Fun with Babies and Toddlers (for the Working Parent)

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One frustration I’ve had since becoming a mom is that I have a hard time finding fun activities for my husband and I to do with our son, who is under the age of 2. The hardest part is that we are both working parents, so anything during the day on a weekday is out. After scouring websites and blogs, I’ve found some activities that cater to tots in the hours we’re available!

If you’ve found your baby groovin’ to the music you play or just want to see if music is something they like, try Kindermusik classes in Urbandale. Their schedule includes weeknights, and offer classes for ages newborn to school-aged. They have two classes available, one for babies and one for toddlers. You can even get a “Newborn Discount” for babies that are 4 months and younger where you receive the first eight weeks tuition-free. You’ll also notice on their website that they offer “Wee and Me Yoga”. There’s no info on their toddler and preschool classes yet, but send them an email and they’ll let you know when it will be coming!

If you’re child has as much energy as mine does, especially now that he’s walking, a great place to try is The Little Gym in West Des Moines. Their curriculum starts at age 4 months, and groups them from 4-10 months, then 10 months to 19 months and all the way up to 6 years old. The Little Gym’s schedule includes Saturdays, and they also offer a free introductory class to see if it’s the right fit for you. There’s also Monkey Joe’s in West Des Moines across from Valley West Mall. They offer a special Toddler Area, which has “Sanitized inflatable surfaces by Swisher Hygiene, eliminating up to 99.9 percent of most common germs”, as stated on their website. Monkey Joe’s is also has video monitoring and identity bracelets so they can keep track of all the children. They have an adult area, but I would encourage you to join the fun – just don’t forget your socks!

If all else fails, take advantage of easier-accessed areas. Mall play areas can be an easy-to-supervised play time that’s outside the house for more large motor skills and can help with social skills, too. I know my son just enjoyed sitting and watching the older kids play as a baby. If Saturday is your only open day, I don’t recommend Jordan Creek Mall because being the newest, it can be a zoo. This is especially true in the afternoons or when it’s rainy or cold. My only caution to you – carry baby wipes and antibacterial! I know that malls do periodically clean these areas (I’ve physically seen it done at Jordan Creek) but it doesn’t hurt to arm yourself and your little one.

There’s no reason for families with children under two years old can’t get out and have fun! Get creative and if you find other places or activities, please share. I’m always looking for new adventures for my family!

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