Best of Seattle: 2012 Golden Teddy Awards


Best of Seattle for Kids and Families: Parenting Resources

Best of Seattle for Kids and Families: Parenting Resources
By now, we understand that we get by with a little help from our friends — and that includes other parents, excellent instructors and awesome physicians. Call it the community of parenthood. And then consider: Where would we be without it? Here are some superfab support systems you love to call upon.


Best parent education class: Hop to SignarooParent Education Class or Program

Winner: Hop to Signaroo
Hop to Signaroo snags top honors again this year for helping parents give their tykes the gift of communication — before they can talk. Founder and instructor Nancy Hanauer, a credentialed teacher with more than 20 years of experience teaching American Sign Language, has helped more than 2,000 babies learn to sign so they can tell those silly parents what they really need. One relieved parent shares that her 5-month-old daughter “learned how to tell us when she needed her diaper changed, without having to cry.” Parents also love Hanauer’s teaching style, noting, “She is patient and helpful” and that she is “extremely entertaining in class.”

In addition to the 12-week peer support programs in which parents “learn so much from other parents,” PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) offers a popular Parent Talk lecture series. As one respondent says, “PEPS’ lectures plus the established network were a blessing and survival kit for me as a new parent.”

Also ranking high on the list of your parent-education essentials is Swedish Hospital. Swedish covers a wide range of valuable topics in classes focusing on everything from prenatal preparation (like there really is such a thing), such as “Breastfeeding Preparation,” “Boot Camp for New Dads,” and “Labor, Birth and Beyond,” to more specific classes, such as “Baby Safe for NICU Families,” “Infant Massage” and “Exceptional Grandparents.” One reader notes, “Great variety! I took an elective C-section prep class — who knew?”

Readers heap on the accolades for Penny Simkin. “Penny’s style is very warm, and she uses child-friendly language without talking down to kids,” says a voter. Throughout her impressive career helping families since 1968, Simkin has amassed a wealth of experience and teaches with a “knowledgeable and balanced approach.” In short, “Penny is simply incredible!!!” (She earns every one of those exclamation points!)


Choose a category:

Family Food
Best of Seattle: Family Food and Dining

Activities for Kids
Best of Seattle: Activities for Kids

Best of Seattle: Family Shopping and Services

Camps & Classes
Best of Seattle: Camps and Classes

Best of Seattle: Parenting Resources

Illustrations by Alli Arnold

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