Whether you’re looking for physical activity, music or art, there are countless “parent and me” classes located in Orange County. All are beneficial for building parent-child relationships while learning a new skill or just having fun together while making new friends. Most offer a free trial class so try and find the one that’s right for you and your child.
OC Mommy And Me
200 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Being part of supportive group is key when you have a baby. OC Mommy and Me is the best blend of this for both mom and child, where certified parent educators and specialists are on hand to cover topics that all moms need to know about. The support system offered at OC Mommy and Me is not only fun, but it’s a great place for both moms and toddlers to engage in activities that strengthen the bonds. Classes include Toddler Parenting so that parents can cope with any challenges that may come up, and many others.
Orange County Public Libraries
Libraries in your area consistently offer classes, lectures, story times and activities that both you and your child will enjoy, and they are usually free. Some libraries offer a weekly “story time” for toddlers at no charge that also includes a simple craft or other type of activity that relates to the stories. You can just show up on the days you want to go, and there is no registration involved. Some are so popular you must sign up in advance and schedule a specific “session” that you are interested in. Aliso Viejo and Irvine University Park libraries offer a weekly Toddler or Preschool Storytime and include songs, finger plays, crafts and stories for children through age 5 (with a parent). Ladera Ranch Library offers very popular story times for both infants and toddlers that require registration via a lottery system. The best part of attending a mommy-and-me class at a library is that even if you decide not to attend the class, you can enjoy time together at the library reading a good book or two. That is time well spent.
Jumping Jacks and Jills
Multipurpose Room #2 – Woodbury Community Park
Irvine, CA 92620
For children ages 18 months to four years, this action-packed class combines lively folk songs with children’s music. By incorporating music, dancing, singing, movement and instruments with exercise, tunnels, balls and imaginative play, children will develop social skills, motor skills, rhythm and the love of music. Parents and their children will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they are learning. These weekly classes are offered through the City of Irvine and you may register online or by calling the recreation department.
27025 Burbank Road
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
Who knew swim lessons could be so much fun? Taught in a group environment for children 6 months to 3 years of age, instructors use WaveSmart techniques to develop a lifelong swimming foundation. Each lesson is filled with fun, songs and activities as well as individual attention so your child learns to swim at his or her own pace. With the comfort of a parent right alongside, children will enjoy the indoor pool heated to 92-94 degrees. Since 1997, when AQua Wave was founded, instructors continue to be trained extensively in the AQua Wave method and certified in CPR.
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Paint, Paste and More!
Bell Tower Regional Community Center
22232 El Paseo
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Moms will no longer have to worry about glitter in the carpet or walls being painted on by small hands. During class, preschoolers are given a chance to get messy with materials like shaving cream, play-doh and finger paint. With mom right beside them, little ones have freedom to explore and create through “organized” messiness. With new manipulative and sensory materials and activities each week, the kids will look forward to seeing what’s in store for them each class.
Baby Boot Camp
Ready to get rid of your baby fat? Strap baby in the stroller and get ready to sweat. With circuit training, cardiovascular interval drills and strength exercises, you can trim the fat while baby snoozes comfortably and safely beside you. Choose unlimited workouts or Saturdays only. Either way, Baby Boot Camp can help moms regain pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting in a supportive environment. This total-body workout also gets your baby out in the fresh air and mom can make some new friends.
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Erin Johnson is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.