I posted on our Facebook page the other day, asking parents whether I’m the only one who gets frustrated during swimming registration time. Apparently I’m not alone!
We’ve been kind of lazy when it comes to swimming. I took our oldest for a lesson when she was 4 months old, and then promptly forgot to sign her up for anything after that for a couple of years. In all honesty, I’m not sure that early swimming lessons actually do anything to promote swimming ability. It’s kind of like potty training – if they’re not ready, then you won’t have a lot of success.
However, that’s not to say that introduction to the water (and getting wet) isn’t a good thing! Our daughter is now 4.5, and making some good progress in her lessons.
But swimming registration? How frustrating!! Our city offers fantastic programming, but trying to register your child for a particular time spot is a nightmare. Online registration opens at 9pm, and the site usually crashes due to overwhelming demand. If you wait even 24 hours, chances are, your preferred spaces are gone. And trying to register more than one child in the same time slot? Forget it!
I completely forgot about winter registration, and ended up getting the last spot available for both my girls – 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It’s been tough, let me tell you. We’re usually up by 7am, but by the time we eat and get dressed, we’re often rushing out the door (or late for class).
However, we noticed a benefit to early Sunday morning – small class sizes, without having to pay for “low ratio.” So when Spring registration began this past Monday, I couldn’t believe that I actually chose the 8:30 spot This time, though, our 17 month-old won’t be taking part. The water is freezing, and she just doesn’t enjoy it much at this age. So 8:30 seems more doable with just one child.
Where’s your favourite place to swim in Ottawa?
Welcome to Starr Gymnastics, our featured sponsor this month!
Our daughter was delighted to check out Starr Gymnastics (Orleans location) this past week. We’ve been living in Orleans for three years now, and have definitely been missing out on this local gem!
With a bright and large open space for plenty of exercise, Starr has it all – a climbing wall, a swinging rope, several mini-trampolines, and balance beams and bars. There is also a nice quiet room in the back, intended for use by parents with really young children, and a raised area where there are four large round trampolines, and a foam pit for the children to dive into. There are also slides, balls, hoops, bean bags, and small play equipment spread throughout the space.
Starr offers regular instructional classes,March and Summer day camps, and private birthday parties. We checked out one of the many drop-in play times. My husband was very impressed with the instructors, who he said were enthusiastic and very helpful. The highlight of the hour was the parachute, when the kiddies got to send a bucket full of balls flying up into the air. By the end of the drop-in, my daughter had already decided that instead of soccer this summer, she would rather do gymnastics camp!
We’ll certainly be signing her up for a class. If you’re looking for last minute March break activities, there are still spaces available in their half or full-day camps. For those who like to plan in advance, summer camps will be posted soon!
Have you visited one of the three Starr Gymnastics locations? What’s your child’s favourite activity?
My kid has been playing with the iPad for a long time and we have tried a lot of learning apps; some have been bigger hits than others. Some she has loved and I have hated because I don’t understand what they were actually teaching.
We’ve had some big hits that she still plays with, like the Monkey Preschool apps that I recommend to anyone looking for a toddler or preschooler friendly game. Last week I downloaded the Super Why! app from PBS Kids.
This is my ode to that app.
In the mornings we tend to watch CBC Kids while I’m getting some a bit of work done, and I had noticed that the kid got into Super Why! and was doing well with the sounding out of works with the Super Why team. I figured the show would have an app so I went looking and downloaded it.
When the kid plays the app, which has all four main characters doing different activities with letters and words. Princess Pea sings, and right along with her my daughter says ‘S-P-E-L-L spell!’
She finds the sounds, makes the words, sings and laughs. This app is working her towards reading more than any other she’s played so far and I love to watch it. When I sit down with her with workbooks or a crayon on some paper she doesn’t get as involved as she does with the Super Why! team.
I give it an A+.