Spending time together as a family is so important; children crave quality time with their parents and most parents crave quality time with their children too. The problem is that after a long week at work we often feel a bit stumped as to what do with our children.
Kaleidoscope Kids Child Care brings you just some of the local Ridgefield, CT activities for families! These are fun for adults and kids alike, have great learning opportunities and promote spending quality time together building those all-important family bonds. We hope they help to inspire you!
Aquariums are a popular choice for families with children of different ages as there’s something that everyone can get out of the experience; at The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk this is definitely true. The Aquarium has gone to great lengths to make sure the whole experience is very hands-on and interactive so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy it; Offering unique experiences like touching the jelly fish, crabs and shellfish provides sensory input for babies and toddlers and excitement for older children. An I-max movie (approx. 40 mins long) is included in the admission price and there’s a good selection of beautiful nature films to choose from. With 2 floors of exhibits, a boat ride and a toddler play area too there’s plenty to see and do.
Take a stroll through the garden of ideas with your little ones and awaken their imaginations. The rich sensory experience of plants, light and shade, sculptures and ornaments will intrigue even the youngest baby as they track and trace movement with their eyes. Toddlers will wonder at the adventure of following the boardwalk across the pond amongst the different plants and older children will enjoy looking at all of the unique sculptures. Talk to your children about each one, what they like and why to increase their vocabulary and improve their speech and language development. Time outside benefits everyone, but makes children in particular happier, healthier and smarter!
Most children are fascinated by vehicles, with cars and trains being very popular play items here at Kaleidoscope Kids, so a trip to the Railway Museum in Danbury would absolutely thrill them. With the opportunity to look at and climb upon a huge range of trains and railway equipment your kids will be in their element. Children learn predominantly through play and the museum volunteers are excellent at recognising that children need to touch and explore the exhibits. For a few dollars extra you can ride on a train which is bound to be a hit, and with special Christmas events coming up this outing could be a real treat for your little ones.
Beardsley Zoo is the perfect size for families with young children; there’s enough to see without it becoming overwhelming and the relatively smaller size means that walking around the zoo with little ones is much easier! The animals’ habitats are designed to be similar to those they would experience in the wild but most animals are still easily visible which delights all visitors to the zoo but especially children. Toddlers in particular will love to shout out the names of the animals they see and give you a running commentary on what the animals are up to. This kind of commentating on what they see builds up speech and communication skills. Learning the names of new animals helps to increase vocabulary and extend the range of speech sounds that younger toddlers have. The zoo is passionate about conservation and all it’s staff are very knowledgeable in this area, meaning that children take home an important message about caring for our planet. The zoo also has a special ‘Zoo tots’ program with events once a month, check their website for more details.
With rain and colder weather on its way you may be looking for something that your family can do indoors and the Skyzone Trampoline Park in Bethel might be a good family outing for you. If you want to keep your little ones challenged, entertained and healthy then this venue may be for you. Trampolining improves balance, co-ordination and concentration and there are even special toddler mornings where little ones can bounce uninterrupted by the big kids. If you have big kids in your family too check out their website for upcoming events as they have all sorts of classes, programs and one-off events.
Ice skating is a great way to get some exercise and spend time together as a family. With the Connecticut winter drawing in, ice skating followed by hot chocolate together helps create that cozy festive feeling that will get you through the darker days and evenings. Fairfield Ice Academy has both public skate sessions and structured tuition programs and with classes available for 2 year olds its never too early to start giving your child a new skill! Your child’s physical development will certainly benefit from the new range of movement taught in ice skating, and skating together will create tons of happy memories!
Participation in the Arts has been shown to increase children’s ability to empathize and their resilience. While some of the Theatres programs are only suitable for adult audiences it’s worth keeping an eye on their events. For example, coming up in November there’s a sing-along version of Frozen being shown. This event would be ideal for a few of the Frozen fans we know at Kaleidoscope Kids! Singing is known for its mood-boosting properties, particularly when done together, so why not indulge your frozen fan and go along as a family?
Even in depths of winter it’s important to get some fresh air and exposure to sunlight. Cove Island Park has a 1 mile walking trail that is ideal for this. With beautiful vistas across Long Island Sound this park is perfect for a crisp, sunny afternoon stroll. If you ask most adults to recall their happiest childhood memories most will tell you about time spent outdoors, so make the most of it and encourage your kids to walk and play outside throughout the year.
For a game to suit all the family bowling is a good bet. Danbury Duckpin lanes is a family owned business that is smaller in size and less overwhelming than some of the larger commercial chains, making it ideal for families with small children. The competitive element of the game can be played up or down, according to your childrens’ temperament and understanding. Bowling games offer a great chance for counting and number recognition as well as the physical elements of rolling or bowling a ball and aiming. Turn taking and co-operation (if you play as teams) are also great learning opportunities and spending time together away from screens is always a positive.
We are so lucky to live in an area with good access to public pools. A list of pools can be found on Ridgefield’s website and many offer reasonably priced swimming lessons and programs from just 6 months old. Most children love to play in water and swimming is fantastic for children’s physical development as well as safety. It is said that swimming is the only sport that can potentially save your life. Life preserving methods such as swimming to the side, or rolling to float on the back are taught from the earliest age helping children to be safer around water. Swimming lets children build up muscles for walking, running and climbing and in turn these gross motor movements help to develop prewriting skills. So, whether you enroll your child in a swim program or take them to a public swim session as a family, we would encourage you to develop swimming skills and water safety at a young age. Swimming indoors is also an ideal way to burn off some energy and prevent you feeling to stir-crazy throughout the winter!
We hope that these provide you with a few ideas for family outings and that you enjoy your time together as families. Parents play a vital role in the long-term success of their children, and the learning that happens at the weekend is just as important as the learning that goes on during daycare hours. We’d love to hear what you have been up to!