Review – SPLAT Children’s Art Studio

A creative new way for little ones to have fun has just opened up in St Laurent shopping centre, and we could not be more excited! SPLAT is a locally owned Art Studio and Play Centre for all ages, that focuses on allowing children to develop and explore all forms of Art (Music, Theatre, Crafting and more! ) This week our Orléans Traveling Tots had the opportunity to visit SPLAT for the first of 6 field trips, and the place delighted both the children and mamas alike.

I turned my head for one second! Good thing they had a washing station!

We were greeted by their senior staff member Marie, who is warm, kind and has a genuine love of children. She walked me through the various sensory stations throughout the studio and explained the purpose behind each one. The stations included a sand table, an immediate favourite of all the little ones who entered. A sensory bin station complete with bins of buttons, feathers, beads and a unique colour sorting bin where children are given the task of colour coding fluffy balls. There’s a water station that was a personal favourite of my little one. Here she was given the chance to paint a baby doll, and wash off the paint using various tools — nail brushes, sponges, toothbrushes and different toys. They have painting tables, craft tables, a chalk board wall, and a percussion wall, where the children are invited to make as much noise as they please. They also have a beautiful play kitchen area complete with every dish, pot or pan a child could imagine. Finally, there’s a stage with a real microphone for karaoke, and a dress up area with costumes your little one can try on.

Sand tables were a huge hit!

If felt great to see our kids let loose, get messy, and explore in such a clean, safe and unique environment. Here they could be as loud as they wanted, as creative as they wanted and ultimately, spend hours in the same place and never get bored! The major BONUS was never having to worry about cleaning up their mess when they were all done!

To say this place is clean and tidy is an understatement. With so much going on you would assume there would be a mess everywhere, but their staff have an incredible way of keeping up with it, so much so that when the 14 children left, it didn’t even look like they’d been there. 

Although SPLAT is open to all ages, I would recommend that the ultimate fans would be children six and under. The team comes up with unique crafts of the week, which would mostly appeal to kindergarten ages and beyond. Our Tot group are all below 3 years of age and most opted out of sitting for a craft and just engaged in free play. 

SPLAT is now offering a loyalty card that gives parents five visits for $60 — that’s $40 in savings! They also offer Birthday parties, that will tailor a craft specifically for your little ones special day! Such a great thing for parents to consider as you can walk away, mess free!

We loved every minute of our experience at SPLAT and are so pleased that something so fun, creative and educational is available to our children. We know that by providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’ is crucial to brain development. So we now have a place that our children LOVE and are learning valuable tools for navigating the world at the same time!

I can’t wait to put my loyalty card to good use!

Washing babies was such a hit!

Play, Learn and Explore At My Gym Ottawa

This Fall our six week Mini Movers group was incredibly fortunate to be hosted by My Gym Ottawa. Nestled in the suburbs of Barrhaven sits this amazing space where babies, toddlers and children alike can run, play, learn and explore. Recently, a friend and I were invited to bring our daughters (18 & 20 months) to sample their Tiny Tykes/Waddlers class and I am so glad we did! Not only is this a great place for drop in free-play, but the classes offer educational components in a safe and exciting setting, perfect for curious little ones and parents alike.

The Space

My Gym features a soft, padded floor which makes learning basic gymnastics skills that much safer for your little one. The first thing I noticed upon entering the facility was the cleanliness. The play structures are made of wood and you can tell by looking at them that they’re impeccably maintained; all of the high quality equipment looks brand new. 

Their play structures are also taken apart and redesigned every two weeks which promises a unique experience for the child that visits often. This is a feature that can also be customizable to those renting the space for a birthday party.

The space features a rock climbing wall, play structure and slide, ball pit, various gymnastics obstacles, an area that features six detachable swings, specifically for babies and toddlers; a feature that my little one was thrilled about! It also boasts a very clean restroom facility complete with complimentary diapers, wipes and a diaper genie (if you’re anything like me and always forget to restock your diaper bag, this feature comes in VERY handy).

My Gym is bright, spacious and clean. It is the perfect size for children to run around and burn off some steam, while not being so big that the parent can lose sight of their little one.

The Classes

My Gym engages infants 6 weeks of age to children 11 years of age with fun and captivating physical/cognitive activities, music, songs and free play. Their classes are designed to help your child grow confidence and strength in a non-competitive and supportive atmosphere.

The teachers create a fun filled hour full of age appropriate activities where children will learn new skills, make new friends and have an amazing experience each week.

