Activities/Classes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Southeast Library Family Story Time

Here it is: Capitol Hill activities for toddlers and preschoolers, in one place! This list is organized alphabetically by interest, from art to yoga. It is focused on activities held in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It includes both classes that require registration as well as drop-in activities. CHK is defining “toddlers and preschoolers” as 1 to 4 years old. For younger ones, see CHK’s Big List of Hill Activities/Classes for Babies.

I intend that this list be comprehensive and up to date. Email me at
cory@capitolhillkid.com with suggestions.

Art

Makeshift

“Makeshift is a place to create. Makeshift offers unique art and music classes for all ages in Capitol Hill & NE DC. Our intimate alley retail space also hosts community events throughout the year.”

Plum Patch: Art Exploration

Our art exploration sessions are a chance for your toddler to use sustainable materials to create unique objects and to collaborate and play with other kids. Students will develop their sensory skills as well as fine and gross motor skills. They will learn about color, texture, and more using a variety of media while experimenting with new and engaging materials.”

  • Ages 18 months-3 years and up
  • First and third Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon | Shopkeepers at 1231 Florida Ave NE | Registration and drop-in
  • https://plumpatchdc.com/

Southwest Library: Arty Afternoons (Closed)

Note: Southwest Library is closed while under construction. This will be updated when it reopens.

Dance

Bouncing Bambini: Zumbini

“Zumbini is a music and movement class for children to attend with their fun-loving caregiver. We combine original Zumba-style music with dancing, acoustic singing, rhythmic instruments, scarves, balls, and more to create this fun and engaging 45-minute class. In addition to a love of music and movement, we want children to develop stronger bonds with their caregivers and socialization with new friends.”

  • Ages 0-4 years
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Union Market and other D.C. locations | Registration required
  • https://bouncingbambini.com/

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW): Tiny Tots Classes (2.5-5 years), Studio to Stage (3-7 years) and Technique Class (4-7 years)

“Semester long technique classes are designed to give beginning dancers an opportunity to learn foundational skills in ballet and tap. All students perform in demonstrations or recitals at the end of each session. Class instruction includes technique, steps and sequences that develop strength, stamina and focus.”

  • Ages 2.5 and up
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Capitol Hill Arts Workshop | Registration required
  • https://www.chaw.org/

Joy of Motion: Toddlers in Motion (2 years), Creative Movement (3 years) and Dance Basics (4 years)

  • Ages 2 and up
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Atlas Performing Arts Center and more D.C. locations| Registration required
  • https://www.joyofmotion.org/

Tippi Toes: Toddler and Me (18 months-3 years), Baby Ballet (2-4 years) and Ballet, Tap and Jazz (3-8 years)

“Tippi Toes Dance Company begins with warm-ups and stretching exercises as well as activities that encourage boys and girls to use their imagination. We then introduce ballet, tap, jazz or hip hop techniques using dance terms and examples to enhance their knowledge of the art. We incorporate our original dance music to further their dance experience.”

Studio One Dance: Creative Ballet 1&2

“In this independent class, dancers will enjoy a perfect mix of creative movement and age appropriate classical Ballet. They will be introduced to beginning positions, terminology and traveling steps. This class will help them to gain confidence, meet new friends and explore feelings through props, instruments, and plenty of imagination.”

Free Play

Elemeno: Skillzone and STEM Family Lounge

“Babies and young children learn by doing, and they learn best when they have time and space to explore, experiment, and express themselves. Our purpose-built educational environment means that every visit is a learning experience for our member children – a class every time you come in. Rather than pushing a quantity of classes, our early-learning philosophy emphasizes quality educational programming with a focus on skill development and family learning opportunities.”

  • Babies, toddlers and preschoolers
  • Drop-in play, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. | 709 8th St SE | Membership required
  • https://elemeno.club/

French Language

Alliance Francaise: Pitchouns

“Children learn new words and language structures, using them in fun, age appropriate activities like arts and crafts, songs, dance, games and stories.”

  • Ages 3-4
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Hill Center and more D.C. locations | Registration required
  • https://francedc.org/index

Gymnastics

Power Tots

“Our programs are designed to challenge and educate children in multiple aspects of their lives. Fine and gross motor skills are developed and enhanced along with the overall physical and emotional well-being of each child. Every goal is reached with the effort and execution of our belief in the ‘Power of a Positive Attitude.'” 

