Tag Archives: Just for Kids

Nov 13, 2012

I met with Hands On Play’s (HOP) owner Sharon Thomason-Sekyi several months ago while she was preparing to open her newest venture. Sharon arrived in Alexandria with experience from the North East Stars Montessori school that she runs in DC. She saw something missing in Old Town and stepped up to fill in that gap!

HOP is filling a much needed role in Old Town as a welcoming place for children and parents. Sharon’s goal is for HOP to be a one-stop enrichment center for fun and academics serving children ages 1-12. She’s working to bring in enrichment classes on topics that parents want. Her staff is managed by licensed teachers and administrators. They are working on their offerings, so if you have an interest, pass it along! The idea for the classes is that you can drop in at anytime. You don’t sign up for a ‘session’, you simply pay per class.

Another exciting offering at HOP is the Montessori inspired playroom that helps little ones to develop fine motor skills. Rainy and cold days are no problem with this gem located near Trader Joes! Pop into HOP and let your kids run out some energy in a great setting. HOP even allows drop off play so that busy moms and dads can run errands. Drop and shop is available for children 3-12 for up to 90 minutes. Reservations are recommended. The cost for play area use is only $10 for all day or $8 an hour. HOP also hosts birthday parties and playdates, so call to book your group.

HOP is located at 688 N St. Asaph Street on the same block as Trader Joe’s.  Hours are Monday-Friday 12pm-7pm, Sat. 10am-12pm.

Dec 10, 2011

It’s that time of year!  Time to sign up for new sessions of classes right and left. We’ve found lots of fun classes to keep you busy thru the long cold winter!

City of Alexandria Classes

The City of Alexandria’s Winter Program Guide was just released and registration will begin on Dec. 14th. Classes begin in January.

  • Swimming: As always, swimming classes will be offered at Chinquapin Recreation Center with programs for every age and skill level beginning at age 6 month up to 17 years. Register as soon as possible because these classes fill up fast!
  • Art: Abrakadoodle & Art in Hand art programs are offered for children 20 months – 3 years old.
  • Music: Music classes are offered thru Music Together at Chinquapin Recreation Center for ages 0-5 years and Little Hands Make Music for ages 0-6 years at the Durant Center.
  • Dance: Tiny Dancers dance classes are being held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center in Old Town for ages 2-5.  Ballet is being offered for 5-6 year olds.
  • Soccer: UK Elite Petite Soccer is offered for ages 2-6 years old.
  • Basketball: Jump Shots for Tots for 3-6 years old and Jump Shots for Kids for 7 and up
  • Gymnastics: Gymnastics classes are offered by All Star Legacy Cheer, Dance and Tumble at the Charles Houston Recreation Center for ages 3-12.
  • Martial Arts: MiKiDo Ruff & Tumble is offered for 3-5 year olds and Tae Kwon Do is offered for ages 6 & up
  • Nature and Science: Nature Programs are being offered at the Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center. Little Adventures for ages 3-5 has monthly classes and in Jan., Feb. & March they are offering the following classes:  Stories in Nature: Beaks, Artic Tales, Ancient Artists, Groundhogs, Valentine Nature Craft, Stories in Nature: Itchy Bear, Bit-O-Green, Turtles & World of Slime! Ages for classes range from 3-10.  Even though some classes aren’t until March, be sure to sign up early, because these book quickly!


  • Dance and Movement: Local Motion Studio is a brand new studio that is opening in January by an amazing Del Ray mom!  Not only do they offer creative movement classes for the kids ages 2-7 but they also offer adult yoga, ballet barre, core & restore, prenatal fitness and postnatal fitness class.  But here’s the best part; They offer quality on site childcare!  Local Motion Studio’s mission is to bring the joy of movement to everyone – at any stage and any age.  There is a special on adult 10-class passes now until opening on January 2nd; $50 off!! A great time to buy!
  • Swimming: Registration is now open for swim classes at the YMCA.  Act fast, because these classes fill up fast!
  • Yoga: Mom & Baby Yoga classes are being held at Yoga Birth and Beyond starting in January.  This class is for babies who are 6 weeks old but not crawling yet.
  • Yoga in Daily Life offers yoga classes for children 4-8 years old on Mondays starting the first week in January.  The class includes relaxation techniques, posture, stories, games and more.
  • Infant massage classes will be offered in January and February by Moore Than Yoga. The classes are in Arlington but I love Jennifer Moore so much that I can endorse leaving Alexandria for this wonderful class.


  • Wee Speak Spanish language for little learners now has registration open for winter classes. Wee Speak Spanish brings Spanish to life for children ages 18 months – 5 years in a way they naturally learn and enjoy themselves—through singing, dancing, games, and stories in Spanish. Classes are right here in Del Ray.  
  • Old Town French Winter/Spring classes to begin the week of January 23rd.  Classes will be on Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings.  French playtime for you and your child to enjoy together!  Your child will enjoy learning French by doing many fun, hands-on activities. Classes are for children ages 9 months to 7 years-old with parent/caregiver.
  • Musikgarten offers full immersion classes in German at Emmanual Episcopal Church on Russell Rd.  The classes combine the benefits of early childhood music with language immersion and enrich your family life with active music-making while nurturing language skills.
  • A beginner class in baby sign language is being offered by Little Hands Speech Therapy. This class is a great introduction to sign language for moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers.  90 minutes of signs, songs, and activities focused on learning and using signs to facilitate communication!
  • Spanish Immersion Alexandria is registering now for the Winter Session. A home-based Spanish immersion drop off program for children ages 2-5. This is a weekly 1.5 hour Spanish program that includes a fun theme, music & songs, snack, craft and even a take-away homework assignment!


