The proverb 'it takes a village to raise a child' means simply that. It takes more than one person to teach a child the ways of life; it takes a village, a community. During their lives, children come upon many different experiences and circumstances and learn different lessons from different people; each shaping their journey from newborn to adult. It used to be that the community was made up of family and was responsible for passing along the knowledge and skills gained over generations.
The reality of today is that, although the world seems to be getting smaller, with rapid advancement in technology and overall improvements in the human condition, the community has scattered and an unprecedented number of families are separated by distance. Without the support and access to community knowledge, parents are finding themselves solely responsible for figuring out what is best for their child and family. Complicating matters more is the shear amount of information that is available at the stroke of a key. Parents must now sort through a multitude of various media hype and often-exaggerated claims of science in an effort to figure out the best way to raise and educate their children and an effort to answer the age-old question, “What’s right for my child?!”
Planting Seeds Program- Click here to see what we are currently offering in our Long Beach location.
AHWI’s Planting Seeds program offers families a place to play and grow together and experience the profound joys of learning, all in one place. Inspired by the Montessori and Waldorf philosophies, our Planting Seeds Program is based on a unique community setting that promotes holistic learning, discovery, and exploration and promotes healthy development across multiple domains of development, including:
Children grow and learn best through fun activities that teach the whole child, activities that promote the interaction between developmental domains and are fostered by consistent caregivers joining them in the discovery. Planting Seeds builds the foundation for learning and prepares children to fully engage in learning opportunities while promoting healthy development. Parents learn along side their child through workshops, parent groups, playdates, open play times and community presentations.
The benefits of play and exploration are well established and are vitally important to promote and support healthy child development. Long-term studies have shown that children reap lifelong benefits of child-driven play even more when parents and caregivers join them. These early childhood experiences and relationships are instrumental in shaping a child’s social and academic success and happiness. As our children’s best advocates and teachers, the pressure to ensure our children are provided the very best opportunities is high, and we feel it.
Each family is shaped by a particular set of circumstances, values and beliefs and each baby is unique. Therefore, believing that no single approach to parenting works for every family, AHWI embraces no single philosophy. Our goal is to assist you by providing the relevant evidence based information, tools and supporting you as you determine what best fits your unique family. In addition, our resource library is filled with books and videos covering pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, and includes a comprehensive community resource guide.
Come in and meet some of the AHWI educators, child development specialists, lactation consultants, physicians, nurses, psychologists, midwives, doulas, dieticians, music therapists, yoga instructors and other specialists through our groups, workshops, community presentations and consultations.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Whether giving birth for the first time or a seasoned parent, the anticipation of bringing another life into the world can be both exciting and overwhelming. Today’s parents are bombarded with new facts, statistics, guidelines and anecdotal stories about conception and birth. We have more information available than ever before, but with that comes the responsibility of ensuring the information is from a trusted source. It is becoming harder to separate fact from fiction and evidence from anecdote without spending an exorbitant amount of time pouring through the information. Thinking about the amount of time it would take to go through it all, figure out the evidence and then make an informed decision can leave you feeling paralyzed. We provide you with all the resources in one space and work with you and your family to determine which information is right for you and then help you to get the most out of it. The more you learn about preparing for pregnancy, being pregnant, childbirth and infant care, the more comfortable and confident you will be about your options, choices and your new babies arrival. Prenatal classes, stress management, yoga, birthing techniques, nutrition consults and developing a birth plan are just a small sample of the activities and resources available.
Learn how to facilitate your baby's physical and motor development, connect with your baby through massage and sign language, and participate in a baby wearing or breastfeeding group in one of our beautifully designed infant music, activity and sensory spaces. Each space is a perfect setting for learning about your baby, connecting with other new moms, exploring different senses, and interacting with the environment. Our groups teach concepts that can be used at home to create an environment for you and your baby to relax, bond and explore. We offer a variety of workshops for new parents including: Introducing Solids, First Aid and CPR, Vaccines, Sleep Solutions, Creating a Sensory Environment at Home, Gum and Dental Care, and Developmental Play.
