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Baby on Board


Mommy and baby activities in Indy



babyonboard
July 01, 2011
A baby's brain undergoes amazing development during the first couple of years. Therefore, keeping your baby stimulated and active during the first years can help him or her become a better student in the future. But it's not just about learning. Learning is just a bonus that comes from getting out and about with your baby. In the Indianapolis area, there is so much to choose from, you can't possibly go wrong.

The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) offers Baby Story Time, which includes books, music and finger plays at various branch locations throughout the city.

"Reading together is one of the most valuable activities a parent can do with their baby," said Abby Brown, early literacy specialist for IMCPL. "Not only does it communicate the importance of literacy, but it is a great way to bond with your young child. Talking and singing to your baby is the best thing a parent can do to encourage language development. All of our Baby Story Times include songs, rhymes, and stories that can easily be replicated at home," she said. Contact your local IMCPL branch for details on Baby Story Time in your area.

Traders Point Creamery, located in Zionsville, is the perfect place for mommy and baby to get back to nature. Self-guided tours are offered every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for just $2. Families can explore the farm grounds and meet all the farm animals. "We love it," said Catherine Dixon, mother of Lucy, 22 months, and Oliver, 3 months. "For a great price we can visit with the animals up close and personal."

Tours also include a visit to the dairy including the chance to watch production through the Creamery window. The self-guided tour paths are stroller and wheelchair accessible. Call (317) 733-1700 for more information.

The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre (formerly Indianapolis Civic Theatre) will begin offering "Hey, Broadway Baby!" at their new location in Carmel this fall. In this brand new, one-hour class for mommy (or daddy, grandma or caregiver) and baby, 18-36 month olds will be exposed to basic movement and musical patterns proven to stimulate brain development and encourage self-expression.

"A highly-structured curriculum that will utilize theatre as a platform for early-childhood development will include hands-on activities and group exercises that will make these little stars shine," said assistant director of education, Holly Stults. "The fun atmosphere will also allow parents a chance to get to know each other and make new friends."

This class will meet for an hour, once a week for 8 weeks. Check the Theatre's website at www.civictheatre.org for exact dates and times.

Get back that pre-baby body while having fun with your little one at Baby Boot Camp. Shawnie Peterson teaches Stroll Fit classes at Roy. G. Holland Memorial Park in Fishers. Moms work on cardio, flexibility, strength and core training while entertaining their babies with songs, nursery rhymes, counting and much more.

Although it's a good time, "It's no walk in the park," said Peterson. "We do strength-building, pushups, arm bands, and use the stroller to get the work out in."

One hour classes are offered Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. throughout the year, both inside and outside depending on the weather. The first class is always free and you can find out more by calling (317) 842-8817 or visiting www.babybootcamp.com.

Roll on, mommies and babies! There are many good times to be had. You won't just be building brain cells for your little one, you'll be building memories of the most precious time in your child's life.

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Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" Visit her at rebeccatodd.wordpress.com.

Tags: Enrichment, Health, Infant & Baby, Maternity, Parenting

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