Ranked number 4 in the CNN/Money magazine poll of best places to live in 2012, Newton, MA is filled with playgrounds and pedestrian shopping areas. The public schools are top-ranked, but Newton also has lots of activities for kids who aren't school-aged just yet. There are classes and story times that will keep you and your toddler busy even through Boston's notoriously long winters.
1. Dance and Music Classes
The Newton Music Academy (newtonmusicacademy.com) has tiny tots' classes for toddlers and their caregivers. Classes incorporate dance, music and tumbling to improve motor skills. Music and Movement of Newton (musicandmovementofnewton.com) offers "Music Together" classes for children up to age 5 and their parents. They encourage you to bring siblings to class together so that everyone can learn the songs and movements presented in each class.
2. Gymnastics Classes
Exxcel Gymnastics and Climbing (exxcel.net) has two classes for toddlers. "Moms, Dads and Tots" is for kiddos 18 months through age 2 1/2. The "Tiny Tots" class is for kids 2 1/2 to 3. Classes use age-appropriate apparatus, parachutes and large, plastic hoops. At My Gym (mygymboston.com), you get to participate with your toddler as he learns tumbling and agility skills through games, songs, swings and ride-on toys. There are also members-only holiday parties and open gym, where you can get extra chances to wear your toddler out without having to wrestle him into a snowsuit.
3. Community Center Classes
Toddlers can burn a lot of energy at the West Suburban YMCA (westsuburbanymca.org). The facility has sports and dance classes for children as young as 2 years old, as well as swimming classes for parents with children as young as 6 months old. If you need to burn some energy yourself, the YMCA has Child Watch, a drop off area for kids ages 3 months to 10 years old. Caregivers read stories and entertain the kiddos while you work out. At Newton Community Education (newtoncommunityed.org), most classes are for older children and adults, but you can take your toddler to "Soccer Tots," where the little ones learn soccer basics through fun games.
4. Story Times
When your toddler is in a slightly more mellow mood, try story time at the Newton Free Library (newtonfreelibrary.net). There are special "Alphabet Soup" times for those not yet age 2, as well as special story times just for 2-year-olds. There are also family sing-along events focusing on music and special toddler craft times for each holiday. Newtonville Books (newtonvillebooks.com) also has story times for parents and toddlers, as well as baby-toddler playgroup times. You and your toddler could go to a story time almost every day of the week without ever leaving Newton!
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