South Hills Mom

a mom's guide to kid-friendly resources in the South Hills

“Tot Time” at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

on October 9, 2013

Our family loves the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  Every visit we find something new to try, enjoy, or marvel at.  Last week was our first time attending “Tot Time,” which is a class offered for toddlers aged 18 months – 3 years.  The class is $8 for non-members, and doesn’t include museum admission.  The classes are themed, and since we attended the first class in October, our theme was “Orange October!”

DSC06352We entered the classroom promptly at 11:00 to find craft tables, a fall-themed sensory bin, and several play areas set up for children to explore.  My toddler bolted for the paint (of course) while I parked the stroller and settled my 9 month old on the rug with some baby-friendly toys (siblings under 18 months may attend the class free of charge).  At the first craft table my daughter used different textured brushes to paint a paper pumpkin.  This activity was fun, but required a lot of support from mom!

 

After the pumpkin painting my daughter checked out the rest of the room, saying hi to her brother on the rug and checking out his toys as she went along.  She really liked the sensory table with leaves, gourds, and pine cones.

Next we checked out the second craft table, which was making a glitter pumpkin.  We were given a real mini pumpkin to paint with glue and use glitter shakers to cover with glitter.  The idea was great, but for this age it required a lot of support from mom, and even then glitter got EVERYWHERE.  And I mean everywhere.  Like, my daughter covered her glue-covered hand in glitter then touched her face.  Then licked her hand.  Then put her gluey glittery hand in her hair.  Glitter alone is hard enough to clean up, so I fought a losing battle trying to clean glued-on glitter off a toddler.

DSC06360

After crafts the children were called to the rug for singing and dancing.  My daughter mostly observed, but the kids who have attended the class before sang along and played along with the teacher.  My favorite part was when the kids were given ribbon shakers and made a parade around the room.  It was a sweet sight!

Following the singing and dancing was another craft; creating an orange collage of different textured materials.  Kids glued textured paper, ribbons, leaves, etc. to a piece of paper.  There were tons of materials to choose from and my daughter enjoyed checking them out.  She wasn’t happy with my gluing them down, though!

The last part of the class was a snack and a story.  The children enjoyed some goldfish while listening to some pumpkin-themed stories.

My overall impression of the class is that it was well-planned, prepared, and organized.  The kids who have been there before knew the routines and were comfortable going through all the different stages.  However, as newcomers, it wasn’t always clear to us what we should be doing.  We kind of just did what everyone else was doing, which turned out to be fine.  The instructors sought us out as newbies and welcomed us quickly, which I thought was nice.

I don’t know if we will attend another class soon, though, because it was very overwhelming with two little ones.  My toddler required my full attention at the crafts, which I wasn’t able to give since my son was doing his own exploring on the rug (and under tables, and under people’s feet…).  I rarely get overwhelmed taking my two little ones out on my own, but this was a little much!  I couldn’t wear my son in my Beco carrier because I had to keep bending over at the craft table and I wasn’t able to sit on the rug for songs and stories with my daughter because my son was crawling away.  Both my kids seemed to fully enjoy the class, but at the end I needed a nap from running back and forth between the two of them!  When we attend again it will be when my son is old enough to participate, or I have an extra set of hands.

I do plan to check out some of the other Tot classes at the Children’s Museum this fall and winter, like “Tot Moves” or “Tot Yoga.”  The October calendar is full of events for little ones!

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