Outings + Activities

2013 Golden Teddy Winners: Camps + Classes

Vote in the 2013 ParentMap Golden Teddy Awards

Best of Seattle for Kids and Families: Family Food and Dining

 Camps + Classes

We in the Northwest love to keep our kids’ calendars full with classes and camps. And why wouldn’t we, when we have so many amazing choices? Free time is important, yes. And we want to make sure our little ones have the chance to explore and discover their passion. Will it be music, swimming, dance, language, the outdoors or something else? Think of all the fun and learning to be had as they find out.

Best Infant and Toddler Class in Greater Seattle: Music for EveryoneInfant and Toddler Classes

You swooned over Jana Vitols’ Music for Everyone classes for tots with their grown-ups. Teacher Jana skillfully combines music with movement at classes in North and South Seattle. While playing a host of instruments, including banjo and ukulele, she uses stories, puppets, folk dances and other tools of engagement to teach beginning musical concepts. It may seem like just a fun, sweet time with wee ones playing egg shakers, but “make no mistake, this class isn’t just fluff” advises one commenter, “it’s a solid music education.” Jana received a rave for her “beautiful voice and calm energy,” and one parent calls her a “toddler enchantress.” Some parents even confessed they love the classes just as much as their kids do.

Ripe young minds are soaking up language over at Sponge, which received a bundle of your votes for its classes in Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese. Sponge offers classes for babies to age 4 with their grown-ups and “just kids” classes for ages 3–5. The teachers are tops; you call them “awesome,” “incredible” and “amazing.” “Simply the best foreign language classes for toddlers,” says one voter.  

After the joy — and stultifying sleep deprivation — of a new baby have set in, parents long to communicate with their wee ones, and not just by guessing what the crying means. Enter Hop to Signaroo, whose sign language classes for hearing families tap into babies’ ability to use their hands before talking. “Nancy rocks!” a voter says about the instructor. Raves another, “We’re still signing after a year and we love it!”

Yanvalou Drum School may be new to the kiddie class scene, but you already love it. Yanvalou’s Baby Jam class invites infants to 5-year-olds to play on drums, try out other percussion instruments, plus learn songs in Spanish and Hebrew. Baby Jam earned your praise as a “great, diverse learning experience.” Voters call the classes “friendly” and “organized,” and some appreciate that no membership is needed: Just drop in!

Best Art and Creative Classes

Paint the TownWinner:
Paint the Town
Fans rave: 
They love having the opportunity to paint and the reward of bringing home their own creation.  There are many pieces of ceramic that you can choose to paint, and the staff will help inspire your creativity if you ask them for their assistance.

Coyote Central
Creative programs aimed at middle-schoolers, taught by real artists.

Northwest Arts Center in DuvallIt's been my kids favorite place to explore all the different art techniques and have fun while doing it. It's been a great place to let them explore their creativity in a positive and safe environment.

Roaring Mouse Creative Arts StudioRegardless of age, they give kids a chance to explore a wide variety of mediums in artistic expression.... Caring and passionate instructors who understand the value of the arts in a child's life.

Thrive Art School Amazing quality art education ... they teach proper technique, and the art results are amazing. ... Great staff, fundamentals, and a new piece of art every week.

Next up: Best Dance Studios »


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Best of Seattle: Family Food and Dining

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Best of Seattle: Activities for Kids

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Camps & Classes
Best of Seattle: Camps and Classes

Best of Seattle: Parenting Resources

Illustrations by Alli Arnold