Child's Play

Make Learning Fun

Education your kids will actually enjoy


Get Your Hands Dirty
Foster your kid’s creativity and imagination at Mudstone Studios in Cutler Mills. Ellen Blomgren and crew offer six-week “Culture Clash” courses for grades 1-6 and drop-in lessons in clay for teens. But, for a really memorable experience, take an all-ages class in Stop Motion Animation or Clay Throwing together. Who knows what kind of talent you’ve passed down? 30 Cutler Street, Warren. 401-297-9412.

Craft Creativity
Foster some DIY love in your young ones at Peacock and Parade in Barrington. This one-stop art center offers drop-in arts and crafts time every day, as well as sewing, fine art, photography, fashion design and crafting classes. The fabulously glamorous space also offers two totally unique birthday parties: a dress-up one complete with makeup, nail polish and feather boas; and a rock star one where kids can jam out to karaoke on an in-studio stage. 184 County Road (second floor), Barrington. 401-289-2185.

Give it a Whirl
For kids who are interested in getting their hands dirty, why not send them to pottery class at Clay Art Studio in Barrington? Instructor Rena Bidney is a professional potter and certified teacher with over 25 years experience in public and private schools. Come for one week camp or ongoing classes, which can be designed around the specific interests of your child. Let your kids express their individual creativity. 14 Paquin Road, Barrington. 401-245-4895.

Make them Flip
Teach your kids that being active is fun at Renaissance Gymnastics Academy in East Providence, which offers classes from as young as just walking age to teenagers and beyond. Renaissance also offers open play several times a week, when kids can run, jump and tumble their little hearts out in a safe and fun environment. 887 Waterman Avenue, East Providence. 401-435-0159.

Sail Away
The Herreshoff Marine Museum (pictured above) doesn’t just celebrate our marine legacy, it creates one for future generations. The 2012 Kestrel program takes seafaring kids out on day and overnight sails on a 1927 Fishers Island 31. Trips stay local (day sails around the bay) and venture afar (three-day trips to Mystic and Nantucket). The idea is to foster passion for maritime navigation, architecture and seamanship. One Burnside Street, Bristol. 401-253-5000.

Get Them on their Guard
Evoking memories of The Three Musketeers, sword fighting is once again in vogue. Er, fencing, that is. Let your kids try their hand at the age-old sport of fencing, at Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club. Here they’ll learn the basics of style, safety and strategies, which will lead them to victory. Kids can exercise their bodies and imaginations in a safe, fun way. 14 Almeida Avenue, East Providence. 401-434-2404.

Sing a Song
Offering creative experiences in moving and music, Music Together is a place your whole family can enjoy. Appropriate for newborn babies to children up to five years old, instructors will help nurture your child’s (and family’s) natural enthusiasm and skills for song and body movement. Ring the bell, bang the drum and move those hips… together. 35 Dyer Street, Portsmouth. 401-846-9014.

Toe the Line
There will be plies and pirouettes as your little ballerinas work their way up onto their toes at In Step Dance Studio’s ballet classes. Ballet is known to teach structure and discipline while working the muscles and minds of your young ones. Classes are offered for both boys and girls, and the team of dance instructors will work with your children to get them on pointe. 26 Olney Street, Seekonk. 508-336-4035.

Make Sweet Music
Get them started early with music lessons at Bristol and Barrington Music Academies. Offering lessons in guitar, piano, drums, bass, violin and other instruments upon request, the academy’s owner and teacher, Matthew Gray, is an accomplished musician and a graduate of the Musician Institute in Hollywood, California. Or perhaps your young one dreams of one day trying out for American Idol; the academy offers singing lessons, too. 413 High Street, Bristol, and 33 Kent Street in Barrington. 401-253-6467. 

Instill a Love of the Classics
Part bookstore, part art gallery, part café and sometimes part petting zoo, every day is fun at Partners Village Store in Westport. On Thursdays, inspire a love of reading in your preschooler during the Children’s Reading Circle (pictured above), which includes story time, arts and crafts and treats. On April 28, Partners is debuting Symphony Tales, which is a reading of a children’s book accompanied by a live musical performance by a member of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. Reservations are required for this new program. 865 Main Road, Westport. 508-636-2572.

Give Them a Worldly Perspective
Belly dance isn’t just for adults. The Dancing Spirit in Tiverton offers Dancing Princesses, a class for little girls aged three-and-a-half to eight, which teaches them graceful dance poses using miniature Persian veils. Think of it like structured dress-up and dance time. 1759 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-338-9905.

Get into the Swing
Your young golfers will soon be yelling, “fore!” as they sink a hole in one, so long as you send them to Private Golf Lessons at Swansea Country Club. The club offers 45-minute lessons with PGA professionals at an affordable rate. They also provide junior clinics and junior golf camps, with most of the time spent on the course. 299 Market Street, Swansea. 508-379-9886.