The (Tiny Tykes) class we participated in began with circle time and songs to get the little ones up and energized. Throughout the hour the little ones stretched, danced, and exercised their problem solving skills. After the opening circle time, we were sent for some free-play as the teacher set up various obstacles. When we regrouped, the first skill was to have our toddler do a supported back flip. My little one wasn’t overly keen on trying this and I loved the way the teacher both encouraged her, but also accepted that she wasn’t into it and supported her by offering a modified skill to try. Other skills included climbing through the different levels of a flat ladder, into a foam circle in the middle and jumping from a mat into a hula hoop — all the skills promoted strength building, coordination and spacial awareness.

My Gym classes are curriculum based, but do not have a set beginning and ending point so children are welcome to join at any time.

Membership

In order to take advantage of My Gym Ottawa, families must purchase a lifetime membership for a one-time fee of $75. This gives you access to the classes and drop in play as well as special discounts on Birthday Parties and special events. The membership can also travel with you as My Gym is a Global franchise.

Special Events

In addition to My Gym’s classes, they also offer Birthday Parties, Practice and Play (drop-in play), Summer, March Break and PD Day camps.They also offer the unique Parent’s Night Out, where Friday nights from 5:30-8:30 pm, parents can enjoy a night out while their children are having a great time running, climbing, playing and eating pizza! Finally, My Gym also offers their Mobile Program where they bring the gym to you! This is a great feature if you are a day care/child care provider looking for something new.

I feel very fortunate to have partnered with such a supportive establishment whose goal is To create an environment where all children of all abilities feel loved and supported so that their self-esteem and confidence can flourish.

If you’re in the Barrhaven area (or not), this place is a must on your list of activities with the little ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Classes in Manotick

Do you have children who love music? The Manotick Arts Camp is offering weekly music classes for typically developing children and children with developmental delays aged 2-7. So many children can  benefit by this activity! Many children with autism spectrum disorder, for example, have enhanced memory for music and may be very motivated to engage to this type of music class. Through games of singing, and movement, children learn to play in ensemble with one another on real instruments; this is great fun for kids and great for their overall development! Music education enhances many cognitive abilities that are necessary for success at school. Learning to sing and play instruments trains the auditory system and can be especially beneficial to children with language delays. In order to play music together, children learn to synchronize their movements to a common beat, which improves fine and gross motor movement as well as self-control. Playing music together also involves teamwork and requires social engagement! Besides getting early musical training, which is so important to future musical education, children will be engaging in an activity that has countless developmental benefits.

Developing your child’s musical ear is incredibly beneficial for learning to play an instrument later on in life. Similar to learning language, the same principles apply to learning music; the more exposure we have to hearing and speaking a language early on, the more natural that language becomes for us. In contrast, languages learned later in life, in general, are not spoken or understood with the same kind of ease. Exposing your child early to listening and playing music can help develop the auditory system and give your child the fundamentals for learning to play music later on. Singing in tune, playing to a common beat and distinguishing individual notes on xylophones, bells and percussive instruments are skills which are so important to further musical development.

Music education can also be beneficial for children with developmental delays. Musical training can improve the distinction of consonant sounds and can improve language comprehension. Furthermore, playing music with your peers can strengthen the emotional bond within the group. Music provides a structure with social rules of engagement; when everyone plays in rhythm with one another, there is a great feeling of unity and satisfaction. These experiences can be a guide for knowing how to interact in group situations.

Many other areas of cognition are affected by musical training and best of all, most children LOVE it! The activities in our classes are so enjoyable that the children do not even realize they are learning!

Music for Wee Ones weekly classes are on-going during the school year and through the summer in the beautiful village of Manotick. Check our website: www.manotickartscamp.com for location, time and cost.

The Manotick Arts Camp has been offering quality summer day camp programs in the performing arts for children aged 6 to 16 since 2000. 

By: Dr. Sandy Stanutz

“Sandy is very talented and professional. Not only in her music knowledge, but she also has a special way of handling the children. They have lots of fun, together with structure and discipline. The kids are always eager to go, can’t wait for their next class.”

-Annelie, mother of two boys

Dr. Sandy Stanutz recently completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Educational Counselling and Psychology Department, McGill University, where she implemented a music program over a 16-month period at a center-based early intensive childhood intervention program in Montreal for preschool children with ASD. Sandy has been developing and teaching a music and movement based course curriculum to preschool children for over 15 years.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Manotick-Arts-Camp-180403368652788/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/manartsc

Website: www.manotickartscamp.com

Questions? Call 613-890-1529