Manchester, Connecticut

Babies, Toddlers & More

Children learn through experience, which includes the environment in which they live and play.  Though learning is life-long, early childhood is the most influential time in children’s learning process and development.  Early childhood is also the time that children start to develop a “sense of self: and the attitudes and values that they believe define them.  Parents and caregivers as children’s first teachers are not only vital in helping them to develop a “sense of self”, but also in how to interact with others and dealing with frustrations and challenges. 

Because social development is tied to many other parts of your baby’s overall development, it’s important to start socialization with other children at a young age.  In light of this process, we offer a variety of programs specifically designed for parents and caretakers to socialize and engage in activities with your little ones age 5 and under.

***Registration required for all programs unless otherwise noted.  You may call the Youth Service Bureau at (860) 647-5213 to register for classes, or follow the link below to register online.  Additional early childhood programs are also available online, Please follow the link below for details.  

 

Online Registration   Manchester School Readiness Council  Additional Resources 

     
                         
 

Crafternoon Wednesdays

This program is designed for 2-5 year olds.  Each week children will engage in a story and craft project to inspire creative thinking and extend the story line of the book into their project making. Children will engage in many types of projects including painting and cutting, so dress for a mess! Children will have the opportunity to begin the group with 15 minutes of free play to get their wiggles out. Parents are required to attend and help younger children engage in the activities. (Caitlin McNamara)

Cradle to Crayons
This program is designed for 2-4 year olds. Children will have opportunities for free play, to socialize with others, and to engage in activities such as art projects, story time, and other activities to prepare them for a classroom environment.  All children are encouraged to engage in activities at their own pace and ability. Join us each week for new themes and activities! Parents are required to attend.  Families are encouraged to come early or stay late to enjoy use of the playground facilities.
(Caitlin McNamara)

Happy Together
This program is designed for 2.5-5 year olds. This program is designed to provide young children with a great opportunity to discover learning through music, movement, and arts & crafts. Children will experience socialization while parents or caregivers are present. Siblings under one year and not mobile are welcome to attend. Older siblings are not allowed.  (Karen Rowell)
 
 Learn and Play Workshop
This program is designed for 3-5 year olds.  An 8-week workshop series for parents and caregivers of young children that teaches developmentally appropriate skills and, and promotes wellness and school readiness skills in a collaborative and supportive environment.  Parents will have the opportunity to listen to presenters speak about various topics related to parenting such as positive parenting, nutrition, and literacy. (Caitlin McNamara)

Mommy & Me Playgroup
This program is designed for caretakers and their infants, newborn to age 2. Parents of young babies will have opportunities to socialize themselves and their babies.  Age appropriate toys will be provided for the little ones along with coffee for the caretakers!  This is a laid back group with no judgement, come when you can!  A private changing and feeding room is available. Registration is not required to attend, however, please email Caitlin McNamara at cmcnamara@manchesterct.gov if you would like to join the group.

STEM Play for Preschoolers
This program is designed for 3-5 year olds.  Children will have the opportunity to engage with their parents in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities and challenges of their choosing. This is a hands-on group for both children and parents to explore, solve, and have fun!  Come with your thinking cap on! 
(Caitlin McNamara)

Summer Days Babies Playgroup    

This group is for infants under the age of 1, and is only available during the summer.  Infants and caretakers will have the opportunity to engage in activities including music, sensory stimulation, group walks, and more!  Both babies and caretakers will have time to socialize and free play with other participants.  Participants will also have opportunities to engage with local early childhood professionals on various occasions during informal group check-ins.  Come enjoy the companionship of other local infants and caretakers!  Older children can join if they are able to play quietly on their own. (Caitlin McNamara)

Wee Two
This program is designed for 2-3 year olds.  This program is designed to provide young children with a great opportunity to discover learning through music, movement, and arts & crafts. Children will experience socialization while parents or caregivers are present. Siblings under one year and not mobile are welcome to attend. Older siblings are not allowed.  (Karen Rowell)

Wonder Years
This program is designed for 1-2 year olds.  This program is designed to provide young children with a great opportunity to discover learning through music, movement, and arts & crafts. Children will experience socialization while parents or caregivers are present. Siblings under one year and not mobile are welcome to attend. Older siblings are not allowed.  (Karen Rowell)