Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby Class Reviews: Old Town School of Folk Music: Wiggleworms 12-24 months

Baby Class Reviews:  Old Town School of Folk Music:  Wiggleworms 12-24 months

I will be rating baby classes on a 5 star (*) scale.  I will also review price, age, size, length, cleanliness, space, parking, open play toys, instructor, content, Henry’s opinion, mom’s opinion, other moms, music, make-ups and activity.  Some of the classes are exclusive to Chicago, and some are national/international chains.  For a stay-at-home mom in the winter, baby classes are part of a survival guide.  A baby class introduces you to other moms with babies of the same age, and gets you out of the house.  Plus, baby gets to interact with others his age, which is great for his socialization and development.  

Old Town School of Folk Music
909 Armitage Ave, Chicago – the class I’m rating
4544 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
2120 Lincoln St, Evanston
5250 Wolf Rd, Western Springs

*****FOUR STARS *****

Price:  $240 for 16 week session

Age:  12-24 months

Size:  Small.  Around 10 moms/babies

Length:  45 minutes

Convenience:  Calling the Old Town School of Folk is a cluster f.  The wait time over the phone can be 30-45 minutes.  The staff at the front desk is generally crotchety.  But you can sign-up online.

Cleanliness:  Not at all clean.  The building is an actual school, and reminds me of an “old school.”  The rug is old and brown.  The walls are a dingy cream color.  We wear our shoes in the room and it doesn’t seem that the toys are cleaned after every class.  (Scale: Super, Very, Kind of, Not at all)

Space:  Small 10 X 10 room and the décor is a little drab.  There are a few student drawn pictures on the walls. 

Parking:  Street parking in Lincoln Park has been easy.  Parking lot at the Lincoln Square location.

Open Play Toys:  There are instruments used during certain songs.  There is no open play.

Instructor:  All the instructors are career musicians! 

Content:  Caregivers and babies sit in a circle.  The songs are classic and traditional, and the kids enjoy the interactive clapping and bouncing.  There is story time and walking in a circle (all the kids in this class were walking).  The class isn’t super active, but this age is more about learning structure and interacting than just physical play. 

Henry’s Opinion:  H enjoyed the music.  He also liked playing with the piano and guitar at the end. 

Mom’s Opinion:  I’m looking forward to learning more traditional songs and activities through Wiggleworms.  Also the class is 16 weeks, which will foster more comfortable relationships with the other moms and babies.  And 16 weeks can also be a negative if you get sick of it.

Other Caregivers:  The other moms/caregivers are very friendly.  The small classes allow for real interaction, and the small room forces physical proximity.  The class we tested also happened to be very racially diverse. 

Music:  A: Great traditional songs.  All the instructors are musicians.

Make-ups:  Call to schedule a make-up class.  The wait on the phone can be ridiculously long. 

Activity:  Not as much physical activity, however, mental activity is encouraged.

See other Baby Class Reviews.

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