  • The Ballet Studio is the small dance studio on Mt. Vernon Ave. across from the 7-11.  They offer classes for children 3 and up.


  • Art at the Center is offering lots of great classes starting Jan. 9th. Art classes start for children as young as 18 month and up.
  • For children five and up, The Art League offers art classes that are now signing up for the winter session.
  • The Little Theater of Alexandria is now enrolling for their winter/spring classes with fun classes for kids as young as 3.


  • Music Together Alexandria The winter session will begin at Del Ray United Methodist Church on January 9, 2012. The Chinquapin Rec Center classes will begin on January 23. Currently enrolled families may enroll for the Winter session beginning November 16, 2011 through Sunday, December 4 for Del Ray Methodist Church classes. New families may register beginning Monday, December 5 for Del Ray.


  • Khary Stockton Soccer Winter Soccer Session at Skyline Sport & Health.  2 six week sessions offered for ages 2-5 years, 5-8 years, 9-12 years & 13-16 years.
  • Just for Kids winter session offers soccer, t-ball, sports & movements classes
Nov 10, 2011

I don’t know about your kids, but winter time is tough for my kids because they aren’t getting in enough active play every day! I’ve gone through and found lots of options for winter athletics in Alexandria

For the little kids, here are some class options:

Mount Vernon RECenter ice skating rink offers Mom & Me and Snow Plow classes for kids 3-5.  Registration is open until the end of the month

JW Tumbles offers classes for kids as young as 4 months old.  Parent participation classes are available up to 3 years of age and 3-5 year olds can join in independent classes

Gymboree has Play and Learn classes for children 6 months – 5 yrs. and Sports classes for 3-5 year olds

TheYMCA on Monroe Ave. has swim classes for all ages.  Registration for classes opens up for members on Dec. 3rd.  and non-members on Dec. 13th. Classes start in January.

The YMCA offers Youth Basketball for 4 year olds with the amazing coach Ken.  The current session started last week and is still enrolling.

Just for Kids offers T-ball starting Jan. 2nd for kids 2 1/2- 4 1/2 years old,

Mount Vernon Athletic Club has started their fall tennis club but you can still register and your cost will be pro-rated.  They offer a ‘Quick Start’ class for 4 year olds that’s designed to bring kids into the game by utilizing specialized equipment and shorter court dimensions tailored to age and size.

I know I promised Alexandria, but the Barcroft Sport & Fitness Center is so close and is so wonderful, it deserves a mention.  They offer gymnastics and little olympians classes (which is a broad overall sports class) for kids as young as 2.  The new session starts the 3rd week in Jan. and the registration catalog, which is called ‘Enjoy Arlington’ will come out the beginning of Dec.

For the elementary school kids:

Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association has a basketball league  for kids as young as 5 years old +  but move quickly, because you’ll need to register this week

Ice Skating classes are offered at the Mount Vernon RECenter at 2017 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria. Registration is open for basic through advanced classes until the end of the month

TheYMCA on Monroe Ave. has swim classes for all ages.  Registration for classes opens up for members on Dec. 3rd.  and non-members on Dec. 13th. Classes start in January.

Interested in a swim team?  The Alexandria Sea Dragons at the Alexandria YMCA are signing up members.  All swimmers ages 5-18 need to swim 25 yards, or successfully pass a swim assessment with an instructor’s approval.  To sign-up, contact Aquatics director Ellen Jones at ejones@ymcadc.org or 703-838-8085 if you have additional questions.

Also at the YMCA, there is Karate for Kids for 5-12 year olds and Youth Basketball for 4-8 year olds.  The new session for these will begin in December.

JW Tumbles on Duke St. offers children aged five and a half to seven a climbers class where kids learn skills such as how to swing a golf club, leap off a springboard, high-bar techniques (like flipping), do back walkovers and more.

Baroody Camps at Alexandria Country Day School at Russell Rd. is now open for registration.  They offer basketball clinics and gymnastics classes for ages 5-11.

Just for Kids offers baseball and sports movement class that is floor hockey and LAX starting the new session on Jan. 2nd.

Mount Vernon Athletic Club in south Alexandria has started their fall tennis club classes but you can still register and the cost will be prorated.  They offer classes for beginners through competitive players.

Didn’t get enough soccer this fall?  Fairfax Sportplex is right outside the city limits in Springfield off Edsall Rd. and offers Youth Soccer Leagues starting in January.  This league is a bit more structured (with a goalie, refs and scoreboard) than the Alexandria Soccer Associations league.

The city of Alexandria will release their new Recreation Program Guide in December for activities beginning in January such as new sessions of swim classes at Chinquapin Recreation Center.

The Barcroft Sport & Fitness Center in south Arlington offers amazing gymnastics classes for all ages.  The new session starts the 3rd week in Jan. and the registration catalog, which is called ‘Enjoy Arlington’ will come out the beginning of Dec.

Let us know if there’s anything else that we’ve missed!