Christmas above all is about being with those people you care about. As expats we often can find ourselves on the other side of the world, miles away from those very people. At this time… More
If you venture down to Parque Urraca in Bella Vista after dark you will stumble across one of the most beautiful displays of Christmas lights this season. Continue reading “Santa’s Grotto @ Parque Urraca”
When E was 7 months old we decided to start some swimming classes. We discovered Aquatics Swim School with a quick search on Google, and on asking around the feedback was very positive. The school itself is in Costa del Este. Prices at the time were $88 per month for one group class a week (6 students max). You can start classes from 4 months, for children of up to 2 years a parent or a teacher (at an additional fee) should accompany the child. The basic ethos is that kids learn to love water and subsequently swim through play.
My husband did the classes with E and I tagged along to help with changing and to take the obligatory photos! Briefly this is how it works, parking outside, cars are parked behind each other, it is a case of finding a spot and leaving your keys with the valet who will move it to allow others to get their cars out. You need to remove shoes to go into the pool area, there is a cafe down stairs where parents can wait and watch classes on screens, if you are not involved and don’t want to stand poolside. Babies and toddlers are required to wear approved swimwear and swim nappy. You can purchase approved swimsuits at the Aquatics shop on site.
Once upstairs there are two change rooms which are non gender specific. There is a large bench for changing babies and a large trough sink to rinse them in. For bigger kids and adults there are cubicles and showers. If you are a parent with a baby that cannot stand, you are faced with the problem of what to do with the baby whilst you yourself get dried and dressed. There is a bench but for kids that can roll it isn’t safe. Two people is helpful or at least go prepared to juggle baby and dressing.
Aquatics is incredibly organised and, unusually for Panama, very much runs to schedule, so get there with time to change into your swimsuit. A bell rings at the beginning and end of class and there is about five minutes between classes for kids to get in/out of the pool. It does feel somewhat like a conveyor belt but it is efficient. Kids seem to be very attentive and enjoying classes and there are instructors aplenty. E loved her class and the songs that they sing, and the change of activity every few minutes is great for a short attention span. It seems like the instructors are well trained and love their jobs. By the fourth class E could slide off the mat into the pool to be caught by her dad with no fear, and she was getting used to the sensation of having water on her face.
Obviously I can’t comment on the older classes, but I would recommend Aquatics to anyone who was thinking of swimming classes for their kids. It is well worth trying out to see if it is a fit for your little ones.
As a photographer you can imagine that I am rather prolific in my photo taking. So it made complete sense to get ourselves on Instagram. You can follow all our adventures at @thelittlebeanchronicles. We hope to see you there!
Tucked up on the first floor of the Clayton Mall is the little gem that is the Kool Kidz Playland and Cafe. Continue reading “Kool Kidz Playland and Cafe, Clayton”
With all the dreadful weather we had last week I have been pulling out all the stops to keep E happy. After a couple of days indoors we were ready to get out of the house. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and head to Multiplaza to check out the new Christmas lights and do a little Christmas shopping at the same time. Continue reading “Christmas @ Multiplaza”
This was a recommendation from another mum on Panama Mamas. We were shopping (again) at Multicentro so we thought we would try it out. When you see Games Box, it looks like your regular arcade, but tucked at the back are two kid gym areas with various slides, and activities. Continue reading “Games Box @ Multicentro”
Plaza de la Democracia is the plaza at the Patilla end of the Cinta Costera. You may or may not know that tucked at the back there are a couple of play areas. Continue reading “Park @ Plaza de la Democracia”
So following on from my last piece about the Kids Playground play area on level one at Multiplaza, this post is about the area on level two. Continue reading “Kids Playground #2 @ Multiplaza”
If you are new mama to Panama then you may not have encountered Panama Mamas. Being British I am used to mummy groups, birthing class groups, soft play, tumble tots, breast feeding groups, baby yoga, pramercise (yes this exists) and all manner of groups catering to the new (and not so new) mum (and dad). Continue reading “Panama Mama’s”
Late in my pregnancy a friend asked me if I had heard of The Wonder Weeks. Of course being a first time mum I had no idea what it was. Fifteen months later I swear by it. Continue reading “Why has my baby’s behaviour changed?”
I have been redecorating our apartment recently so I have been spending a certain amount of time in malls. In the name of research, and to apologise to my poor daughter who is dragged along, I occasionally let her have a run in one of the play areas available. Multiplaza, for those in the know has two Kids Playground areas, one on the first floor and one on the third floor. This article is about the first floor area. Continue reading “Kids Playground #1 @ Multiplaza”