By engaging children on their own level, the teachers at Kids R Kids childcare center and learning academy recognize their students for what they really are: developing brains trapped inside tiny, perfectly spherical heads. The programs hew to a philosophy of "Hug First, Then Teach," meaning they encourage a child's development on an emotional, intellectual, social, and physical level. Also essential to their teaching approach is family involvement—when new skills are introduced, the instructors make sure the parents know about the approach and aren't politically opposed to arithmetic.
They rely on their own curriculum, Brain Waves, which takes a neurologically based approach that combines educational lessons with good nutrition, regular sleep schedules, and secure relationships. Additionally, the Brain Waves curriculum helps develop brains with many forms of language (including sign language) and exposure to technology in a controlled environment.
The Total Jingle Bell Run & Walk spurs more than 5,000 antler-clad participants to swarm through downtown Houston in the name of charity, fitness, and celebration of the holiday season. Like Santa's reindeer before the sleigh got GPS, the event explores several different routes, including a 5-mile course for runners and a shorter, less intense 3-mile course for families. After everyone has crossed the finish line, awards honor the fleetest of foot in each age group, as well as individuals donning the best holiday-themed costumes. All proceeds raised by the race get poured into the YMCA's partner campaign, which provides scholarship money to those in need of academic aid.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
There’s only one thing the staff at Wonderwilder cares more about than fun: safety. That’s why its members have separated the indoor play place’s slides, bouncy zones, and rope obstacle course into two distinct areas; one for those under the age of 8 called Wonderwild, and one for more adventurous kids aged 5–11 called Wonderwilder. This allows younger kids to happily ride a 20-foot inflatable crocodile slide at a safe distance from their elders, while the older kids race on the go-kart bikes. Our birthday parties incorporate elements that both girls and boys enjoy, from Nerf battles and superheroes to pretty princesses and IRS audits.
The Crayon Academy's committed wisdom warriors have dedicated nearly two decades to setting solid scholastic footing for children before they step into classrooms. During this two-week trial (a $248 value) youngsters mold brain matter with a day-long itinerary that hones in on fellowship, academics, and art. Four different schedules cater to moppets of varying ages and experience, and Crayon's knowledgeable teachers can help students with homework, learning tips, and the latest in pencil-sharpening practices. Crayon's open-door policy allows curious parents to sit in on the learning whenever they like and without wearing kid disguises.
A year-round preschool, afterschool and camp center for kids ages 6 weeks- 12 years old. Kids R Kids uses an award-winning curriculum inspired by Dr. Piaget's learn-with-play philosophy, that focuses on building the emotional, physical, intellectual, cognitive, and social areas of a child's development.