By age 8, John Stuart Mill had learned Latin, Greek, and written a political treatise barring those with no knowledge of Latin or Greek from his tree house. Enliven your child's mind with today's Groupon: for $39, you get five classes and five weeks of unlimited open play at The Bee's Knees Learn & Play in Boynton Beach (a $106 value).
The Bee's Knee's Learn & Play employs Montessori techniques to fuse discovery and fun in an indoor academic playground setting. The romping ground's hour-long special classes (a $75 value/five-week session) cover a variety of topics, average around 12 students each, and emphasize principles such as constructive play, musical expression, movement, and a social curriculum of sharing, taking turns, and never sneezing. Mommy & Me sessions, which are grouped according to age, focus on caregivers as a child's primary teacher and source of melba toast. Toddler Transition is designed to ease children ages 2.5–5 into full-time school, while Spanish-immersion class challenges children ages 5–10 to navigate lessons, story time, crafts, games, and songs in a new language. No matter the lesson, each class follows a routine that includes a communal circle with songs, story time, a snack break, crafts, a trip to the treasure box, and cleanup. During optional open play before and after each class (a $25 value for a five-week pass), as well as during special sessions, children are free to explore the center's electronics-free plethora of playthings, including a Thomas and Friends train table, costumes, puppets, puzzles, an interactive play kitchen, and a life-size DMV.
An experienced staff promotes experiential learning and socializing in the blue-walled playroom accented with bright hanging lanterns, colorful wooden cubbies, a bright green kid-sized piano, and simple toys made of wood and other sturdy materials. The space is superbly sanitized through a contract with Swisher Sanitizer and instructors ask that ill students return on a different day. The Bee's Knees also hosts private-group classes, camps, birthday parties, and investment seminars on starting a Roth IRA for allowance.