  • Ages 18 months-6 years
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Capitol Hill Sport and Health and more D.C. locations | Registration required
  • https://powertotsinc.com/

Museums and Tours

National Building Museum

Current kid-friendly exhibitions include Lawn, the Building Zone and Play Work Build.

  • Ages 2-6 (recommended for Building Zone)
  • Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Tickets
  • https://www.nbm.org/

National Museum of American History: Wegmans Wonderplace

“Wegmans Wonderplace is the first exhibition on the National Mall designed for children 0 to 6. This 1,700-square-foot interactive space provides the youngest historians with age-appropriate activities and experiences.”

National Museum of the American Indian: ImagiNATIONS Activity Center

“The interactive, family-friendly imagiNATIONS Activity Center provides visitors up to age 10 with a multitude of unique learning experiences.”

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center: Toddler Trailblazers (13-24 months), Twos Travelers (2-3 years) and Preschool Pioneers (3-5 years)

“Our workshops offer a variety of hands-on experiences that introduce young children to concepts in engaging ways. Each class includes playful activities that are intentionally chosen to support your child’s development. Our learning extends beyond the classroom and into the museum and community where children and parents are encouraged to wonder and explore together as a family.”

Music and Movement

Boogie Babes

“The Boogie Babes program brings interactive musical performances for young children and their caregivers each week to area neighborhoods. The events, typically 45 minutes in length, provide a wonderful way to expose children to different musical instruments and styles while also raising funds for and awareness of Greater DC Diaper Bank’s work and mission.” 

Bouncing Bambini: Zumbini

“Zumbini is a music and movement class for children to attend with their fun-loving caregiver. We combine original Zumba-style music with dancing, acoustic singing, rhythmic instruments, scarves, balls, and more to create this fun and engaging 45-minute class. In addition to a love of music and movement, we want children to develop stronger bonds with their caregivers and socialization with new friends.”

  • Ages 0-4 years
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Union Market and other D.C. locations | Registration required
  • https://bouncingbambini.com/

Little Steps Music: Music Together

“Music Together is an early childhood music and movement program.   Developed in Princeton over twenty-five years ago, it has grown to become one of the leading childhood education programs in this country and abroad.”

Makeshift

“Makeshift is a place to create. Makeshift offers unique art and music classes for all ages in Capitol Hill & NE DC. Our intimate alley retail space also hosts community events throughout the year.”

Meadowlark Music

“Meadowlark is a local business, owned and operated by a professional musician.  Meadowlark is a supportive and well-designed environment for you to learn about, be inspired by, and celebrate music.”

Mr. Mike’s Music: Mixed Age Class

“Mr. Mike’s Music Together strives to give families the opportunities to form a music-making habit early. This is not a class strictly for babies and toddlers. This is a class where families sing together.”

Pie Shop DC: Concerts for Kids

Pie Shop DC hold semi-regular Saturday morning kids shows featuring bands such as Rocknoceros and Here Comes Trouble for Kids. See CHK’s review: Back on the Scene With Kids’ Shows at Pie Shop DC.

Music on the Hill: Preschool Uke and More

“Music on the Hill’s preschool ukulele class is designed for young children who love music, but aren’t quite ready for private lessons yet. Lindy Campbell will help students learn how to properly handle the ukulele, play real chords, and learn songs ranging from classic children’s songs to Bob Marley and the Beatles.”

Southeast Library: Music and Movement

“Sing, dance and reveal your inner musician at Music and Movement time.”

Outdoor Play

Tinkergarten

“Tinkergarten is on a mission to elevate childhood. We are growing a technology-enabled network of leaders that bring families together in a natural place in their community for classes where kids learn through play.”

  • Ages 18 months- 8 years
  • Several-week series offered seasonally | Lincoln Park and more D.C. locations | Registration required
  • https://tinkergarten.com

Playgroups

Fit4Mom: “Our Village” Playgroup

“Enjoy fun, playful activities with your child while building a tight community of like-minded moms to share advice, tips, and most importantly, laughter.”

Preschool Prep

Elemeno: Preschool Prep

“Nervous about preschool? Want to give your child a leg up for their next big step? Anxious about those first ‘drop offs’? Our 6-week Preschool Prep series is focused on helping you and your child prepare for success in a group-based educational environment – whether it’s Pre-K, Montessori, or any group care program.”

Soccer

Sports on the Hill: Soccer

Super Soccer Stars: Kick and Play

“Kick & Play is a parent-child pre-soccer and movement program specifically designed for toddlers between 12 and 24 months. Our experienced instructors along with our puppet friends, Mimi & Pepe, take you and your little one through a world of exciting physical activity. Individual attention, positive reinforcement, and engaging original music help to develop pre-soccer skills that will have your toddler learning to balance, run, kick and play – all while having a blast!”

