Once your little one moves out of babyhood the options for programs become much more plentiful. Most of the programs on my 9 Halifax Parent & Tot Programs for Baby list go from infancy up until preschool age, and some, like swimming, continue to include options for older kids.
The list below goes beyond the common programs that most kids are signed up for, like soccer and dance, and provides something a little out of the ordinary, offered right in the HRM, to consider exposing your kids to.
The Symphony Nova Scotia people offer an incredible series of programs for little kids to introduce them to music and music appreciation, including programs in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the library. Some are all ages, some are 3+. Make sure you register early as the spots go quickly!
I'm sure we all have great memories of exploring in wooded areas as kids - building forts, climbing trees, making mud pies. The Wild Child Forest School offers some really cool programs for kids 3+ that encourage kids to get outside, get dirty, and be adventurers in the woods. They also offer a Family Program as an intro if your city kid is exploring the woods for the first time and you want to ease into it with them.
It's never too early to get comfortable in the kitchen, right? Superstore locations around the city offer cooking classes for kids (2+ years old). They're usually very hands-on and a lot of fun for the kids and parents. My little ones have enjoyed their experiences and left having usually tried some new foods and gained some confidence in the kitchen. You can read more about how to involve your kids in the kitchen here in my Family Matters column.
Home Depot Workshops
This one is "technically" for 5+ however it used to be for 4+ and I've seen younger ones there so I don't think they're too strict as long as the parents are there to supervise. They offer a free workshop once a month and provide a great introduction to getting your child comfortable with using tools and building things. No plastic tools here, real hammers and nails for everyone! Plus you go home with a snazzy carpenter apron and your finished product.
Movies on the Big Screen
Cineplex offers Family Favourite movies each Saturday morning for only $2.99. For that price you can even splurge on treats!! It's a great chance to introduce your little one to the cinema without shelling out big bucks in case they decide it's not for them five minutes into the show. Do check out the movies first though as some are more suited for older children. Don't forget about the Al Fresco Film Festival in Halifax in the summer too - they show a movie outside every weekend and there's usually at least one offering suitable for kids!
Wonder'neath Art Studio
I don't know a lot about this art studio other than this article I saw awhile ago that says all ages are welcome to attend, including young children. I love the concept of providing a wide range of materials and letting children explore with them in an open format. It's on my list of places to check out with the kids!
If you've considered taking your child to church and then pictured pursed lips and frowns as your child tears up and down the aisle, you might want to check out Messy Church. A trend amongst many local churches lately has been this family friendly program that is often held around supper time on a Sunday and typically includes a short, casual worship time in the church, a craft in the hall, and even a meal - all free of charge and for all ages. Best of all - you can wear whatever you want, no Sunday best needed here.
There are tons of local play groups for kids from 0-5 but this one is unique as it is also a toy lending library co-op in Upper Tantallon. They have several annual events like Halloween and Easter parties; along with their weekly play group every Wednesday. As a member you can borrow toys to try them out for your kids at home before buying them. What a cool idea!
*Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of these programs; research, register and attend at your own discretion.
What are your favourite, out-of-the-ordinary activities for your toddler or preschooler in Halifax? Leave me a note in the comments, I'd love to hear about them!