WAY Better Than a Babysitter (dedicated)

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In the bustle of the holiday season, between keeping schedules straight and all the end-of-year school events, it’s hard to remember that your schedule will slow down come January. Your kids will still have the same energy and need for diversion that they have now, which is why your future self will thank you for signing your kids up for some of the exceptional winter and spring classes that will be starting in January and February at Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly, New Jersey.

There’s something for every kid at almost every age at the Kaplen JCC. Babies and toddlers from three months – to 3 years will get a safe, age-appropriate introduction to the water in the Water Babies class. They will be introduced to music in the earliest levels of J’s much beloved Musikgarten music program, and toddlers will learn to love Shabbat at the Tot Shabbat sing-along. Babies and toddlers (and their parents) will meet friends, play, and maybe learn something along the way at the Babies, Books, and Bubbles and Toddler Time classes.

For preschoolers up to age 6, the JCC offers swimming classes since warm weather will be here before we know it, and learning how to swim is essential to safe summer fun. Since your kiddo is going to a place to run around and blow off steam, have them join one of the sports classes, Lil’ Athletes, Lil’ Dribblers, Lil’ Kickers, Multi-sport, or Taekwondo, which are developed to give them exposure to a sport and some of the basic skills necessary to play it. PreK-aged kids drawn to the arts and humanities will love the drama, music, and art class offerings at the J. There are also classes for kids who want to try or improve their skills in activities like cooking, yoga, or science. For the kids who need a little skills boost, enroll them in Play to Achieve. The instructors are speech-language and occupational therapists, and they’ve developed the curriculum to enable your kid to master both academic and behavioral skills through play.

The robust class offerings continue through your child’s elementary school years as they build their aquatics, music, dance, and drama skills. Pretend it’s summer camp every day as kids can explore and play in Camp365 classes like Brickz 4 Kids, Game Makers, Ceramics, and Budding Chefs.

When your kid hits middle school and up, the JCC youth programs can support them in the activities of their choice. They will refine and expand their expertise in Taekwondo and the theater arts, including improv and acting. They will have access to a wide variety of performing and instructional musical opportunities and specialized programs, including the Young People’s Choir, Flute Choir, Percussion Ensemble, String Camerata, the Thurnauer Symphony Orchestra, and the Coltrane Saxophone Ensemble.

For youth and young adults with special needs in the community, the Guttenberg Center for Special Needs provides direct and indirect services for disabled individuals. These services include social skills, skill development classes, and Camp Haverim. This program is designed to be fully inclusive and provide support and accommodations to all individuals who need them.

Winter/Spring registration is now open and classes begin at different points in the new year. For more information on specific programs and start dates or to reserve your child’s spot in the class or classes of your choice, please visit the Youth Programs page on the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades website. Then, head to the J this winter and spring so your child can learn, grow and foster new friendships in a wonderful community setting!

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