Parent and Child Groups
Children have a powerful innate drive to learn about and understand the world around them. Filled with both unstructured free play and playful learning activities, our small groups offer innovative, educational, fun, themed playscapes that allow learning to unfold naturally. Themes change every 6-8 weeks while new activities; materials, projects and tools are introduced weekly. Groups integrate the different types of play: sensory, creative arts, rough and tumble, risk-taking, fine and gross motor, dramatic, symbolic, language, construction, rule based, and mastery into each of our learning environments and activities.
Our play environments are designed to allow different types of play to overlap and interact as the child creates. We teach parents how to recognize when to let children play without interruption and how to observe their child for opportunities to support learning with gentle guidance, role modeling, and other strategies to enrich and extend play. We have created a fun place for parents and children to continue to bond, socialize and make new friends. Our team helps parents apply these concepts to a home learning environment that fosters the creative approach to learning. We offer a variety of workshops and presentations including: Emotion Coaching, Building Strong Foundations, Common Parenting Questions and Concerns, Helping Your Child Prepare for New Situations, and Choosing a Preschool.
A Sample of Our Individual Programs:
Combines the best music methods from Orff, Kodaly and Suzuki. In this interactive program, parents and children work together to make music, play instruments, take turns, and sing songs. Take home books, cd’s and instruments allow you to continue the music at home while strengthening the bond between parent and child.
Spanish Music Groups
Introduce your child to the world of Spanish through music, dance, stories and art. Studies show that early exposure to more than one language helps language skills. The amount of time children are exposed to and have the opportunity to practice a second language influences how quickly it will develop.
Communication is central to the parent child relationship. Signing aids speech development, boosts cognition, reduces tantrums and improves parent child relationships. Join our groups or take online tutorials from the comfort of your home.
Designed for parents with new babies (must be at least 6 weeks old) to learn about and share the many benefits (improved digestion, reduced crying, promote restful sleep) of infant massage. Learn specific strokes for different parts of the body and receive take home materials to continue your practice at home. Experience how the power of touch strengthens the connection between you and your newborn.
Giving kids the tools to concentrate, learn, relax and just have fun.
Improve focus, self-control, creativity and flexibility. Studies find that young children that practice mindfulness meditation have better executive control.
Autism, ADHD and Behavior Related Clinical Services
AHWI offers all of our Planting Seeds Program components and activities for families and children with special needs. Either in an individualized or group format, each of our individual programs and event hosting packages can be tailored to the particular needs and goals of the family. An AHWI Team Member will be more than happy to meet with you and review your many options.
Executive functioning has repeatedly shown to be a better predictor of school success than IQ. This computer-based system, which can be done at home, targets different areas of working memory and attention to improve functioning.
Every month, our Arts & Crafts Studio offers special events for families to experience hands-on creative fun using different materials, mediums, and themes. We introduce playful ways to engage and meet local families during playgroups including our Puppet Theater, toddler obstacle course, story time, skits, dance and FUNctional Music Groups.
AHWI offers a variety of workshops, presentations and resources that are designed to help parents learn about their community, being parents and how to continue to bond while raising a family. Parents from the same communities, with children in the same age range, gather for formal and informal discussions on parenting. Topics are based on your child’s age, your specific needs and interests, and always include best practice approaches. Onsite activities for your child are provided for many events.
Birthday Parties and Events
Book your private party or event with us and enjoy the entire facility for 2 hours. In addition, the events package includes 2 creative arts staff, face painting, one free open studio pass for each child in attendance and 2 free open studio passes for the birthday boy or girl. We will work with you to customize a package to your individual interests and goals for the event. If a special activity is part of your event, all materials will be included in your package and the children take home what they make.
Member and Non-Member Pricing
Our programs are open to the community; however, members receive first choice for sign up and special discounts. In addition, a select number of workshops and activities are offered at a significantly reduced rate or are free to members
All members receive discounted services for siblings attending our programs and special event bookings.
Drop-in rates are available.
Financial assistance options are available on a limited basis. Please call 562.439.3425 for more information.