Now that Roxy is old enough to really get something out of a Mommy and Me class we are heading out to be social and meet some Queens babies! Our first stop was Thinkertots in Bayside. We hauled our butts out of bed at 7am on a Sunday for a 9am class and headed there from Astoria. When we arrived, Kim our teacher was waiting with a smile and a boisterous greeting. She welcomed us in and told me all about how much she loved being a teacher there. Thinkertots is a small storefront on Union Turnpike on an unassuming quaint block; the space has just enough room for 2 classrooms, a bathroom and a front meeting area. Roxy and I left our things in a cubby, took off our shoes, and made our way into the classroom which has an immaculate padded gym like floor, perfect for little walkers.
As our class started rolling in Kim greeted everyone with a welcoming hello. She knew everyone’s name instantly and had missed them all from the week previous which had been her son’s communion. I instantly felt like a part of this group. The moms were welcoming and nice and the babies were adorable. Roxy even found Timothy who is as bald as she is, to play with. Kim started the class with an introductory song which Roxy loved and then she got some foam blocks out of the storage closet. Even though these are babies, Kim believes that they should focus on one activity at a time and begin to learn skills like taking out and putting away. We all played with blocks for several minutes before it was time to put them away. The class was structured in a relaxing manner so that the babies didn’t feel overwhelmed by stimulation and the moms got a chance to hang out as well. We played with a few more toys, read a story, saw some bubbles, and got to see other babies. All in all it was a fun time.
After our class I met Lori the founder of Thinkertots who told me her motivation for starting a business. Like some of us (me!) she found a lack of classes to attend when her now 14 year old son was a baby. Instead of complaining she took action and began giving classes to young children in the neighborhood. Years later she has franchised Thinkertots and it is wildly spreading through eastern Queens and Long Island.
We have saved the best part of Thinkertots for last, the FREE introductory class. Here at Queens Mamas we love free classes and it is nice to try out something new without being concerned about the cash. Good thinking Lori!
Here is the info for Thinkertots:
Classes run all week at tons of different times. You can sign up for classes at any point and they will pro rate your tuition which we like. There are baby and me classes, music classes, classes for older kids, art, reading, etc. check out a local Thinkertots for more info on their specific classes.
Bayside, NY – this is where we went
222-14 Union Turnpike
New Hyde Park, NY
1818 Jericho Turnpike
1134 Wantagh Avenue
Rockville Centre, NY
17 South Village Avenue