From the Desk of: NYC Dads Group
I am often asked the question, what do you and your son do with your NYC Dads Group? My response is usually, “what don’t we do?” Many fathers out there like going about their business flying solo with their kids and often not asking for directions- cool, I get it. That said, I believe there are many adventurous fathers out there seeking socialization and camaraderie of being part of a dads community. Consequently, for the curious dad, I need to spell out what types of activities we do together in our dads group so they can see if it is the right fit.
Within the past two past months, to provide clarity to the depth and variety of our group’s activities, here are some examples that have taken place within our community of active, engaged, and involved fathers:
- Sports Class: Super Soccer Stars welcomed a dozen fathers from the NYC Dads group with our children to try out a FREE class! Dynamic international coaches worked with our kids to develop skills, self-confidence, and teamwork in a fun, non-competitive environment. Positive reinforcement and a low child-to-coach ratio ensure that each child engaged in warm-ups, drills, and games–all while having endless fun!
- Do It Yourself Art: Seven dads have agreed to purchase Art supplies and two dads have attended many local Art classes so they had a good idea of how to direct the activities of our kids and pick a theme for the week. Painting, collages, clay, who knows what we’ll get up to!
- Volunteer Work (without kids): NYC Dads Group volunteered at Baby Buggy Headquarters working with this non-profit to sort through toys, shoes, and clothes to be distributed to Baby Buggy’s service providers. This was our third time volunteering with them.
- Music class: PreSchool of Rock: Sixteen dads participated in an energetic and engaging musical experience for children 3 months to 6 years old. Use of Rock N’ Roll rhythms, drum circles, guitars, big drums, and world instruments engaged our kids and the dads as well! Our kids had the opportunity to embrace, celebrate, and create music in a fun and free atmosphere.
- Central Park Zoo: Six dads got together with their children to watch the Sea Lion Show, check out the Penguins, Polar bears, Monkeys…hit the petting zoo, and still have time to grab some lunch afterward.
- Evening Event: NYC Dads became movie critics for a screening of a powerful fatherhood film, Internal Exposure, by Fivel Rothberg. This is one of those opportunities that makes us glad that we live in New York and glad that we have this group. An up-and-coming filmmaker came to us recently to see if our group would be willing to give feedback on the first cut of his film about the father-son relationship. It just so happens that one of our members has an awesome screening room in his building (alongside the equally awesome billiards room), so a Meetup was born. We watched the film, discussed the film with director, and then hung around to play pool, drink beer, and hang with the guys.
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan: Nearly 20 dads with their kids in tow experienced the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) on the UWS together. It was a fantastic time! It is a place you could easily spend two hours with all of their different playspace areas, self-exploration experiences, hands-on exhibits, and facilitated storytime.
- Indoor Playspace: Citibabes, one of the coolest indoor playscapes you can imagine welcomed ten fathers and their kid to hang out in their CitiGym, Citibabes’ newest playspace and classroom – filled with soft places to roll and tumble including balance beams, bouncy balls, tunnels to crawl through, an air log, a trampoline and even a mini-rock climbing wall, all designed to help develop gross motor skills, coordination and socialization.
- Parenting Workshop: SLEEP – New and expecting dads need guidance about establishing routines to get their kids into happy & healthy sleep habits. Dads of toddlers need advice on transitioning away from naps as well as making the transition from a crib to toddler bed. Bottom line: we all value our sleep and that is dependent on how well our children sleep so this is always a valuable topic for discussion. A dozen dads had a meaningful conversation with a pediatric sleep specialist!
- Music Class: NYC Dads & Kids get musical with “Music Together”: Fifteen fathers got together on a Wednesday morning to join Music Together – a program based on mixed age classes as research believes that children in the early years learn better cognitively as well as socially in a mixed age setting. We danced, bounced, sang, and got silly together. Awesome time!
- Dads Night Out: For our monthly dads night out, we headed over to a sleek Sports bar, The Hill, for beer, drinks, munchies, hanging out, and some NCAA Hoops action. With so many new members, it was a chance for twenty of us to kick back, drink cheap beer, talk shop, watch sports, and enjoy the camaraderie without our kids.
- On the horizon in the coming weeks: Screening & panel discussion of the film, Evolution of Dad…a parent & me gymnastics and music class…using an innovative indoor water playscape called City Treehouse…playground tours…roadtrip to Sesame Place.
As you can see, our community of dads take parent & me classes, hit the playground, attend parenting workshops, have evening activities, screenings, author discussions, museum outings, and more. Sure, having our kids socialize and interact is an important aspect…but, selfishly, this group is first and foremost for us, the modern fathers! So, stop going about the ebb and flow of parenting by yourself, and join a group!