Coach Shane Laurent and Coach Steve Barlow have a lot in common: both are fathers of three boys, both have about a decade of youth-coaching experience, and both believe that every kid should have the chance to learn their favorite game as early as possible. Backed by the Youth Football Coaches Association, years of experience on the field, and Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin, the two mastermind game plans for athletes aged 3–12 at Totball.
Totball's miniaturized version of an American pastime forgoes competition and tackling in favor of fostering camaraderie among teammates as they learn football basics. Girls and boys huddle up for fun-infused drills that hone agility, blocking techniques, kicking, passing, and catching. At the end of each session, parents get a scouting report highlighting their child's progress, strengths, and success in avoiding the temptation to see whether the ball might secretly be filled with candy.:m]]
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.
Children’s Lighthouse of Mag Creek fosters a safe and creative learning environment for kids aged 2–12 to effectively absorb academic lessons while developing emotionally and physically. Led by a dedicated staff of caregivers, youngsters strap on a backpack before settling in for a one-week trial of schooling activities taught with the A Beka learning curriculum. Like tree forts plastered with Einstein’s high-school doodles, the age-appropriate classrooms cater to each level of learner, ensuring minds are comfortable but challenged. As 2-year-olds focus on developing independence, kindergarteners hone reading and writing skills and kids aged 5–12 master their homework as well as their inside voices before burning energy among arcade games or within a creative art arena.
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.
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.
Cassandra Myers was raised to believe that education was vital to personal development. That's why, after working as a teacher, school counselor, and special-education administrator, she decided to open Eagle Achievers Academy—a place where she could instill a love of learning in children during their earliest years.
But just because Myers and her trained, certified staff are focused on education doesn't mean they've forgotten how to have fun. The center's curriculum fosters a love of literature, music, art, and science through playful activities that encourage self-expression and the development of social skills. Activities are designed for kids between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years, with daycare and preschool sessions scheduled during the day, before and after school, and for the summer.