Kids aged 6 weeks to 6 years choose their own adventure at Portside Montessori. There, classrooms are divided into six sections, which correspond with six areas of learning: practical life, sensorial, language, math, cultural, and creative subjects such as art and music. All the class materials for each area are placed low to the ground where kids can reach them instead of perched up high collecting dust. Kids can easily go from area to area based on their interests at the time, exploring abstract math concepts, reading, or playing music. Teachers stand by to guide children along their journey but are careful to allow them a sense of independence.
For more than 20 years, KidsPark childcare centers have helped youngsters aged 2–12 boost their social and motor skills in a safe, educational environment. The staff—certified in first-aid and CPR, background checked, and trained in early-childhood education—keeps a close watch on each kid that explores the open floor plan, where six activity areas vie for attention. Cooking and science projects wait in the Creation Station, baskets and balls beckon from the Sport Court, and the sound of music and stories leads ears straight to the Theater. And school-age kids can join the Blue Crew, where they find homework help, nonviolent video games, and the chance to compare resumés with other children. KidsPark also hosts private parties and offers preschool classes.
At Kids Party Central, gaggles of children bounce upon inflatable fortresses, glide down air-filled slides, and splash around colorful ball pits in a nearly 10,000-square-foot recreation center. Throughout the week, open-play sessions reserve for public use the facility's many attractions, including floatable forts embellished with soccer balls, pirates, and animated pals from movies such as Cars. Like particularly classy kennels, KPC requires all guests to wear socks. The center also suggests that kids don nylon pants for maximum speed on the slides and that they abstain from duds featuring zippers or hooks that may scratch play surfaces. Adults are welcome to play as well, although those found not keeping an eye on their miniature companions will be put in time out.
Jamaroo Kids founder Jamaica Stevens has two passions?the art of dance and teaching?that she uses to inspire young children. Rather than just occupying kids, her company has aimed to entertain them and enrich their early lives since its opening in 2004. From daily sessions at Jamaroo's San Francisco studio to weekly classes at over 100 area preschools and daycares, trained instructors lead toddlers in fun, engaging activities like yoga, creative movement, and dance. Kids' creative impulses are indulged with singing and storytelling sessions and their young minds nourished with bilingual classes, arts and crafts, and non-Euclidean geometry. Jamaroo Kids prides itself on its contributions to the community and the world at large. Not only do they help educate the city's children, but instructors also donate their time to local nonprofits and community organizations.