Monday, February 23, 2009

Activities


I was fully expecting to enroll the kids in a class or two for spring. We tried sportball, gymnastics and gymboree. The classes were all just OK and not cheap to enroll four.

Of the classes I'd say gymboree is probably the best at age two, they can run and play and nothing is off limits. They can follow the class or not and it is all fine.

Personally I really liked gymnastics. Champions at Waya has a beautiful gym with tons of equipment including a long trampoline almost the length of an olympic sized pool, inflatable bouncy thing, obstacle courses, balance beams and more. I will definitely keep this on our short list for later. But i think we were a bit too young to get the most out of it. I had to work to keep everyone involved in the activity at hand, they wanted to run off and explore which doesn't work in that gym. And they are too young to really learn any skills. They do plenty of 'balance beam' and climbing and jumping at our park.

I've heard great things about Sportball but was not impressed. There was too much instruction for the boys. They were supposed to sit on a line and watch the coach kick or stop the ball, then he threw out a huge bag of balls and the kids were to practice the new skill. The boys just wanted to dive in and kick the balls. It may be good for an only child to have the experience being with a group of kids, but the socialization was pretty limited and I feel like at this point i can imulate the class by dropping a bag of balls in my backyard.

Oh, and I thought the Austin Lyrical Opera music classes were fabulous that we took in the fall. The music is fun and the teachers are great. The class is very active too, many songs have hand movements and dancing which is good for our kids.

I started to realize with our great mild weather here we should probably just take advantage of outside activites for spring and save the classes for Summer when we need to get out of the scorching heat.

So we have been visiting our local attractions like the Science and Nature Center. The kids love the cave, fossil room, animals and dino dig - a huge four sectioned sand pit with tons of shovels and brushes where they can dig for dinosaur bones. It is mostly outside and free.

We also have a great little train at Zilker Park that goes through 'tunnels' (the kids are very into tunnels right now) and along the river. They also have a great play ground.

The other day we visited Reed Park and had a picnic, then played in the creek for hours.

Oh and another free activity is story time at the Texas Museaum, once a month. The kids don't usually do that well with story time but this reader/leader was very animated and they enjoyed it.

Sunday we took the kids to church. They have a great preschool the big kids can attend and Holden went to the nursery. The big kids had a blast. Poor Holden cried almost the whole time, probably because the kids were in a different place. After mass they all played on the playground for about an hour. It ended up being a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. I'm hoping Holden can get used to his class. He seems so independent that caught me off guard but I will check on him a few times next time. I can also volunteer at the preschool to help out and it will give me a chance to see the kids in a school setting.

I think I can add a couple of these type of activities that take all morning to our weeks for now and revisit some classes for summer.

I know, i need to post some photos soon. Good news, photographer Christy Ivie is coming this wednesday to capture some pics.

2 comments:

Denise Wheeler said...

Wow! Very cool that you have free fun stuff available. I might have to drive to Austin to check some of that out. I don't think anything is free in San Antonio. Seriously. I hope Holden is able to adjust to his class at church. My kids love going to church. My hubby and I volunteer once a month but we don't ever work in the same class that they are in.

Jennifer said...

Denise, yes! you guys should come up and meet us at the science and nature center. i don't want to oversell it, it is smallish but quaint and the kids love it.

i don't know why we didn't try going to church earlier, it felt like it was going to be too much to drop them off at the school but it went v. smoothly.