She Says… Barefoot Books and Painting Pottery

This past weekend was the first HEALTHY weekend our family has had in a long time. So we celebrated by attending an event at our local Barefoot Books store on Saturday. Barefoot Books is an independent children’s book publisher with a cute-as-can-be flagship store in Concord, MA. Remember when I did a giveaway of some of their beautiful books? The store is super fun for kids of all ages. They have a storytime area with pillows for lounging, an area for yoga classes for little ones, and lots and lots of toys and books to sample and play with and read. The event on Saturday was the grand opening of their pottery painting studio in the back of the store.

Even though Owen is a little young for painting pottery (hmmm, grabby hands and delicate ceramics? NOT a match made in heaven!), we decided to make an afternoon of it and invite some baby friends to meet us there so we could all just enjoy the fun atmosphere.

As it turned out, we even decided to get in on the pottery painting fun and made a plate with Owen’s tiny hand prints.

We don’t generally do a lot of baby-centered outings. I mean, sure, we do playdates and we take Owen everywhere we go, but generally we have playtime in our house, or go for a walk, or run errands. He’s still so young that I don’t think he really knows the difference between the Children’s Museum or the grocery store, so at least for the next few months, I’m going to skip the kiddie activities for the most part. Sometimes when I hear other mothers in my mom group talk about going to the Aquarium and taking their child to Gymboree, I wonder if I should be engaging in those activities too. But you know what? Between daycare, days with me and Benjamin, and our busy weekends, I think Owen is getting quite a variety of experiences, and as long as we’re talking and laughing and seeing new things, I don’t think it has to be baby classes all the time.

That said, focusing our day on a kid-friendly activity was super fun for the whole family. We had a fabulous time watching Owen and his little friends climb up on the pillows and storytime chairs, and giggle as we painted their hands to decorate pottery.

What a little cutie pie.

Once we move into our new house, I think I’d like to join a baby swim class and maybe a music class. I think Owen would really love those activities and it will probably be a great way to meet some parents and babies in our new neighborhood. But beyond that, I’m not so big into jamming our schedule full of baby classes. There’s plenty of time for that in the future!

What about you? Do you take your kids to classes? Which ones have they loved? How old do you think they need to be to really enjoy them?

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15 responses to “She Says… Barefoot Books and Painting Pottery

  1. Yay! I’m so glad you wrote a post about this. We had a fabulous time at Barefoot Books with you guys. I can’t wait to have another baby outing with you guys again soon. Wonderful photos! I’m sure Owen’s plate will come out great.

  2. We take Paisley to baby gym class once a week at The Little Gym and to swim classes at the YMCA for a month. She has LOVED both of them. Even though she enjoys any outing, she especially enjoys these. They’re focused around her and she gets to play with kids her age. The gym is a safe environment where she can really explore and she loves water. Owen is absolutely precious!!!

  3. Aww, he’s precious. So perky looking!

    His hair cracks me up:)

  4. I don’t take my baby to any classes…I think she’s still too young! There will be plenty of time for that stuff one day. Pretty much her main socialization is with the other kids in my mommy running group.

    Owen looks like he had a great time!

  5. Oh man! I’d be hoping there would be more comments already. I’ve enjoyed taking Owen to our BYOB (baby) yoga. He loves some of the moves and songs, and he loves looking at the other babies. Although he’s starting to get a little heavy for me these days.

  6. I haven’t done any official classes with my daughter yet (she is 17 months), but I did find that their interest vastly changes, and quickly! At 14 months we took her to a Cabela’s store, which is a huge outdoor sporting goods store. They have an aquarium there, and 3 months ago my daughter could have cared LESS about the fish. Fast forward to last weekend- the fish got kisses and oohs and ahhs galore! So I guess my point is, don’t stress about classes too much. Anything can be a learning adventure, and even if they don’t seem into it at the moment, try again in a few months.

    PS. I’m moving in a few months too, and I fully intend to take advantage of baby-centric activities to meet new moms/friends. It’s a great way to find something in common immediately!

