Bubbles Academy’s mission is to create an urban space where parents and children can learn, romp and play. At this indoor facility, babies will play in an environment that is designed to foster development, growth and creativity. At Bubbles, babies can participate in music, art, yoga and imagination classes. Parents and babies participate in the classes together. At the Baby PH.D. Childcare Network, children ages 0 to 3 and their parents participate in workshops that focus on learning how to play. These workshops include songs, plays, stories and playtime. The aim of playtime is to bring babies together in a low stimulation, calm environment.
It is never too early to teach your child healthy habits that encourage movement and development. Across Chicago, there are a variety of different fitness programs that promote baby growth. At Kid City in Chicago, parents will find an indoor gym that is designed to promote fun, active movement and creativity. When here with your baby, head to the Baby Town section. This area is designed with all soft, padded toys and furniture. This section is designed for children under the age of one. In this area, parents will find different games and toys to encourage their baby’s movement and development. This location is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. At the Irving Park YMCA, parents and children participate in swim lessons together. Lessons are offered to children as young as six months old. During these parent and child aquatic lessons, babies learn to be comfortable with the water and advance to putting their face underwater. Classes include age-appropriate games and songs.
Encourage your child to build and grow her imagination by participating in activities that focus on the arts. Many of these classes require parental environment, allowing for you to further bond with your child as she continues to grow. Take the baby over to Chicago’s Children’s Theatre on North Milwaukee Avenue for a live show that is designed specifically for children. During the shows, your little one will be enamored by the intricate costumes, colorful sets and lighting. These high-quality shows feature child-friendly themes that are designed to encourage curiosity and adventure. Many of the plays, such as the Very Hungry Caterpillar, will be live reenactments of bedtime stories your infant is familiar with. Starland Kids offers classes for children ages 0 to 13. For babies, there are Mommy and Me classes. The Wonderful Ones class requires parental involvement and is available to children ages 12 to 23 months. These classes are designed to teach independence and physical development through rhythm, movement and song.
Located at Navy Pier, the Chicago Children’s Museum connects playtime with educational activities. For babies, head to the museum’s Early Learning Center. This Prizker Playspace features ever-changing programs for infants. Throughout the space are blocks and fun props to promote early learning. Also at Treehouse Trails, babies can crawl over giant soft logs and play a game of peek-a-boo in the mirrors surrounding the cushioned Baby Pond.
At Music Together classes, which have locations across Chicago at Marsha’s Music, Sherwood Conservatory of Music at Columbia College and the Merit School of Music, babies can participate in an internationally recognized music program. Research behind this program, which is designed specifically for infants, shows that when babies are exposed to music at a young age that it promotes development. In these classes, parents and babies will participate in infant-friendly activities that incorporate colors, sound and movement. At Merry Music Makers, children ages 0 to 5 years old, participate in music classes that focus on singing, beats and performances. For baby-specific classes incorporate babbling with the baby, finger plays, large movement and infant massage. The environment at these classes is relaxed and encourages participation and exploration. As of 2010, a 12-week session cost $225.