Little Gymnasts: Open Play at Northwest Aerials

This place doesn’t have shiny, moving play sets. It’s not pretty and compact. And it’s not one of the spanking new indoor play areas that have (thankfully) begun to pop up in and around Seattle. But it is one of the oldest and largest gymnastic schools in the U.S., featuring internationally standard equipment and state of the art training accessories. It also has a preschool associated with it, so kids can get their share of balance beams and trampolines along with their ABC’s.

nw ar

Northwest Aerials, located in Kirkland, offers some awesome gymnastics classes for kids ages 3 (and under!), all the way through 11. And it’s not just tumbling: the extensive schedule includes ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop classes as well as the popular kids yoga classes, summer camps and private lessons. And it’s definitely not just for girls. We saw plenty of little dudes there today (and no, they weren’t wearing leotards).

nw

We came for open play, and had a great time jumping, swinging, running, leaping…basically getting worn out. Which, in most parents’ eyes, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Open Play: Fridays, 9:30am-10:30am, ages crawling thru 5, $8/child

For more awesome, wear-em-out, indoor play areas, check out my article on ParentMap!

nw3

Advertisements

Batman Playdough

Since I mentioned homemade playdough in my last post and feel that, having a mom blog, I should mention playdough somewhere in a post, here you go:

Homemade Playdough a la Seattle Travel Mom

There’s more than one way to create your own playdough, and definitely more than one blog to find a recipe on.

Here’s a simple, oldie but goodie:

playdo1

Stir 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tspns cream of tartar in a medium-sized saucepan.

Add 1 cup water, 1 tbspn oil, continue stirring over medium heat.

playdough2

I added food coloring at this point (blue, “ONLY blue,” to be exact), squeezing out more color until my son was satisfied with the precise shade of Batman Blue.

When dough starts sticking and forming a ball, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

(Or until you can start kneading it without getting an unfortunate and potentially embarrassing playdough burn).

playdough3

Tada!  Warm, blue, homemade playdough that (almost) don’t cost a thing! 

playdough4

What are some of your favorite playdough recipes?  Variations? 

All About the Rain: Where to go and What to do with kids

Today we saw the first big rainfall of the season, reminding us what’s in store for the next few (or 7) months.  These are the days– dark, damp and dreary– that seem to drag on for us moms and dads if we don’t have something on the agenda.  There are tons of indoor play areas scattered throughout Seattle.  From neighborhood community centers and trampolines to a huge indoor sandbox, these indoor play havens are a blessing to us all and will have you, if not looking forward to these wet days, at least not dreading them.

Rainy Day Indoor Activities

Action Packed:  For the kids who need more than a train table.  Be it trampolines, foam pits or inflatables, these places will make ’em sweat.

Skymania or Sky High Sports

Pump it up or 3-2-1 Bounce

Arena Sports

Climbing at Pump It Up

Cheap and Easy:  From open play times and “wear em’ out rooms” to shopping malls, there are a lots of options.  Community centers are cheap (averaging around $3) and malls are free.

North Kirkland Community Center, Queen Anne Community Center, Greenlake Community Center

Southcenter Mall Play Area

Bellevue Square Kids’ Cove

Northgate Mall’s Tot Area

Classic:  You can never go wrong with the Woodland Park Zoo or the Seattle Center.  The Zoomazium offers kids a giant treehouse and crafts, and both kids’ museums host a variety of hands-on play activities.

Zoomazium

Children’s Museum

KidsQuest Museum

Unique:  Seattle’s only indoor moving playground (WiggleWorks), a sandbox the size of a volleyball court, and A relaxed “nest” for moms and kids.

WiggleWorks

Sandbox Sports

Happy Nest

The “balloon room” at WiggleWorks

Coffee & Play:  Go for a double play- or a double latte.  Coffee, wifi and happy kiddos are such a good combo.

Twirl

Village Bean

Mosaic

For more kid-friendly coffee shops, click!

Rainy Day Craft:

I came across this cute craft via the DIY blog Lines Across.  Little Rainy Day Bags filled with fun crafts or little treats for the kiddos, saved especially for rainy days.

Rainy Day activities inside

All you need:  Brown paper sacks, Card stock (white and blue), Glue & scissors, Silver paint pen (or white crayon)

See directions here.

Rainy Day Treat:

Worms and dirt never looked so good!  Try this deliciously muddy treat at home.

Worms and dirt never looked so good

Ingredients:  Chocolate pudding, Oreos, gummy worms, cool whip

See recipe here.

So…now you can hold off on singing “Rain Rain Go Away.”  At least until until tomorrow.