As a mom there are so many things we have to do for our kids. There are the bare bones necessities, feeding, clothing, providing shelter, love, a million kisses a day, you know those kinds of things. Then there are the other things you have to do. Like make sure your kid is reading by 9 months old, get them into the best pre-school program the second they have a SSN and not a minute later, make sure they can swim, ride a bike and solve complex math problems by age 3 and lord help you if you haven’t joined an advanced music group before they turn one. See, being in charge of a little one’s day to day happenings can be downright stressful. That is, unless you calm down, realize they have time, you have time, and that just playing (time with other kids, outside, messy, fun time) is just as important for their growth and development as any of that other stuff.
Enter Annie Kimball.
For mama’s in and around the Atlanta area who want to stay sane while playing with their kids and having fun with other moms who actually want to play with their kids too, you need to meet Annie and try out her sensory art classes for babies and toddlers.
When Annie decided to stay at home with her first child she started looking for fun, messy, social things to do with her young one and found nothing. Frustrated, she did what every great mom would do and headed online for some inspiration ( in my mind she has about a billion awesome Pinterest boards ) and brought the fun and mess to her kiddo at home. Friends, including me, started to take notice and wanted to bring their little ones to join in so she started offering classes twice a week.
We have been to a couple of these classes and first and foremost, they are SO. MUCH. FUN. Our 15 month old, Coulter is in heaven for the hour we are at Annie’s, and so is his mama. I get to hang out with other super cool mamas and watch him run around, sometimes naked, playing with paint and bubbles and water tables and crazy foam. He gets to throw wet cotton balls at a target on the garage door and literally roll in whipped cream. He has story time with other kids where they learn about primary colors and then they actually get to play with colors and explore how to make new ones while getting as messy as their little bodies can handle. Mamas get in on the fun too; this isn’t one of those drop your kids off or watch from the sidelines kind of art classes so make sure you dress for the occasion!
Of course it would be totally fine with me if Annie just decided to put together random stuff for kids to play with but she is way more awesome and mindful of her projects than that. She’s an incredible artist with a masters degree in Art Therapy, has taught art and drama for 7 years to preschoolers and has worked at summer camp for over 20 years. She loves kids, loves to play and it shows.
So far class projects have included Paint X-plosion, Super Bubbles, Smash & Build and Everything that goes Vroom! With her kids participating in the classes too she knows the importance of keeping it fresh and fun and is excited to try a class with cooking soon. Other “coming soon” features include a ‘Pete the Cat’ book day, a Music Mic & Moves class and an American Ninja Warrior Adventure Course! (I know I am super pumped about that last one!!)
The classes are every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 followed by a group snack and are only $10 for the first child and $5 per additional child.
What this mama is doing is amazing and I am so thankful to have found something that I can enjoy with my son that gets us out of the house, pushes normal boundaries of acceptable messiness, helps Coulter develop his all-important social skills (we are still working on his moderately aggressive hugs) and is just all around fun!
For more information contact Annie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at (770) 722-0802.