Since opening its doors in 1998, Language Stars has introduced more than 30,000 children to foreign languages with small-group classes and full-immersion activities. Through a selective process, Language Stars recruits ambitious teachers from more than 20 countries who share a common goal of revolutionizing how and when American children learn foreign languages. Parents and Tots Classes are available for children between 1–3 years old, and Kids Only classes are available for children 3–5, 5–8 and 8–10 years old. Absorbent little minds soak up Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, or Arabic with the help of their FunImmersion approach, learning naturally through games, songs, activities and art projects to help kids finally understand their foreign-exchange imaginary friends.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their children's development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
Walter E. Smithe's huge showrooms contain more than 500 collections of high-quality designer furniture and home accessories, stocking brands including Drexel Heritage, Nourison, Hancock and Moore, and Bradington-Young. Fill a brass-trimmed vase ($119) with flowers, pencils, or wishes, or keep winter moisture stylishly contained in a hand-painted umbrella stand ($99). Walter E. Smithe's selection of four-legged pieces includes an Ontario end table ($299) and a Louise chair ($599). Most products come with impressive warranties, including a 10-year guarantee for every cushion on the comfy Kayla sofa ($1,749).
Students at the Cortiva Institute schools gain a respectful appreciation for the healing potential of massage therapy, which they then pass along to clients in the form of relaxing, massage-shaped memos. Beginning with an initial consultation consisting of a brief interview and verb-conjugation quiz, Cortiva students gain full understanding of the client’s trouble spots and cantankerous knots. Once pinpointed, tense tissues achieve relief with the artful flow of gliding strokes and gentle kneading, resolving aches and Rubik’s cube tattoos to restore a general sense of well being. Clinical and myofascial techniques deepen multilayered sessions by improving postural balance and soft-tissue function to enhance circulation and plate-spinning performances. A supervising faculty member stops by for a few minutes during the treatment to assist student therapists and choreograph stress-relief dances, and post-massage, clients fill out a short form to provide feedback for aspiring muscle-menders.