance, music, language, art, yoga, etc.! Toddler classes are often a great way to foster your toddler’s social skills, strengthen gross and find motor development and start getting them used to being part of a “group” which is often vital for preschool acquisition. When thinking about the right classes for your toddler, I think it’s important to take into account your toddler’s unique personality and likes and dislikes. Some kids love the loud and lively classes while others prefer the more clam and peaceful classes. Some kids love having time to relax, draw and create while others need to be in motion. You may, as I did with my two boys, have children that love totally different types of classes and experiences.
About our team:
Marsha Greenberg M.S., M.S. W
Marsha is a therapist in New York City. She is the author of the newly released book, Raising Your Toddler, by Globe Pequot Press. She has masters degrees in Child and Family Development and Social Work from the University of Michigan. As the Director of the Health Systems Child Care Program for over 14 years, she was responsible for over 250 children between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years of age. Marsha teaches in the Early Childhood Special Education department at NYU and has a private psychotherapy practice in NYC. Marsha is the mother of three grown sons and has three grandsons (aged 4 and 18 months and 4 months) with a new grandchild on the way.
Mina is a mom to two daughters: Leila, 6, and Ella, 4. Before becoming a stay-at home mom, she worked as a recruiter for HR professionals.
Heather co-owns Mommybites with business partner Laura Deutsch. She is responsible for managing, growing and overseeing Mommybites nationally as well their flagship city of Manhattan. Heather’s favorite parts of her job include hosting “Mommybites Live” an educational talk show with parenting luminaries, writing her blog which varies between sappy, educational and downright snarky, interviewing parenting experts for Mommybites’ regular tele-class series and facilitating some of the Manhattan working moms support groups. Prior to co-founding babybites, Heather was a learning specialist where she taught in London for many years as well as at The Dalton School in Manhattan. Heather holds a BA in psychology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, an MA in child development form Tufts University and acquired her learning specialist degree form York University in England. Heather currently resides in Manhattan her husband, two boys, two fish and pet turtle. Heather’s hobbies include, hot yoga, Nutella eating, writing, Bravo watching, reading and sharing inappropriate jokes with girl friends. To learn more about Heather’s mission to support follow-moms in non-judgmental ways please click here.