Tweeting for Tots at Jersey City's three little birds
Not that kind of tweeting. I mean the play-time chirps that they serve up at three little birds, one of the first places I discovered for the World's Cutest Human when we moved to JC. It's only a couple blocks from the Grove St. PATH station or a 5-10 minute walk from Hamilton Park. They first caught my attention with a sandwich board out front that advertised 'baby yoga' classes for newborns up to crawlers; finally, an option for my still-scooting-on-her-hands-and-knees little munchkin.
The "class" is essentially a hang-and-play-time for babies and crawlers in the late afternoon (about 4:30-5:15 PM), which is nice, as it also helped fill an hour of those sometimes dragging late afternoon moments. The class is discontinued for the summer, since the warm weather has lowered attendance to nearly (or sometimes) nothing. But we loved having the drop-in option ($12 each - or you can do a 10/$100 card) when we wanted or needed it, and I'm sure it will pick back up come fall-time.
Michelle, pictured above, who teaches the class (and many of the other classes, more on those in a moment), is great with the little ones. She is a yoga teacher, so she gently brought in some of that element ('gently' meaning that she is great at reading the room and if moms seem more into talking that day, she just lets us chit-chat), leading the mamas through some simple poses while the little ones played, and also showing us some mommy'n'me poses that we could do together with our babes. For some reason, the World's Cutest Human is a non-joiner in those situations (she will do 1,001 downward dogs on her own at home, but God forbid you ask her to do something on command in the presence of others). Either way, she got a huge kick out of interacting with the other little ones and I enjoyed having a chance to chat with the mommies. Michelle put on music and sang songs with the kids, and otherwise just let them play with the toys and blocks in the room. Often, they are just most fascinated with each other!
The class immediately before ours was the new mommy support group and it's always amazing to me how tiny those infants seem, when my daughter is barely over a year old. I remember those first confusing months so clearly (of course, it wasn't long ago) and I never went to a group. Watching these women, I wish I had. It would have been so nice. Even with a very supportive and helpful partner, as the Love of My Life is, women give each other a certain kind of support and understanding that no one else can - even strangers. If you are a new mommy, I highly encourage a visit to the new mommy group at three little birds. It looks incredibly supportive, it is packed with mamas and Michelle is a sweetheart in the way she guides the environment in a room. Plus, as hard as it is some days, forcing yourself to just leave the house with that little bundle of poo, tears and smiles for an hour will do you a world of good. You can nurse comfortably and ask questions, or just listen.
Michelle also teaches (I should really say "hosts," as that's more what it feels like with her) a "Vino and Vinyasa" class for grown-ups on one Tuesday night per month. It's a partnership with Loulou from Madame Claude Wine (just up the street from three little birds - more on them here) who gives a little vino lesson and pours the sauce after a one-hour yoga class. Michelle and Loulou cleverly time the class for 8-10 PM, so you're able to put the little one(s) down, tuck the significant other in for some alone time and hit the road. I have yet to make it to a class, which is baffling because yoga + wine = my personal heaven. Truly, it makes no sense, but I plan to go soon. Very soon.
three little birds is also active in the community. You can often find them in the gazebo at the Farmer's Market in Hamilton Park, hosting free activities for kids, such as their "Preschool of Rock" class. It's super adorable. The teacher brings a guitar, a drum, shakers and a myriad of other little instruments and leads the kids through different songs and imaginative storylines set to music. They dance, they sing at the top of their lungs and they have an absolute blast.
Back at their classroom studio, they have a 2-hour drop-off, host pajama parties and princess/prince parties, sewing classes, breakdancing and so much more. It's a wonderful, wonderful environment not only for the little ones, but for us big ones, too! Check it out. It's never too early to get those little ones tweeting, as long it's three little birds style.
Track down the birds on the interwebs: