The co-author of "Party Confidential" and hostess extraordinare gives tips for hosting a fabulous Mommy and Me class under your own roof!
Guest blogger Lara Shriftman: Who says you can't host your own Mommy and Me class at home?
CONCEPT AND THEME
- Mommy and Me is a great way to have fun with your baby. I took my son at 9 months which is the perfect age for these classes because he can interact with the other kids.
- A lot of people have told me that Mommy and Me is really for the parents, but I want it to really be about the kids. Having your own private classes allows you to be with your friends and brings your child together with kids their age.
- To make the classes special and do something different, I gathered a group of friends together and we created our own private Mommy and Me classes that would continue over an 8-week period.
- With a little advanced planning, you can create a great private Mommy and Me class.
- My friend Elizabeth offered her home as the place for the Mommy and Me classes. Her living room was perfect for the class since it was carpeted and we could easily move the furniture and breakable items (there was enough room for circle time).
- It's important that you take the time to child-proof the location. Take out anything that can fall or break, and make the room a comfortable play area for the children.
- There are many locations to choose from. You could have your class at a church, a library, a park, or you can use Google to help you find the perfect place.
- Find a time that works for everyone.
- My friends and I chose Wednesdays at 1 p.m., but remember to run the time by your friends first so that it doesn't interfere with nap times.
- For your own private lessons, you can really choose to do them whenever. The weekends are also a great time to have the classes.
- My friends Kyle and Elizabeth, who have kids the same age as my son, helped me plan the class and create the guest list.
- Each of us invited two or three friends with children around 6 months to 14 months old so that they could easily play with each other.
- We created a contact sheet with all the mommy's names, numbers and emails.
- It was important to inform the mommies that the class was 8 weeks long and you had to commit to be there for all the classes. We also told everyone the price upfront. Private group classes can actually be more inexpensive that the regular group Mommy and Me classes.
- Remind your mommies about the dates of the classes by sending out weekly Evite reminders.
MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT
- I was responsible for finding the Mommy and Me teacher, so I called other Mommy and Me classes and asked for someone who would do private lessons.
- I asked friends who went to Mommy and Me for their teachers' names and we then interviewed the teachers.
- I found a great music school class that provides toy for the kids and brings their own guitars and an electric piano to entertain the children.
- For $20 a class for 10 moms, the group comes and sings songs to the kids for 45 minutes. (I know that doesn't sound cheap -- but I'm LA, where classes normally run $30 or more each. Gulp!) They perform everything from the Hokey Pokey to the Beatles. Throughout the classes, they bring shakers, stuffed animals and even violins for the kids to play with. (Everyone paid the teacher directly to make payment easier at the beginning of the first session.)
DO IT YOURSELF
- It is easy to do this on your own if you don't want to have a private music group. One parent can run the music class and another can provide all of the toys for the kids to share. After the class is through, your only cleanup would be to clean the toys with anti-bacterial wipes.
FOOD AND DRINKS
- After the group finishes, the mommies can then have lunch together while the kids continue to play with one another.
- My friend Kyle provided all of the food for the mommies.
- For the kid's food, you can purchase Gerber baby food or Earth's Best.
- You can also assign a different person each week to bring the food for the mommies and one to bring the food for the kids.
- Let the other mommies know that they can bring their kid's own food if they want.
|Luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995. The agency specializes in public relations, marketing and events for high-profile luxury brands. Harrison & Shriftman currently has 50 employees spanning three offices in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Over the years, Lara has assisted in building world-class brands that include Juicy, Jimmy Choo, W Hotels and Grey Goose. Harrison & Shriftman's impressive client list continues to expand its reach within the global market. In addition to serving as a correspondent for Extra with her own segment, Party Confidential, Lara and partner Elizabeth Harrison have authored four books on entertaining, Fete Accompli (Random House, Clarkson Potter; Fall 2004) Fete Accompli Workbook (Random House, Clarkson Potter; July 2005), Party Confidential (Bulfinch Press, a division of Time Warner Book Group; November 2006), and Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining (St. Martin's, July 2008). www.partyconfidential.com|