  7. I work 4 days a week, so on my one week day with Moo, we go to a music class in the morning. That’s it. The rest is just as you say – spending time with her, in town, at the park, she goes to nursery (daycare), we see friends and eat – lots – she loves eating out.

    I used to take her to a swimming class, but after months of loving it as a tiny baby, when she started to know her own mind, she got scared. I powered through for a while – baby swimming is all about ensuring they *aren’t* scared of swimming later – but she hated it, and as she wasn’t actually learning to swim yet, I decided it wasn’t worth the trauma – and the money!

    Good time with you is what matters. Baby classes can be fun, but definitely don’t crowd your schedule.

  8. We take 9 month old Ruby Reed to Music Together classes and she loves them. We also did a stint of swimming classes (which are mostly just play in the pool classes) at 7/8 months. Since we both work and winter has been unkind, it has been wonderful to have a short, structured Saturday morning event to complement our very laid back, unstructured weekend parenting. We don’t expect her to learn anything from them, just to have fun!

  9. Jenna (Hello, I Love You)

    I am 6 months pregnant but I can’t wait to take my son to places like this and different classes! So fun!

  10. Owen’s expressions are adorable… love it.
    I take my 5 month old to quite a few classes actually. I live in London so have a far more generous maternity leave entitlement than you get in America and I definately won’t be able to do this when I go back to work. Currently we do baby yoga, mum & baby pilates, baby massage and a music class. Hands down her fave is the music class and it has taught me tons of songs to sing to her when we’re on our own. Actually all the babies in the class (for under ones) love it. I would not worry at all about not doing the classes… I think alot of what my daughter enjoys is seeing the other babies and Owen sees other babies in his daycare. Also, I think that one of the main benefits of the classes is for the mums to meet other mums and have a little structure to the day when they are on maternity leave or if they are stay at home mums. I joined a fantastic mum and baby club which puts on all the different classes and I pretty much go there every day for a few hours and they tend to have a class a day that I’m interested in going to… so it is not like I’m trekking across town being a complete tiger mother. Convenience is definately one of the driving factors. They have baby sign and a gym class which I will start soon but I don’t think she’s quite ready.

  11. awhh, love the pics! we dont go to any classes; i dont even know where i’d start looking for something as such. but it is my goal to NOT have an overschedulized toddler; my 3 yr old cousin is in dance, gymnastics, swimming, iceskating, violin, and i’m sure there’s at least 2 things i’m forgetting about. kids need to be kids and just play in the dirt ya know!! ;)

  12. I am so, so sad that we miss outings like this with you guys, living so far away. Owen is precious, you look fantastic & Benjamin’s pics are fabulous as always.

  13. I took my older son to music class (which he and I both loved) when he was about 18 months old. I would like to have continued with it but location, time, and money were an issue so we didn’t do more than the one class. Now he’s 4 and doesn’t remember anything about it (although we still listen to the CD that came with the class). We also did 2 rounds of swimming classes, which he also forgot all about. Six months after the class ended, we took him in the water and it was as if he were seeing it for the first time. I am glad we did it, though, because it was a fun bonding activity for me and him. I don’t think he really got much out of it, but I enjoyed it. My younger son (age 2) hasn’t done any classes, and I do kind of wish I had taken some with him, but I’m guessing he won’t remember either.

  14. You could make an Owen doll out of him, seriously, sooo cute!

    We don’t do any classes yet and I am on much the same page as you are. I think he’s really too young, firstly, to really know the difference. It’s more for Moms at this age I think. He thinks a trip to the grocery store is quite exciting! lol Day care gives him PLENTY of stimulation at his age and he’s interacting with kids all day long, so family time with his Mom & Dad on your days off is a perfect balance. Down time is not a bad thing, they have sooo many years ahead of them when they will want to be in: soccer, baseball, hockey (a must for all kids here in Canada!), gymnastics, boy scouts, etc etc. so not partaking in too much of the insanity when they are too young to truly benefit is not going to make a difference, in my opinion. They never had that stuff when I was growing up! It’s more for Moms! That’s not to say that participating in them is bad because it’s not! What’s good for Mom is always good for baby too!

  15. Wow – look how big he is – what a cutie patootie!

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