Super Soccer Stars

“At Super Soccer Stars, it is our goal to teach soccer skills in a fun, non-competitive, educational environment. Our philosophy is to use soccer to nurture, to build self-confidence, and to develop teamwork in every class.”

Story Time

East City Book Shop Story Time

  • Ages 1-4 years
  • Tuesday and Fridays 11 a.m. | 645 Pennsylvania Ave SE | Free, drop in
  • https://www.eastcitybookshop.com/

Library of Congress Story Time

  • Infants and toddlers
  • Fridays, 10:30 a.m. | Jefferson Building | Free tickets distributed starting at 10 a.m.
  • http://www.read.gov/yrc/

National Air and Space Museum Story Times

National Portrait Gallery Story Time

National Postal Museum Story Time

Northeast Library: Baby and Toddler Story Time

  • Ages 0-2 years
  • Mondays, 10 a.m. (registration required) and 11:30 a.m. (drop in) | 330 7th St NE | Free, drop-in/Registration required for some sessions
  • https://www.dclibrary.org/northeast

Northeast Library

Baby and Toddler Story Time

  • Ages 0-2 years
  • Mondays, 10 a.m. (registration required) and 11:30 a.m. (drop in) | Free, drop-in/Registration required for some sessions

Family Story Time

  • All ages
  • Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. | Free, drop-in

Library Playdate

  • Ages 0-3
  • Thursdays, 1 p.m. | Free, drop-in

Preschool Story Time

  • Ages 3-5 years
  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (registration required) and 11:30 a.m. (drop in) | Free, drop-in/Registration required for some sessions

Politics and Prose at Union Market: Story Hour

“The program will be led by professional teaching artists and will include dramatic readings of favorite children’s books along with creative movement activities that explore the themes of storytelling, bravery, understanding emotions, and diversity.”

Rosedale Library: Baby and Toddler Story Times

  • Ages 0-2 years
  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. | 1701 Gales St. NE | Free, drop-in
  • https//www.dclibrary.org/rosedale

Solid State Books Story Times

Southeast Library

Baby and Toddler Story Times

  • Ages 0-2 years
  • Wednesdays, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15 | Free, drop-in

Family Story Time

  • All ages
  • Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. | Free, drop-in

“Not a Box” Play Party

  • Ages 6 and under
  • Tuesdays, 4 p.m. | Free, drop-in

Toddler Story Time

  • Ages 18-36 months
  • Tuesdays, 9:45 a.m. | Free, drop-in

Southwest Library (Closed)

Note: Southwest Library is closed for construction. This will be updated when Southwest reopens.

Swim

Bobby Broome Aquatics

DCPR: Learn to Swim for Parent/Child Level B

“Improve skills learned in Parent and Child Aquatics Level A and teaches more advanced skills. Continue to build on water safety knowledge.”

Old City Swim School

“Old City Swim School is a technique-driven learn-to-swim-program that teaches mastery of the four classic swim strokes. A level-based “building block” curriculum,  swimmers are promoted from one level to the next upon successful mastery of the specific skills required at each of the 10 levels.”

Theater

Atlas Performing Arts Center: Arts for Young Audiences

“Arts for Young Audiences is an important part of our family programming at the Atlas. Shows are dramatically unique. Each season,  Atlas features programming presented by DC area organizations specializing in programming for young people including bilingual shows, music,  puppetry, theater and more! Generally, performances are designed for children ages 2-10 and are specified for each show. All patrons age 1 and above require a ticket.”

Yoga

Breathing Space: Tot Yoga (crawling-24 months) Little Family Yoga (21 months-4 years) and Toddler Family Yoga (1-4 years)

“Class incorporates age-appropriate yoga poses, dance and creative movement, songs, stories, and games as children learn yoga through social interaction, repetition, and play. Parents/caregiver fully participate, but no yoga experience required for caregiver or child.” 

Hot Yoga Capitol Hill: Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Program*

“Ms. LaShone is a certified children’s yoga teacher and mindfulness coach who helps children explore body awareness and relaxation techniques through yoga, meditation and breath. In addition to teaching at Hot Yoga Capitol Hill, Ms. LaShone also teaches children’s yoga at many of the local public schools on Capitol Hill. She has a true gift in connecting with children and helping them discover their potential and abilities!”